Moments in History

'Love Game'

A history of tennis, from victorian pastime to global phenomenon

by Elizabeth Wilson

'However, once Perry had won the world tennis championships at the age of twenty, he transferred his affections to lawn tennis. He may have been swayed partly by his father's observation that table tennis was a thoroughly unhealthy activity played at night under lights in a smoke-filled atmosphere. Lawn tennis also had considerably more glamour than ping pong and. as with Dan Maskell, it was the glamour of tennis that first drew Perry and began the 'love affair' he conducted with the game.

 

On holiday at Eastbourne he wandered into Devonshire Park where the prestigious pre-Wimbledon tournament was being played and was dazzled by the sight of the players in white against the rich green of the grass and by the Daimlers, MGs and Hispano-Suizas parked outside. 'I asked my father if all those big cars belonged to the players and he said they did. "Then that's for me" I said.'

'Roller Skates and Rackets'

The Story of Devonshire Park and Tennis in Eastbourne

Published in 1999 by S B Publications

Martina Navratilova:
'When I played here before the old North Stand burnt down, I noticed that there was always the same two elderly ladies sitting in the same seats at the front each year. it became a ritual for me after the final match to go over and hand them my bouquet.'

 

Talking about the new stand Martina said:
'It's always nice to play in a place that is permanent and it is definitely a change for the better. I loved the Eastbourne tournament anyway and would always look forward to coming back the next year.'
 

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