Tennis journey in Fiji

Charles Cornish in action at Lautoka Tennis Court. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The annual Fiji Open Tennis Championship has a rich history dating back to 1907 when the first tournament was staged in Suva.

This makes the Fiji Open Tennis Championship one of the oldest sporting tournaments in the country.

Competitive tennis was played with great enthusiasm in the country. Each cup was donated for a particular event by people who were keen tennis players.

The cups have an interesting history and these original cups are still being played for at the Fiji Open Tennis Championships each year.

The men’s singles championship cup was presented by H Berkeley in 1907.

The ladies singles championship cup was presented by PA Morris.

The men’s open doubles challenge cup was presented by Sir Maynard Hedstrom.

The ladies open doubles championship cup was presented to the Suva Lawn Tennis Club by the Slazenger Ltd in London, while the mixed open doubles cup was presented by Sir Henry Scott.

The Suva Lawn Tennis Club, which was built in 1900, hosted the first Fiji Open Tennis Championship.

WL Walker was the first men’s open singles winner.

It was during WL Bygrave’s presidency in 1961 that the Fiji Open Tennis Championships was decided to be held in the Western and Southern districts in the ratio of three to one.

In the early 1980s, the Fiji Tennis Association decided to move the Fiji Open Championships to this current location – the Denerau Golf and Racquet Club Courts where it continues to date.

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