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A book for all champions

Roger Federer receives a copy of John Barrett's Official History
by Sarah Edworthy
Thursday 27 June 2013

Roger Federer may not be returning home with a trophy or as big a prize cheque as usual, but his suitcase will be weighed down by a souvenir that will always raise his spirits.

At the Championships this year, each former champion is being presented with one of the 500 very special limited editions of Wimbledon: The Official History by former player and BBC commentator John Barrett, and companion volume, Wimbledon: The Singles Draws 1877-2012

Here is the moment when the Swiss maestro received his leather-bound edition from Philip Brook, the All England Club Chairman, and HRH The Duke of Kent.

Despite his early exit this year, Federer will enjoy flicking the pages of these tomes. Not many players feature so prominently in the books as the man whose remarkable seven Gentlemen's Singles titles at Wimbledon are equalled only by Pete Sampras and William Renshaw.

The new, massively expanded edition of Wimbledon: The Official History was published earlier this month and its lavishly illustrated 552 pages tell the complete story of The All England Club, The Championships and the players who made, and continue to make, Wimbledon so special.

John Barrett has traced the story from the tournament’s humble beginnings in 1877 through to its position today as the world’s oldest and most famous tennis tournament, watched each year by a global audience of millions.

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.

For the first time every Singles Draw has also been published in a separate volume. Wimbledon: The Singles Draws 1877-2012 is a treasure trove of information that provides tennis fans with the complete record of singles play at Wimbledon as well as the winners of all five main Championship events and the singles winners at all four Grand Slam events.

Both books are available from the Wimbledon Shops around the Grounds and online at wimbledon.com/shop.

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