After the very first Wimbledon Championships in 1877, tennis caught the fancy of many people across the world. The British colonies, especially, were fascinated with the sport and the first tennis courts appeared in Chennai barely six years after the first Championships. As early as 1883, four tennis courts were laid in Madras Cricket Club (MCC).
In January of 1887, a significant incident occurred in the history of tennis in South India – MCC took the initiative and organized the first Lawn Tennis tournament in South India. Two interesting features occurred at this tournament. It had an event for the ladies (only three years earlier in 1884, the first Ladies’ Singles event had taken place at the Wimbledon) and the prizes awarded to players were all in cash.