Tennis has become one of the biggest sports in the world and here are some interesting facts about the history of tennis, Have a look.
5 Interesting Facts About the History of Tennis.
The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, invented in Birmingham, England now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sport with more complex rules.
|Singles or doubles
|Yes, separate tours & mixed doubles
|Outdoor or indoor
|Ball, racket, net
|Glossary of tennis terms
Most rules of tennis derive from this precursor and it is reasonable to see both sports as variations of the same game.
Most historians believe that tennis was originated in the monastic cloisters in northern France in the 12th century, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand; hence, the name jeu de paume (“game of the palm”).
It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called “tennis.” It was popular in England and France, and Henry VIII of England was a big fan of the game, now referred to as real tennis.
Here are some interesting facts about the history of tennis :
Tennis used to be played with the hands
It’s believed that the original game was invented in Northern France in the 12th century, where it was called “Jeu de Paume.” This literally translates to “Game of the palm.”
The palm obviously refers to the palm as that was used to hit the tennis ball instead of the rackets we know today.
The first tennis balls were made of wood.
Original tennis balls were crafted from wood, it wasn’t until later that a cellulose material was used to make the balls bouncier.
Scoring originated – 15, 30 And 40
While most sports keep the scoring system simple, tennis… not so much. It is believed that the scoring system comes from medieval France and that a clock face was used to indicate the scores.
For every point scored, the hand was moved to the next quarter (15, 30, 45). The first player to reach 60 was the winner and the game ended.
Although, this is a little confusing considering the scoring system is now 15, 30 and 40. One explanation for the discrepancy is that players had to win by two points, therefore the hand was moved to 40 and then 50 with the win coming on the hour.
- KING HENRY VIII had a Tennis court
English King Henry VIII built a tennis court at Hampton Court Palace.
While this exact court is no longer in existence, a similar court was built in its place in 1625. It is still in use today.
The game was largely played by the royal and wealthy members of society. In fact, the Wimbledon district of London formed the All England Croquet Club. To this day, the game is played by royalty and wealthy benefactors.
The invention of Lawn Tennis
In 1873, Major Walter Wingfield invented a version of tennis that could be played outdoors on a lawn.
He called the game ‘Sphairistike,’ which is Greek for “playing ball.” It was played by rich English people on Manor House lawn.
This is the first instance where tennis began to look like the game we know and love today. In 1874, the very first lawn tennis tournament was played in the USA.