List of real tennis world champions

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Men's singles championship, Dublin, 1890.

Below are the lists of real tennis world champions.

Men's singles[edit]

Men's singles in "real" tennis is the oldest world championship in sports. It predates the use of the term "real tennis," as the sport was simply "tennis" until lawn tennis gained popularity.

Except in cases where the champion has retired, the championship has always been on a challenge basis — the champion retains the title until losing an official challenge or retiring. Originally, the champion had the right to accept or reject a challenge, usually depending upon the prize money put up by the challenger's sponsor. Several years could thus go by between challenge matches. Today, however, the title must be defended every even-numbered year. The top four ranked players in the world (excluding the champion himself) play off for the right to challenge. The champion and challenger then play a match of up to 13 sets over three days (4 sets, 4 sets and up to 5 sets on the final day). In theory this is the only match the champion has to play in the two years since winning the last one.

The most recent men's world championship match concluded on 2016 May 21 at Newport's National Tennis Club, where Camden Riviere beat defending champion Robert Fahey, who had held the title for 22 years.

To date there are 25 players who have been declared a Champion (of England vs France or considered the best player at that time) and after 1885 officially "World Champion" when the 13 set challenge format was introduced in 1885.

Men's doubles[edit]

The men's doubles title is earned in a tournament, played off among the sport's eight top-ranked pairings. Competed every odd-numbered year, it is hosted in rotation among the countries with active courts in the following order: the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and the United States. The championship match uses a best of 9 sets format. After the first championship was won by Tim Chisholm and Julian Snow, the title was won and then defended five times by singles world champion Rob Fahey and Steve Virgona. They lost the title in the final in 2015, in the most recent championship held at the Tuxedo club.[1]

  • 2001 Tim Chisholm/Julian Snow
  • 2003 Robert Fahey/Steve Virgona
  • 2005 Robert Fahey/Steve Virgona
  • 2007 Robert Fahey/Steve Virgona
  • 2009 Robert Fahey/Steve Virgona
  • 2011 Robert Fahey/Steve Virgona
  • 2013 Robert Fahey/Steve Virgona
  • 2015 Camden Riviere/Tim Chisholm

Women's singles[edit]

Unlike the men's singles title, the women's title is earned in a tournament. The title holder must win her way through the draw for the right to defend the championship. The championship tournament is held every odd-numbered year. Since 2011 the title has been held by Claire Fahey (née Vigrass).[2]

Women's doubles[edit]

The women's doubles world championship is held at the same time and venue as the women's singles championship. It is also a tournament format, rather than a challenge.

Mixed doubles[edit]

A mixed doubles world championship has not been organized for real tennis.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^

External links[edit]