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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Tennis Balls

Vintage Tennis Balls

Brad McCall serves up the definitive vintage tennis ball site ('hermetically sealed fresh under pressure'). Browse … [read review or visit site]

The Wheelmen

The Wheelmen

This elegant tribute to turn-of-the-century bicycling includes memorabilia, photographs, and an index of 3140 bicyc… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Wimbledon Tennis 2000 Official Christy's Ladies TowelWimbledon Tennis 1999 Official Christy's Ladies TowelPair Of Wimbledon Tennis Official Towels2013 Ace Authentic Signature Series Roger Federer Top 40 Plate Auto!! True 1/1!!Wimbledon Tennis 2001 Official Christy's Ladies TowelMaria Sharapova Signed 16x20 Tennis Photo Auto Psa/dna CoaGenuine Vintage Wimbledon Umbrella *never Used*Wimbledon 2015 Babolat Official Laptop Bag/briefcase. Bnwt2006 Ace Authentic Bjorn Borg Legends Of The Game Auto 047/400Arthur Ashe, Jr. Tennis Hall Of Fame Hand Signed Index CardSwiss Army Andre Agassi Signature WatchRod Laver Signed Autographed Slazenger Wimbledon Tennis Ball Psa/dna #x02121John Mcenroe, Jr. Tennis Hall Of Fame Hand Signed Index CardBobby Riggs Tennis Hall Of Fame Hand Signed Index CardRonnie Moore *signed* Wimbledon 1960s Speedway Photo B/w 6 X 4Signed Viktor Barna 1911-1972 British Hungary World Table Tennis Champion 1930sRoger Federer Signed Wimbledon Tennis Ball With CoaJohn Mcenroe Signed Autographed 8x10 Photo Rare Cool Tennis Afro Psa Dna BLew Hoad (wimbledon Champion), White Slip, Originally Signed!2008 Ace Authentic Memorabilia Us Open Rafael Nadal Signature Auto 1/10 Ssp Andy Murray Signed Tennis Racket WcoaWimbledon Order Of Play 1965 Autographed By Fred Perry Ect.Roger Federer Is A Swiss Professional Tennis Player Hand Signed Index Card Vintage, Original, Unused Chris Evert Converse Tennis Shoes In Original BoxFred Perry (champion 1934-6), Wimbledon Colour Postcard, Originally Signed!Wimbledon Order Of Play 1969 Autographed By Rod Laver Stolle J Tegart Roche Ect.Vintage! Wilson Championship Tennis Balls ~nos Box Set~ 1 Dozen Balls-4 Tin CansJohn Mcenroe Signed Autographed 8x10 Photo Rare Cool Tennis Big Swing Psa Dna ARare!! " Tennis Players - Andy Murray & Rafael Nadal " Signed 8" X 12" PhotoWimbledon Shoulder Bag Bnib/tags Prince Small Messenger Style Bag Ladies Men's Fred Perry Vintage Wimbledon Card GameSportkings Series E, Martina Navratilova Autograph Card; Silver, /50.Wimbledon The Championships Tnt Tv Tennis Polo Shirt Xl Cap & Vintage 1991 TowelVintage 90s Nike Town Jordan Agassi Poster 36" X 20"Bjorn Borg 2011 Sport Kings Auto Autograph Jersey Roger Federer Signed Autographed Tennis Ball Australian Open + CoaUs Open 2015 Tennis Hat White NewJimmy Connors Signed Wilson 2 Us Open Tennis Ball Auto AutographSilver Football Medal.1936.wimbledon & Drstrict Football League, J.a.perryRafael Nadal Autograph Hand Signed Large Tennis Ball WimbledonRoger Federer Signed Wimbledon Tennis Polo Shirt With CoaNear Mint Vintage Prince Woodie Wood Tennis RacketJohn Mcenroe Signed Autographed 8x10 Photo Rare W@w Tennis Psa Dna CMartina Navratilova Signed Autographed Tennis 16x20 Photo Psa/dna #u79602Bjorn Borg Martina Navratilova 2012 Sport Kings Silver Dual PatchFootball Programme Wimbledon V Arsenal Friendly 1984/85Martina Navratilova #/50 2012 Sportkings E Match Worn Memorabilia Auto AutographWimbledon Order Of Play 1964 Autographed By Stolle , M Bueno Ect (w6)Ivan Lendl Autographed Penn 3 Tennis BallAndre Agassi 2005 Ace Relic Jersey /250 TennisRafael Nadal Signed Wimbledon Tennis Ball With CoaCaroline Wozniacki Autographed Tennis Ball With CaseNovak Djokovic Signed Autographed Australian Open Tennis Ball Champion + CoaJohn Mcenroe Signed Tennis Classic Poster Great Shape 22 X 36Rare!! " Tennis Player - Roger Federer " Genuine Hand-signed 8" X 12" PhotoBjorn Borg Autograph Sports Illustrated 5/6/1991 Coa RareMaria Sharapova - Colour Photo Size 10" X 8" (2565)Speedway Badge 007 Wimbledon Ronnie MooreSpeedway Badge 011 Wimbledon Barry BriggsSpeedway Badge 017 Wimbledon Swindon Southampton Barry Briggs

