Tennis Girl

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Tennis Girl

The Tennis Girl is a popular poster.[1] It shows a young woman from behind walking towards the net of a tennis court with a tennis racquet in her right hand and her left hand reaching behind lifting her short tennis dress, showing she is not wearing any underwear.

The photograph was taken by Martin Elliott in September 1976 and features 18-year-old Fiona Butler[2][3] (now Walker[4][5]), his girlfriend at the time.[6] The photo was taken at Birmingham University, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, using a borrowed dress, racquet and balls.[6][7][8][9]


The poster was first published as part of a calendar by Athena for the 1977 Silver Jubilee, the same year Virginia Wade achieved the Wimbledon ladies' singles title.[10]

The poster achieved widespread distribution when licensed to the poster shop Athena.[10] in 1978 where it sold for £2.[1] It sold about 2 million copies[1][8] as a poster.

Butler said that she was not embarrassed about posing nor bitter that she did not receive any royalties from the photo.[1][9]

Elliott died on 24 March 2010.[11] Butler now lives in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire.


Over the years the picture has been parodied by various people as diverse as Alan Carr and Kylie Minogue.[9]

It was also featured in an advertisement for a tennis video game called Davis Cup World Tour for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive.[12][dead link]

Keith Lemon also featured his parody of it on his 2012 calendar.

As an election promise for the 2012 Belgian elections, a 22 year old Belgian woman from Sint-Truiden promised to publish a nude photo shoot when receiving 1,000 votes. She released a picture of her in the Tennis Girl pose prior to the elections.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Sheppard, Fergus (6 July 2007). "70s poster icon is back, so anyone for Tennis Girl?". The Scotsman. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Tennis poster girl and her classic pose". Birmingham Post. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tennis Girl Model Revealed". BBC News Online. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Picture perfect. South Wales Evening Post. 23 March 2011. p. 2. 
  5. ^ Mcdermott, Nick (23 March 2011). "I was that cheeky tennis girl says 52-year-old mother of three". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "That poster is back - at £300 a print!". 5 July 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Oliphant, Will (12 July 2007). "We've got to the bottom of a poster mystery!". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Hough, Andrew (2 April 2010). "'Tennis girl' poster photographer Martin Elliott dies of cancer". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c aalholmes (2 April 2010). "The Tennis Girl". Iconic Photos. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Aspinall, Adam (11 June 2006). "Serial killer's deucey poster". Sunday Mercury. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tennis Girl poster photographer dies". BBC News. 2 April 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Take advantage with Sony!". Game Dummy. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  13. ^ bbd (20 September 2012). "Truiense gaat toch niet naakt voor 1.000 stemmen" (in Dutch). De Standaard. Retrieved 20 November 2012.