The Story since 1896
The first time tennis was ever played in Greece was during the period of English rule on the island of Corfu. In 1896, thirty years after the union of the Ionian State with Greece, the society «LAWN TENNIS CLUB» is established in Corfu by a group of young men who came from families of the alleged high society. Most of them had been raised according to English patterns and their families had eitherdeveloped bonds with England in the past, or worked for the Rally companies in India.
In 1915 the new statutes was adopted and the first Board of Directors was elected while keeping the original name of the Club. The Club’s main activity was to project the image of its members rather than to promote athletic competition. In October 1938, the Corfu Tennis Club along with other seven clubs establish the Tennis Confederation, known today as the Hellenic Tennis Federation (HTF).
During World War II, all activities ceased due to the refusal of the Board of Directors to allow entrance of the Italian military and of members of the Ionian Islands’ Civil Administration to the club’s practice sites. A reconstruction period followed the war and in the mid 60’s the Club became a place for holding international events. The Board of Directors made efforts and finally succeeded in making the Club more accessible to the public and to the youth doing sports.
After 1966, this institution quickly evolved into one of the three Greek annual tennis tournaments, the annual International Tournament of Corfu. The tournament lived for 21 years, being one of the top sports events as it brought to Corfu some of the biggest names of both Greek and international tennis.
In the late ’70 the youth of the island started practising tennis systematically. Later, by 1987 when the team championship was established and up until today, the Club’s team has had a successful course, as it has been in the A1 National League for many years, which is something unique for a sports club in the annals of Corfu.
The schools of the club, where so many talents of Corfu’s tennis have risen, have elevated famous athletes, who have stood out both in individual and national levels.
A great effort to upgrade the club begun in 1995. At the same time, the revival of great tennis events started on the island of Corfu by organizing the “Greek Cup” in August 1996, the ITF “JUNIORS” International tournament in August 1997, the 15.000$ Men’s “FUTURE” tournament in July 1998 and the 10.000$ Men’s “FUTURE” tournament in October 2002. The successful organisation of these events along with HTF’s contribution established Corfu as a permanent place for organising international tournaments and other great athletic meetings, such as the Greek Men’s – Women’s Championship with a prize of 10000 euros, which took place this August knowing great success, and the Junior’s World Championship that takes place in the Club’s facilities every year.
Nowadays, the Corfu Tennis Club, having about 400 active members and over 300 kids practising in its training schools provides high level facilities and services. In 2016, tennis in Corfu, following its 120 year tradition, is now levelled at the future, being accessible and popular to all ages while having the potential to offer great thrills.