06 Mar 5 Most Famous Tennis Trophies
The sport of tennis enjoys many proud traditions and is often thought to be one of the most dignified sports. The trophies of each of the Grand Slam tournaments similarly carry a proud heritage and are symbolic for a variety of reasons.
Wimbledon is the oldest and the most prestigious of all the tennis tournaments that take place around the world. Dating back to 1877, the tournament has taken place at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, south west London. One of the distinguishing features of this tournament is that matches are played on grass courts.
For two weeks in the European summer, numerous singles and doubles matched are played on courts at the All England Tennis Club with all grand finals being played on the main court. Pending fine weather, the ladies’ final takes place on the final Saturday and the men’s final on the final Sunday of the tournament.
Trophies are awarded to those who win the men’s, women’s, doubles and juniors events, but it is only the victory of the men’s singles and ladies’ single titles that are awarded their trophies on the prestigious Number 1 Court.
Men’s Singles Champion:
The men’s singles champion is presented with the Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy, a silver gilt cup which was first presented to the first winner of the Wimbledon tournament in 1877. The inscription “The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Champion of the World” appears on the cup.
This trophy is 18.5 inches high and has a diameter of 7.5 inches. A classic design with handles on either side, the cup also has a raised foot lid with a pineapple on top. A head wearing a winged helmet also appears beneath each of the handles.
Since 1949, miniature replicas of the cup have been given to the men successful in becoming the Wimbledon men’s singles champion. However, on the day of the final, the victor is always presented with the original trophy.
Ladies’ Singles Champion:
A silver salver is known as either the ‘Rosewater Dish’ or ‘Venus Rosewater Dish’ is awarded to the woman who wins the ladies’ singles title.
This trophy is 18.75 inches in diameter and features mythological figures. It was first presented in 1886 and is believed to be a copy of a pewter creation of Caspar Enderlein which is now housed in the Louvre in Paris.
At Wimbledon, the trophies are usually presented by The Duke of Kent, who is the President of the All England Tennis Club.
The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held each year. Originally played on grass, the tournament was first held in 1905 and, since 1987, has been played on hard courts.
Men’s and women’s singles, men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, as well as juniors, wheelchair, exhibition and legends’ matches, are all played as part of this tournament which takes place in Melbourne.
High attendance levels are characteristic of the Australian Open and the 2010 tournament achieved an overall attendance of 653,860 people. In 2010, the men’s singles title was won by Roger Federer and the women’s singles title was claimed by Serena Williams.
Men’s Singles Champion:
The winner of the men’s singles title is awarded the Norman Brookes trophy for men. Norman Brookes was President of the Lawn Tennis Association for more than 28 years and a grand Slam Winner in the early 1900s.
Enjoying immense success at Australian and international tournaments, Brookes experienced his greatest successes at Wimbledon. He was the first left handed player and the first player from abroad to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title and, in 1939 he was knighted for his outstanding service to tennis.
Sir Norman Everard Brookes was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1977.
Women’s Singles Champion:
At the Australian Open, the Daphne Akhurst trophy for women is awarded to the women’s singles champion.
This trophy honours Daphne Akhurst Cozens who impressed the world with her talent and an amazing run of singles and doubles titles between 1925 and 1930 (winning each title five times).
Tragically, Daphne Akhurst died at the age of 29.
Distinct from the two Grand Slam tournaments previously mentioned, the Davis Cup is not a grand slam but an international team tennis event. Run by the International Tennis Federation, this event is contested between teams of male players from competing countries. A knock out format is used. In 1900 this competition began as a competition between Great Britain and the United States; 134 nations entered the event in 2005.
The trophy for the Davis Cup was most recently won by Spain. This trophy measures 110cm tall and is a silver cup on a plinth. The Davis Cup trophy is also known as Dwight’s Pot.
The sport of tennis is certainly steeped in history and tradition and correspondingly, many of the best-known tournaments of this sport have symbolic trophies.