The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, invented in Birmingham, England now commonly known as tennis, Here’s full history of tennis

History of tennis : origin of tennis , invention

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”).

Contact No
Team members Singles or doubles
Mixed-sex Yes, separate tours & mixed doubles
Type Outdoor or indoor
Equipment Ball, racket, net
Venue Tennis court
Glossary Glossary of tennis terms

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.

Many original tennis courts remain, including courts at Oxford, Cambridge, Falkland Palace in Fife where Mary Queen of Scots regularly played, and Hampton Court Palace.

Many of the French courts were decommissioned with the terror that accompanied the French Revolution. The Tennis Court Oath (Serment du Jeu de Paume) was a pivotal event during the first days of the French Revolution.

The Oath was a pledge signed by 576 of the 577 members from the Third Estate who were locked out of a meeting of the Estates-General on 20 June 1789.

History of tennis : origin of tennis , invention

Marylebone Cricket Club’s Rules of Lawn Tennis have been official, with periodic slight modifications, ever since 1875.

Those rules were adopted by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the first Lawn Tennis Championship, The Championships, Wimbledon in 1877.

Origin of Tennis 

Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s round table, plays tennis against a group of 17 giants in The Turke and Gowin (c. 1500).

The Medieval form of tennis is termed as real tennis, a game that evolved over three centuries, from an earlier ball game played around the 12th century in France which involved hitting a ball with a bare hand and later with a glove.

History of tennis : origin of tennis , invention

Country or region Worldwide
Olympic Part of Summer Olympic programme from 1896 to 1924
Demonstration sport in the 1968 and 1984 Summer Olympics
Part of Summer Olympic programme since 1988
Paralympic Part of Summer Paralympic programme since 1992

By the 16th century, the glove had become a racket, the game had moved to an enclosed playing area, and the rules had stabilized. Real tennis spread in popularity throughout royalty in Europe, reaching its peak in the 16th century.

In 1437 at the Blackfriars, Perth, the playing of tennis indirectly led to the death of King James I of Scotland, when the drain outlet, through which he hoped to escape assassins, had been blocked to prevent the loss of tennis balls.James was trapped and killed.

Francis I of France (1515–1547) was an enthusiastic player and promoter of real tennis, building courts and encouraging play among the courtiers and commoners.

His successor Henry II (1547–59) was also an excellent player and continued the royal French tradition. In 1555 an Italian priest, Antonio Scaino da Salothe, wrote the first known book about tennis, Trattato del Giuoco della Palla. 


The modern game of lawn tennis was invented by Harry Gem and Augurio Perera, somewhere between 1859 and 1865.

Lawn tennis was invented by combining the two games, ‘racquets’ and ‘pelota’. Earlier, ‘lawn racquets’ and ‘lawn pelota’ were the names assigned to this game, which finally became lawn tennis.

History of tennis : origin of tennis , invention

Harry Gem and Augurio Perera played this game in Edgbaston on a croquet lawn.

In the year 1873, rules for the game called ‘Sphairistike’ were published by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield.

Sphairistike or Sticke was played in enclosed courts with low pressure balls and racquets. Mr. Wingfield formalized the game in 1874, by patenting the rules and equipment in London.

By Rishabh

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