1968 British Hard Court Championships

The 1968 British Hard Court Championships was a combined men's and women's tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts at The West Hants Club in Bournemouth in England. It was the first tournament in the Open Era of tennis. The tournament was held from 22 April to 27 April 1968. Ken Rosewall and Virginia Wade won the first open singles titles while the men's team of Roy Emerson and Rod Laver and the women's team of Christine Truman Janes and Nell Truman won the first open doubles titles.[3]

1968 British Hard Court Championships
Date22–27 April
Draw32S / 16D
SurfaceClay / outdoor
LocationBournemouth, England
VenueThe West Hants Club
Men's Singles
Australia Ken Rosewall [1]
Women's Singles
United Kingdom Virginia Wade
Men's Doubles
Australia Roy Emerson / Australia Rod Laver [2]
Women's Doubles
United Kingdom Christine Truman Janes/Nell Truman
Mixed Doubles
United Kingdom Virginia Wade / Australia Bob Howe
← 1967 · British Hard Court Championships · 1969 →

First tournament of the Open EraEdit

The 1968 British Hard Court Championships (BHCC) hold the distinction of being the first open era tennis tournament.[4] Prior to this tournament professional players were banned by the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) from competing in tournaments, including the Grand Slams, which were organized by the ILTF and its national organizations. Although all players, amateurs and professionals, were allowed to compete at the 1968 BHCC the players who were part of the World Championship Tennis (WCT) circuit did not participate. Players from the rival National Tennis League (NTL) did enter and in the men's singles event made up the first six seeds.[5] The tournament started on 22 April at 1:43 p.m. when John Clifton served and won the first point of the open era.[6][7] Clifton lost his first-round match to Owen Davidson who thus became the first winner of an open era tennis match.[8] Ken Rosewall won the men's singles title, taking home $2,400, while runner-up Rod Laver received $1,200.[9] Their final was suspended in the second set due to rain and was finished the following day.[5] Virginia Wade won the women's singles title, defeating Winnie Shaw in the final, but did not take home the winner's prize of $720 as she was still an amateur at the time of the tournament. She subsequently became the first amateur to win a title in the Open Era.[10][11] Christine Janes and her sister Nell Truman became the first winners of an open tennis event by winning the women's doubles title.[12] The tournament was considered a success and attracted almost 30,000 visitors.[7][13] The young British player Mark Cox went down in tennis history by becoming the first amateur player to beat a professional, when he defeated 39-year-old American Pancho Gonzales in five sets in a second-round match that lasted two and a quarter hours.[6][11][14]


Men's singlesEdit

  Ken Rosewall defeated   Rod Laver 3–6, 6–2, 6–0, 6–3

Women's singlesEdit

  Virginia Wade defeated   Winnie Shaw 6–4, 6–1

Men's doublesEdit

  Roy Emerson /   Rod Laver defeated   Andrés Gimeno /   Pancho Gonzales 8–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2

Women's doublesEdit

  Christine Truman Janes /   Nell Truman defeated   Fay Toyne-Moore /   Anette du Plooy 6–4, 6–3

Mixed doublesEdit

  Virginia Wade /   Bob Howe defeated   Fay Toyne-Moore /   Jimmy Moore 6–4, 6–3

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "1968 Bournemouth Men's Singles draw". Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
  2. ^ "1968 Bournemouth Men's Doubles draw". Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
  3. ^ John Barrett, ed. (1969). BP Yearbook of World Tennis. London: Ward Lock. pp. 8–11, 196. ISBN 978-0706318241. OCLC 502175694.
  4. ^ Steve Tignor (22 January 2015). "1968: Open Era Begins in Bournemouth". Tennis.com.
  5. ^ a b McCauley, Joe (2000). The History of Professional Tennis. Windsor: The Short Run Book Company Limited. p. 145.
  6. ^ a b C.M. Jones (6 May 1968). "The First Open Makes Its Mark". Sports Illustrated. Vol. 28 no. 18. pp. 20–21.
  7. ^ a b Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book (2nd ed.). New York: New Chapter Press. pp. 144, 145. ISBN 9780942257700.
  8. ^ John Barrett, ed. (1993). The International Tennis Federation : World of Tennis 1993. London: Collins Willow. p. 7. ISBN 9780002185080.
  9. ^ "Curator's Corner: The First Open Tournament, Bournemouth 1968". International Tennis Hall of Fame. 20 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Amateurs Shy Of First Net Open". The Montreal Gazette. 22 April 1968 – via Google News Archive.
  11. ^ a b "Set Each in Tennis". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 April 1968 – via Google News Archive.
  12. ^ Max Robertson, ed. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Tennis. London: Allen & Unwin. pp. 210, 211. ISBN 0047960426.
  13. ^ "British Say Open Tennis is 'Bonanza'". Rome News-Tribune. 28 April 1968 – via Google News Archive.
  14. ^ "ATP player profile – Mark Cox". Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

External linksEdit