Tennis Origins Revealed
Originating in 12th century France, tennis was initially played with the palm of the hand. The term 'tennis' derives from the French word 'tenez', which means 'take heed' - a warning shout from the server to the opponent.
Rackets and Balls Evolution
By the 16th century, rackets came into use, and the game was called 'jeu de paume'. Balls were originally made from wood, then later cloth stuffed with human and horse hair or wool.
First Tennis Championships
The world's first tennis championship was Wimbledon, established in 1877. Only men could compete, playing in a tournament that now is the oldest and most prestigious in tennis history.
Tennis Scoring Quirks
The unique scoring system of tennis – love, 15, 30, 40 – is thought to have medieval origins, possibly relating to the face of a clock, with quarters marking points in the game.
Global Spread and Stars
By the early 20th century, tennis had spread globally. Legendary players like Suzanne Lenglen and Bill Tilden brought charisma to the sport, enhancing its popularity and setting standards in professional play.
Open Era Beginnings
The Open Era began in 1968 when professionals were allowed to compete with amateurs. This era birthed tennis greats like Rod Laver and Margaret Court, who dominated the sport with their groundbreaking playing styles.
Advancements in technology have transformed tennis equipment. The introduction of metal and later carbon fiber rackets, synthetic strings, and Hawk-Eye technology have revolutionized the way tennis is played and officiated.