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 Fc Vintage Match Worn Football Shirt 1978-79Wimbledon Speedway Supporters Club 1938 ,pin Badge (maker Caxton Name Plate Co2x Donnay Borg Pro Tennis Racket Racquet Vintage Wooden Light 4 With CoverRoger Federer Signed Wimbledon Tennis Ball With CoaAndre Agassi & Federer 2010 Ace Authentic Dual Autograph Auo #d6/25 #dc/faBjorn Borg 2015 Leaf Industry Summit Cut Signature 1/1 Tennis LegendAndre Agassi Signed Us Open Tennis Ball With CoaRabone Usa Vintage Lawn Tennis Tape Measure Leather BrassPete Sampras Signed Us Open Tennis Ball With CoaSpectacular, Original 19th Century 1880's Lady Tennis Player Advertising FanDerby Silverplate Loving Cup Trophy 1904 Lawn Tennis Assoc. Mixed DoublesBnwt Barclays Atp World Tour Final 2015 Tennis Bath Towel & Programme O2 ArenaRonnie Moore (wimbledon), B/w Posed Photograph, Originally Signed!Anna Kournikova Signed 16x20 Tennis Photo Auto Psa/dna Coa Replica Wimbledon Dons Speedway Race JacketEd Maynard Vintage Tennis Racquet Champion Model, Dog Emblem, 1920's Or 1930'sDieges & Clust Trophy 1905 Westfield Club Tennis TournamentMaria Sharapova 2007 Ace Authentic Straight Sets Match Worn Jersey Shirt Patch AVintage/antique Wood "cleveland" Tennis Racquet By Horsman 1930'sReed & Barton Pewter Loving Trophy 1904 East Jersey Lawn Tennis Women's Singles1880s Worlds Champions Album Page Of Tennis Players By Allen & GinterRoger Federer Tennis Signed Autograph 4x6 Black & White Photo CoaX2 Maria Sharapova 2007 Ace Authentic Straight Sets Match Worn Shirt Patch Relic1986 Panini Supersport Tennis Italian 180- John Mcenroe - Psa Mint 9 - 21180789Wilson Ellsworth Vines Model A Vintage Tennis RacketMartina Navratilova 2015 Leaf Legends Of Sport Autograph Tennis AutoAntique Wright & Ditson Longwood Tennis Racket 1890's Checkered Grip Solid WedgeLacoste On Tennis Vintage 1928 History Equipment Players Results2014 Leaf Q Roger Federer Match Worn Shirt JerseyVintage Tennis Hat John Newcombe Tennis Ranch Texas UsaAnna Kournikova 2015 Leaf Autograph Russia National Pride Women's Tennis AutoRafa Nadal & Roger Federer Wimbledon Tennis Authentic Signed Photo CoaAnna Kournikova Hand Signed Wilson Tennis Ball Open Grand Slam ChampionLot Of Vintage Tennis Rackets2012 Sportkings Series E Bjorn Borg Tennis Top Auto Card Silver - Signature RareJohn Frick Trophy 1905 East Jersey Lawn Tennis Mixed DoublesVintage Unopened Chemold Tony Roche Tennis CanVintage Pennsylvania Championship Tennis Balls Can With KeyAndy Murray Signed Us Open Tennis Ball With CoaSerena Williams Signed Wimbledon Tennis Ball With Coa1993 Lakers Forum 25th Anniversary -- John Mcenroe -- Hof -- Psa 7 -- 24754959Jimmy Connors Signed Tennis Shoe Cyber Monday And Black Friday Blowout SaleAndy Murray Signed Autographed Tennis 11x14 Photo Jsa #l57169Anna Kournikova Signed 16x20 Tennis Photo Auto Psa/dna Coa Chris Evert - Legendary Tennis Player - Autographed 4x6 CardJohn Fashanu - Wimbledon (march 1987) 6 X 4 Inch Press PhotoRoger Federer Novak Djokovic Signed Us U S U.s. Open Tennis Ball Rare!!!Roger Federer Signed 8 X 10 Photo Autographed Open 2015 Us U SVintage/antique Wood "national" Tennis Racquet With Case-st. Louis, Mo 1930'sVintage Wilson Sports Advantage Wood Tennis Racket - Light 4 1/2Tennis Roger Federer Autographed Signed Mercedes Wimbledon Poster Coa Jsa PsaVintage All Wood Wright And Ditson Tennis RacquetWimbledon 1988 F A Cup Final RosettePortsmouth V Afc Wimbledon 2015/16 Sky Bet Lge Div 22015 Leaf Sportkings Vault Borg Creamer Sorenstam Navratilova Quad Jersey #1/15Maria Sharapova Gold Rookie Card Pgi Graded Gem Mint 10 Scim Women's Tennis1936 - Superb Full Set Of 50 Cards "tennis" In The 1936 Album - Cards Excellent Anna Kournikova 8x10 Signed Photo Tennis Star Model Guaranteed Authenticity CoaWimbledon Tennis Championship Tennis Ball Keyring1985 Nike Tennis -- John Mcenroe -- Psa Nm-mt 8 21207184

