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The Wimbledon Story

Fred Perry explores the history of Wimbledon and goes behind the scenes of preparations for the tournament

Documentary 1956 12 mins


More than any other tennis championship, Wimbledon has always valued its rich history, which is linked closely to the origins and development of the game. In the run-up to the 1956 tournament, television producers Associated-Rediffusion made this potted history of the tournament and the game. Guided by the great Fred Perry, we're taken from the beginnings of lawn tennis and Wimbledon in the 1870s through some of the great finals and up to the preparations for the 1956 championship.

It's quite special to see two of the great exponents of the game from two wildly different eras: at her home the 85-year-old Charlotte Cooper Sterry, five-time winner between 1895 and 1908, shows off her trophies and takes a moment to demonstrate her impeccable backhand stroke. At the other extreme is Little Mo, American Maureen Connolly, beating Britain’s Louise Brough in the 1954 final. By the age of 19 she had already won 9 Grand Slam titles, but a horse riding accident forced her to retire from the game before she could fulfil her immense potential.