Recent News: Tennis

Source: Google News

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Novak Djokovic und Stanislas ..., July 3rd

Titelverteidiger Novak Djokovic (Serbien) und French-Open-Champion Stan Wawrinka (Schweiz) sind ohne Satzverlust ins Achtelfinale von Wimbledon eingezogen. Djokovic ließ dem Australier Bernard Tomic beim 6:3, 6:3, 6:3 keine Chance, Wawrinka ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Wimbledon: Dustin Brown ..., July 2nd

Dustin Brown sorgte mit seinem Viersatz-Sieg gegen Rafael Nadal für die Sensation bei der Wimbledon Herren-Konkurrenz. Die Topfavoriten Andy Murray, Roger Federer und Tomas Berdych fegte ihre Gegner im Schnelldurchgang vom Court...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Zukunft hat begonnen ..., June 30th

Alexander Zverev kämpfte in Wimbledon bis zur völligen Erschöpfung um seinen ersten Sieg bei einem Grand Slam. Sein Erfolg zeigt: Der Hamburger Teenager ist zu Höherem berufen. Die Qualen standen Alexander Zverev ins Gesicht geschrieben...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Endlich ein Sieg: Eugenie ..., June 23rd

Eugenie Bouchard (21) findet langsam wieder zu ihrer Form. Beim WTA-Turnier in Eastbourne gewann die Kanadierin, die in der ersten Runde ein Freilos hatte, mit 7:6 (7:5), 6:3 gegen Alison Riske (USA) und wendete damit die achte Auftaktniederlage in ...Read more

Kerber feiert ersten Rasen-Titel und freut sich auf Wimbledon, June 22nd

Vor ihrer Wimbledon-Generalprobe in dieser Woche im verregneten englischen Seebad Eastbourne genoss Rasen-Queen Angelique Kerber erst einmal ein bisschen "Bella Italia". "Ich habe mir eine Pizza Hawaii gegönnt", sagte die 27-Jährige dem SID und ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Halle: Gael Monfils gibt ..., June 19th

Der französische Tennisprofi Gael Monfils hat im Viertelfinale des Rasenturniers in Halle/Westfalen verletzt aufgegeben. Der Weltranglisten-16. lag gegen den Südtiroler Andreas Seppi zu diesem Zeitpunkt bereits 1:6, 0:1 zurück. Monfils war im ersten...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Florian Mayer gewinnt in Halle ..., June 15th

Publikumsliebling Dustin Brown und der lange verletzte Routinier Florian Mayer haben ihre Auftakthürden beim Rasenturnier im ostwestfälischen Halle erfolgreich gemeistert. Brown setzte sich gegen den Österreicher Andreas Haider-Maurer 7:5, 6:2 durch, ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Stuttgart: Rafael Nadal nach ..., June 13th

Superstar Rafael Nadal ist nur noch einen Sieg von seinem insgesamt dritten Turniersieg in Stuttgart entfernt. Der topgesetzte Spanier wurde seiner Favoritenrolle beim 6:3, 6:4 im Halbfinale gegen den Franzosen Gael Monfils (Nr. 4) gerecht und könnte...Read more