Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
The fact tennis could be played with skill and enjoyment by both sexes led inevitably to the inclusion of women at Wimbledon, though the All England Club had several times politely turned down requests to include a ladies’ singles event before eventually capitulating in 1884.
However, the ladies’ own championships would not be allowed to commence until the men’s singles had been completed. Another “second-class” note was that their entrance fee of 10 shillings and sixpence was exactly half that charged to the men.
The first prize, a silver flower basket “value 20 guineas”, attracted an entry of 13 including the sisters Maud and Lilian Watson, the daughters of a Warwickshire vicar, and it was the sisters who contested the final, the 19-year-old Maud Watson winning in three sets. Wimbledon’s first-ever women’s champion showed her victory was no fluke by winning again in 1885
The Cheshire sporting all-rounder Charlotte "Lottie" Dod was the first woman to dominate The Championships. Having won the singles crown for the first time at the age of 15 years 285 days - a record which stands to this day - Lottie went on to win the four Wimbledons she subsequently entered between 1888 and 1893, dropping only one set in those five years.
It is to William Renshaw that the title “founding father of tennis” truly belongs. His string of seven Wimbledon singles victories - six of them in straight years - sparked a massive rise in public interest in the sport.
Renshaw was the eldest of twins (by 15 minutes over his brother Ernest) from a wealthy Cheltenham family and together they not only dominated the doubles version of the game but attracted a healthy following at Wimbledon.
A special stop was installed on the line which ran alongside the Worple Road grounds and crowds regularly exceeded 3,000 for the later stages of The Championships.
The attraction of the Renshaws was the fashion in which they revolutionised tennis, in effect creating the modern game with the introduction of the hard serve, the smash and aggressive volleying. After his six successive triumphs, Renshaw did not defend in 1887 and was beaten in the last eight in 1888, only to bounce back and collect his record seventh Wimbledon the following year.