Today Ana Ivanovic and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova will battle it out on the Ann Jones centre court for the right to hold aloft the Maud Watson trophy. But who is Maud Watson and why does she have a trophy named after her?
Maud Watson from Berkswell in Solihull won one of Britain’s very first ladies tennis tournaments held in 1881 at the Edgbaston Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club which was later to become Edgbaston Priory Club. This tournament was subsequently to become known as the Midlands Counties tournament.
Maud and her sister, Lilian, went on to compete against one another in the first Wimbledon ladies’ singles final in 1884 which Maud won. She retained the Wimbledon title in 1885 and brought its trophy (pictured above) back to Birmingham where – as the Maud Watson Trophy – it is now the prize of the Aegon Classic.
After the Aegon Classic final each year the Maud Watson Trophy is returned to its home in the Wimbledon Museum.
For more information on the birth of lawn tennis and the history of Edgbaston Priory Club visit https://www.edgbastonpriory.com/about-us/our-heritage/