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Wimbledon’s new tennis museum

Wimbledon, the British home of lawn tennis, opens a new museum this month (April 12), featuring some exhibits and artefacts never seen before.

Wimbledon, the British home of lawn tennis, opens a new museum this month (April 12), featuring some exhibits and artefacts never seen before. The outfit of 20-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova, the rackets and other memorabilia of ‘greats’ such as the Williams sisters, Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Billie Jean King and Rod Laver are among the highlights of the purpose-built Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, in the grounds of the famous South London sporting venue.

As well as hundreds of artefacts, there are touch-screens which bring to life historic archive film of exciting tournament matches, and other interactive exhibits, telling the story of the game’s evolution from garden party pastime to multi-million dollar professional sport. The museum gives visitors a chance to recapture great moments from the sport’s history. Other highlights include:

· A ‘wrap-round’, 200-degree cinema with special effects, capturing the science of tennis in the ‘front row of centre court’.

· A life-size ‘ghost’ of John McEnroe, speaking about the game in the reconstructed 1980s Gentlemen’s dressing room.

· Tennis memorabilia dating from 1555; from the world’s first championship (1877) and from the big names of the 1920s and 30s, who were lauded like movie stars.

· Video of the world’s big tournaments, and an up-to-date Championship trophy display illustrating the emotions felt by both winners and losers.

· Visitors can also take a tour of the grounds, including a visit to No. 1 Court, the Water Gardens, the press interview room and Centre Court or the BBC television studio.

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London SW19 is open daily (tournament ticket holders only during the Championships) and admission is £7.50 adult, £6.25 concession, £4.75 child. An audio guide is available in eight languages including Russian and Mandarin. If the tour is included the prices are £14.50, £13, £11. There is a shop and café. Tel: 020 8946 6131. Website: www.wimbledon.org/museum.


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