The British Hard Court Championships is a defunct Grand Prix tennis and WTA Tour affiliated tennis tournament played from 1968 to 1983 and 1995 to 1999. The inaugural edition of the tournament was held in 1924 in Torquay, moving to the West Hants Tennis Club in Bournemouth, England in 1927 and was held there until 1983. The 1977 and 1979 editions were cancelled due to lack of sponsorship. In 1995 the event was revived at Bournemouth as a women's WTA tournament but was only played there that year. The women's final edition in 1996 was held in Cardiff, Wales. The tournament was played on outdoor clay courts. Bournemouth was one of the world's major tournaments, second only to Wimbledon in England and on the same level as Monte Carlo, Rome and Hamburg. In the pre-war era, it was regarded as the most important event outside the four Grand Slams. Fred Perry is the record holder with five consecutive titles, from 1932 through 1936.
|British Hard Court Championships|
|Defunct tennis tournament|
|Event name||British Hard Court Championships (1968–70, 1978, 1980–83)|
Rothmans British Hard Court Championships (1971–74)
Coca-Cola British Hard Court Championships (1975–76)
Rover British Clay Court Championships (1996–99)
|Tour||Grand Prix circuit (1968–69, 1971–76, 1978, 1980–83)|
WTA Tour (1968, 1971–76, 1995–96)
|Location||Torquay (1924–26) |
Bournemouth (1927–83, 1995-99)
Cardiff (1996, women)
Start of Open EraEdit
The Championships hold the distinction of being the first tennis tournament to be held in the Open Era, taking place in April 1968. It started on 22 April at 1:43 p.m. when John Clifton served and won the first point of the open era. Ken Rosewall won the men's singles title, taking home $2,400, while runner-up Rod Laver received $1,200. 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. Christine Janes and her sister Nell Truman became the first winners of an open tennis event by winning the women's doubles title. The tournament was considered a success and attracted almost 30,000 visitors. The young British player Mark Cox went down in tennis history, when at the championships, he became the first amateur player to beat a professional, when he beat the American Pancho Gonzales in five sets in two and a quarter hours.
|1968|| Christine Truman Janes
| Fay Toyne-Moore
Annette du Plooy
|1969|| Margaret Court
| Ada Bakker
|1970|| Margaret Court
| Rosie Casals
Billie Jean King
|6–2, 6–8, 7–5|
|1971|| Mary-Ann Eisel
| Margaret Court
|6–3, 5–7, 6–4|
|1972|| Evonne Goolagong
| Brenda Kirk
|1973|| Patricia Coleman
| Evonne Goolagong
|1974|| Julie Heldman
| Patti Hogan
|1975|| Lesley Charles
| Delina Ann Boshoff
|1976|| Delina Ann Boshoff
| Lesley Charles
|1995|| Mariaan de Swardt
| Kerry-Anne Guse
|1996|| Katrina Adams
Mariaan de Swardt
| Els Callens
Source:The Tennis Base.
- Most titles: Fred Perry, 5
- Most consecutive titles: Fred Perry, 5
- Most finals: Bunny Austin, 7
- Most consecutive finals: Fred Perry, 5
- Most matches played: William Knight, 55
- Most matches won: William Knight, 44
- Most consecutive match wins: Fred Perry, 25
- Most editions played: Tony Pickard, 16
- Best match winning %: Kho Sin-Kie 100.00%
- Longest final: John Newcombe v Bob Hewitt, result: 6-8 6-3 5-7 6-4 6-4, 55 games, 1969
- Shortest final: Manuel Orantes v Ángel Giménez, result: 6-2, 6-0, 14 games, 1982
- Title with the fewest games lost: Ken Fletcher, 21, 1966
- Oldest champion: Randolph Lycett, 37y 7m and 26d, 1924
- Youngest champion: Lew Gerrard, 21y 0m and 15d, 1959
- "Tennis tabled". The Spokesman-Review. AP. 31 March 1979. p. 24 – via Google News Archive.
- "Britain Starts Building on Clay". The Independent. 19 May 1995. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Max Robertson, ed. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Tennis. London: Allen & Unwin. pp. 210, 211. ISBN 0047960426.
- Steve Tignor (22 January 2015). "1968: Open Era Begins in Bournemouth". Tennis.com.
- C.M. Jones (6 May 1968). "The First Open Makes Its Mark". Sports Illustrated. Vol. 28, no. 18. pp. 20–21.
- 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.
- "Amateurs Shy Of First Net Open". The Montreal Gazette. 22 April 1968 – via Google News Archive.
- "Set Each in Tennis". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 April 1968 – via Google News Archive.
- "British Say Open Tennis is 'Bonanza'". Rome News-Tribune. 28 April 1968 – via Google News Archive.
- "ATP player profile – Mark Cox". www.atpworldtour.com. Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
- "English tennis". The Argus (Melbourne). No. 25, 847. Victoria, Australia. 15 June 1929. p. 10 – via National Library of Australia.
- "BRITISH HARD COURT CH. Tournament Roll of honour". thetennisbase.com. The Tennis Base, 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "British Hard Court Championship, Tournament Records". thetennisbase.com. The Tennis Base, 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.