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A Dictionary of British History

John Cannon

lawn tennis 

evolved from real (royal) tennis in the 1870s. Among the pioneers was Major Walter Wingfield who introduced Christmas guests in 1873 to Sphairistike, which contained the ingredients of tennis. The MCC tried to draw up standard rules in 1875 and championships were first staged at Wimbledon in 1877, the crowd at the final numbering 200. The scoring system, of crucial importance, probably derived from clock quarters.

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