Recent News: Tennis

Source: Google News

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Terror-Angst beim Davis-Cup ..., November 23rd

Der ukrainische Profi Sergiy Stakhovsky hat das Festhalten des Weltverbandes ITF an der planmäßigen Ausrichtung des Davis-Cup-Finales zwischen Belgien und Großbritannien ab Freitag in Gent in Frage gestellt. In Brüssel herrschte auch am Montag noch ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Novak Djokovic nach Tiebreak ..., November 6th

Novak Djokovic hat in einem Tiebreak-Krimi das Halbfinale des ATP-Masters in Paris erreicht. Der topgesetzte Serbe bezwang den Tschechen Tomas Berdych 7:6 (7:3), 7:6 (10:8) und verbuchte seinen 20. Sieg in Folge. Der Becker-Schützling spielt nun ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Deprimierte Andrea Petkovic ..., November 5th

Andrea Petkovic ist ein hochemotionaler Mensch. Ein Mensch, für den Stillstand Rückschritt bedeutet. Ein Mensch, der aufgrund seiner Intelligenz äußerst perfektionistisch veranlagt ist und über einen bunten Strauß an Talenten verfügt. Irgendwie eine ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > WTA-Finale: Kvitova und ..., October 31st

Petra Kvitova und Agnieszka Radwanska haben ihre Außenseiterchancen beim WTA-Finale genutzt und spielen am Sonntag im Endspiel von Singapur um die WM-Krone. Während sich die Tschechin Kvitova mit 6:3, 7:6 (7:3) gegen die Turnierfavoritin Maria ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Daniel Brands und Mischa ..., October 26th

Die deutschen Tennisprofis Daniel Brands (Deggendorf) und Mischa Zverev (Hamburg) haben beim ATP-Turnier in Valencia den Sprung ins Hauptfeld geschafft. Brands setzte sich in der Qualifikation gegen Albert Montanes aus Spanien mit 6:3, 6:2 durch, ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Cincinnati: Alexander Zverev ..., August 18th

Alexander Zverev ist beim ATP-Masters in Cincinnati/Ohio als zweiter und letzter Deutscher ausgeschieden. Der 18 Jahre alte Qualifikant verlor am Dienstag im Erstrundenduell der Top-Talente 5:7, 6:3, 6:7 (5:7) gegen den gleichaltrigen Borna Coric ...Read more

Sie sind hier: Startseite > Tennis > Top News > Davis Cup: Deutschland in der ..., August 10th

Das deutsche Davis-Cup-Team tritt in den Playoffs um den Klassenerhalt in der Weltgruppe vom 18. bis 20. September auf einem Hartplatz in Santo Domingo gegen Gastgeber Dominikanische Republik an. "Dass wir das entscheidende Playoff-Spiel auf ...Read more

Tennis: Elks are unbeaten state champs after final conquest, 5-2 over Wayzata
Star News, June 7th

The unbeaten state champions beamed after receiving medals and the trophy. (Photo by Bruce Strand). by Bruce Strand, Sports editor. In its season of destiny the Elk River tennis team kept its cool all year during competition, but was not able to check...Read more