The modern version of tennis is credited to a Welsh major named Walter Clopton Wingfield, who patented the game in 1874. Wingfield gave his pastime two names: the Greek derived “sphairistike” and “lawn tennis.” Not surprisingly, the second name stuck.

Within a year, the All England Croquet Club at Wimbledon had added lawn tennis to the diversions offered to its members, and in 1877, the words “Lawn Tennis” were formally added to its name. That was also the year the club held its first championship in men’s singles. Tournament play for what we now call the U.S. Open began in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1881. Thus, the first two tennis Grand Slams were born—the first French Open was played in 1891, the Australian Open arrived in 1905, and in 1915 the U.S. Open moved to Forest Hills, New York.

For collectors of tennis memorabilia, anything from the 19th century is a prize, be it a wooden racquet strung with gut or an early trophy, although such pieces are mostly the stuff of museums and exclusive private collections.

More accessible are items from the 1920s, the so-called golden age of tennis. On the men’s side, when Bill Tilden wasn’t winning Wimbledon, René Lacoste (of crocodile-logo-shirt fame) was. Helen Wills Moody was the star among female players, winning Wimbledon eight times in the ’20s and ’30s, which stood as the record until Martina Navratilova won her ninth in 2000.

Vintage tennis memorabilia from the years between the wars include sports posters advertising matches at Wimbledon, the availability of courts at a luxury resort, or the latest Slazenger or Spalding tennis balls. More recently, posters from Roland Garros, site of the French Open, have gained a following. Ticket stubs to any of the Grand Slams are also collected.

For some reason, vintage tennis racquets are not as expensive as you might think they would be. Some people collect racquets of famous players. Jack Kramer swung a wooden Wilson, and his namesake racquet was introduced in 1948. Rod Laver and John McEnroe, whose on-court demeanor could not have been more different, both used a Dunlop Maxply, while Bjorn Born played with Bancrofts and Donnays.

Arthur Ashe was a racquet pioneer, playing a Head metal-and-plastic racquet called the Arthur Ashe Competition in 1969—its flat face was distinctive but did not last in tennis ci...

Today, the most widely collected tennis items are probably tennis-ball cans, from cardboard to metal, and player autographs. Collectors and fans look for signatures on everything from tennis balls to photographs, trading cards, and magazine covers.

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1938 Pre Ww2 Wimbledon Speedway Supporters Club Badge Cotton Dot Motorcycles GcVintage Antique 1914 Tennis Loving Cup Trophy. Copper Color. Dieges & Clust Hazells' Streamline "blue Star" Antique Vintage Tennis Racket C1935 Exc Cond. NrAfc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 16 Saint - Luce WornMaria Sharapova 2005 Ace Signature Moments Rookie Autograph Card #21/50Hazells' Streamline "blue Star" Antique Vintage C.1935 Excellent Condition - NrAfc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 18 Nicholson WornAfc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 4 Bulman Match Worn1947 Fa Amateur Cup Final - Leytonstone V. WimbledonVintage Wilson Pro Staff Racquet Signed By Pete Sampras Antique .925 Hm Sterling Silver Tennis Prize Trophy Cup Birmingham 1927Afc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 12 Pell WornAfc Wimbledon 2012 - 2014 Match Ball Used Fa CupVintage Polo Sport Ralph Lauren Blue&red Cap Hat Classic Golf Tennis CoolVintage Pennsylvania Tennis Balls 4 Cans With Key & Box Nos Full BoxBjorn Borg Signed Tennis Ball Wimbledon Champion Autograph Memorabilia + CoaAfc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 19 Arther WornAfc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 36 Winfield Worn30s Vintage Antique Loving Cup Trophy Brass Bakelite Tennis Men's Doubles 1939Afc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 27 Tanner Worn, Ripped In Play2003 Net Pro Tennis Anna Kournikova Match Worn Apparel Card2014 Leaf Q Martina Hingis Auto 1997 Wimbledon Champion #7/25Rafael Nadal 2005 Ace Authentic Autograph Card #19/100***roger Federer Signed Autographed Tennis Ball Open + Photo**Original Players Towel From Wimbledon Tennis ChampionshipsGk) 2007 Ace Authentic Maris Sharapova Relic Shirt Tennis Sp RareVintage Arthur Ashe Head Amf Competition 2 Baron Flex Tennis Racquet Racket Antique A.c Tennis Mens Singles Solid Silver Trophy/ Cup Hallmarked 30gLondon 2012 Team Gb Tennis ShirtAnna Kournikova Sexy Tennis Signed Auto 8x10 Forbes Mag Cover Photo Psa/dna CoaMaria Sharapova 2005 Ace Court Queens Jersey #229/250Vintage Unopened Can W/key Franklin Court Pro Tennis Balls Vintage Wood 1910s H Niedecken Milwaukee Tournament Tennis Racket1923 Tennis Tournament Trophy Wilcox International Silver Co Won By E.b. KelsoWimbledon Fc 2002 2004 Red Long Sleeved Away Shirt Jersey Size Medium M RareAfc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 17 Kennedy Match WornAfc Wimbledon 2012 - 2014 Match Ball Used Vintage Dunlop Maxply Fort Medium Racket! Unused! Near Mint!2012 Sportkings E Bjorn Borg Shirt Memorabilia Autograph Am-bbo1 Tennis Auto /40Antique Tennis2014 Leaf Q Autograph Jimmy Connors Hall Of Fame Pure TennisAfc Wimbledon 2014-2015 Players 36 Winfield Match WornVinny Jones - Wimbledon (17th Nov 1988) 8 X 6 Inch Match Action Press PhotoVintage Official Tennis Straw Boater L Stella Artois Kr Snoxell & SonsVintage Dunlop Maxply Fort Tennis Racket-medium 4 1/2" W/ Press- Very Good CondSigned Mary Heeley 1911-1982 British Champion Wimbledon Us Open 1930s 1940s RareVintage Rare Nordstrom Leather Tennis Bag/purse Made In ItalyVintage Wimbledon Speedway Chromed Car Bumper BadgeRare Original 1901 Wright And Ditson's Lawn Tennis GuideVintage Olympic Tennis Ball CanAnna Kournikova Signed Autographed 8x10 Photo Rare Sexy Hot Tennis Psa DnaClean Bright Crisp Vintage Wood 1920s Spalding Kro-bat Tennis RacketVintage Wilson Jack Kramer Pro Staff Wooden Tennis Racket Racquet Very Good Cond Stock Car Poster For Wimbledon Track F1 And F2 , Rare Poster.New Old Stock Vintage Never Strung Spalding World Open 1960 1970 Tennis Racket2014 Us Open Tennis Championships Baseball Hat/capVintage Official Tennis Straw Boater Xl Stella Artois Kr Snoxell & Sons *new*Andy Murray Hand Signed 12x8 Photo. Wimbledon. Nadal Roger FedererPringle Scotland Polo Shirt Top Great Vintage Rare Logo Cotton New Nwt1946 Program Professional Tennis Championship

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