At the height of the nation's favourite tennis tournament, our book of the week is John Barrett's Wimbledon: The Official History.
It was to raise funds for the repair of a broken pony roller, so essential for the upkeep of the lawns at their ground in Nursery Lane, Wimbledon, that the All England Croquet Club first decided to hold a tennis tournament. From those humble beginnings in 1877 The Championships at Wimbledon have grown to become one of the world's great international sporting occasions, attended annually by some half a million fans, broadcast to almost 200 territories each year and watched by more viewers than any other tennis tournament in the world. In this lavishly illustrated third edition of the definitive Wimbledon history John Barrett has traced the process by which a small private tennis club in rural Surrey has become a multi-million pound business that is the main source of finance for British tennis.
It is a romantic story that reflects the ages, decade by decade, from the chivalrous Victorian days when the whalebone stays the ladies wore beneath their ankle-length dresses often drew blood and the gentlemen played in striped shirts, cricket caps and long stockings, to today's white-clad gladiators in functional attire befitting super-fit international athletes of the 21st century. Within these pages you will find all the game's heroes and heroines all captured in action and in repose in vivid detail through the educated lenses of the world's leading sports photographers. Wimbledon: The Official History captures as never before the magic of an annual event that is at once a dynamic sporting occasion and a cherished British institution.