|Wimbledon World Professional Championships|
|Date||25–28 August 1967|
|Draw||8S / 4D|
|Surface||Grass / outdoor|
|Location||Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom|
|Venue||All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club|
|Rod Laver |
|Pancho Gonzales / Andrés Gimeno|
The Wimbledon World Lawn Tennis Professional Championships also known as the Wimbledon Pro, was a men's tennis tournament held in August 1967. The tournament was sponsored and broadcast by the BBC to mark the invention of colour television. It was the first tournament staged at Wimbledon that was open to male professional tennis players and it had a prize fund of US$45,000. The singles competition was an eight-man knockout event won by Rod Laver, who received £3,000, whilst the doubles was a four team knockout event won by Pancho Gonzales and Andrés Gimeno.
During Wimbledon in 1966, Jack Kramer was doing radio commentary for the BBC when Wimbledon's working chairman Herman David came to the broadcast booth and talked to Kramer and BBC tennis exec Bryan Cowgill to discuss the possibility of making the tournament "open" to both amateurs and pros. The topic had been raised on and off for years. In the summer of 1960 the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) had met in Paris and voted on open tennis, but the motion, which required 139 out of 209 votes to pass, got only 134 votes, 5 short. By 1966 public interest in tennis had been at a long-sustained low. Cowgill suggested a trial pro tournament at Wimbledon for the following year, and in late August, 1967, the tournament was held at Wimbledon with total prize money of US$ 35,000 for singles and US$ 10,000 for doubles, making it the largest prize-money event in tennis history at that time. All matches were played on Centre Court. The Wimbledon Pro tournament was deemed very successful with over 30,000 spectators attending the three days of play. There was an 8 player draw for singles and a 4 teamsdraw for doubles, all professionals.
Most of these players had won honours at Wimbledon in their amateur days but had forfeited the right to play there on turning professional. The segregation of the two categories was soon to come to an end. In December 1967, the Annual Meeting of the British Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) voted overwhelmingly to admit players of all categories for the 1968 Wimbledon Championships and other future tournaments in Britain. Faced with a fait accompli the ILTF yielded and allowed each nation to determine its own legislation regarding amateur and professional players.
| Pancho Gonzales
| Ken Rosewall
| Pancho Gonzales
| Rod Laver
| Rod Laver
| Lew Hoad
- "Wimbledon pro title to Laver.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). ACT. 30 August 1967. p. 36 – via National Library of Australia.
- Barrett, John (2001). Wimbledon: The Official History of the Championships. London: CollinsWillow. pp. 122, 123. ISBN 0007117078.
- "Big-time pros at Wimbledon". The Canberra Times. 41, (11,775). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 24 August 1967. p. 29 – via National Library of Australia.
- Tingay, Lance (1977). 100 years of Wimbledon. Enfield [Eng.]: Guinness Superlatives. pp. 218, 219. ISBN 0900424710.
- "Pros play at Wimbledon". St. Petersburg Times. 26 August 1967. Retrieved 16 January 2016 – via Google News Archive.
- "The Game: My 40 Years in Tennis". New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 1979. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
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- "Hoad loses to Rosewall in pro meet". International Herald Tribune. 27 August 1967. Retrieved 16 January 2016 – via Google News Archive.
- "30.000 Fans good case for pros at Wimbledon". St. Petersburg Times. 30 August 1967. Retrieved 16 January 2016 – via Google News Archive.
- "Rod Laver jugara su primer encuentro profesional en Wimbledon el proximo viernes (Spanish)". El Mundo Deportivo. 23 August 1967. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
- "Gimeno y Pancho Gonzales triunfaron en Wimbledon en dobles (Spanish)". La Vanguardia. 29 August 1967. Retrieved 17 February 2010.