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Legends on film to celebrate Wimbledon

GROUNDBREAKER: Althea Gibson poses after her 1958 Wimbledon win

THE British Film Institute launched a unique collection of nine decades of court action from Wimbledon and other UK tournaments last week.

The global cinema on-demand service, which features classic and contemporary films, will show the collection which boasts no fewer than eight British Wimbledon winners: International icons include Maud Watson, Dorothy Round, Kitty Godfree, Angela Mortimer, Charlotte Cooper Sterry, Fred Perry, Ann Jones and Virginia Wade.

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Plus there are grandslammers Betty Nuthall, Patrick Hughes, Roger Taylor, and even an early appearance from a 15-year-old Sue Barker.

French player Suzanne Lenglen, petite legend of the women’s game in the 1910s and 20s, and her compatriots Rene Lacoste and Jean Borotra; Australian number ones Ken Rosewall and Lew Hoad; ruthless Californian firebrand Pancho Gonzales and Althea Gibson, the first African- American to compete at Wimbledon.

With winning tips from the greats, amateur antics, tennis the junior game and a look at lawn tennis’s near-forgotten ancestor, ‘real tennis’, this ace collection offers all the thrills of Centre Court – without the cricked neck.

Log on to player.bfi. org.uk/ collections/ tennis-on-film/ to see the films.

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