TENNIS A Brief History Science in Sports & Exercise
Early Tennis • Tennis is said to have originated in 13th century French monasteries. • Tennis – French tenez meaning “play”. • A sheepskin ball filled with sand, sawdust or wool (non-bouncing) was hit with an open hand over a rope strung across the monastery courtyard. • Playing with the hand • evolved into playing with a glove • glove with webbing between the fingers • a solid paddle • eventually a sort of racquet was developed – a webbed glove with a handle. • Balls still did not bounce. • By 1500 or so a wooden racquet frame strung with sheep’s gut was generally used and balls were cork-cored. • The game caught on with the royalty and became known as “real” or “royal” tennis and was called jeu de paume – game of the palm.
Popularity of Tennis • Royal tennis grew in popularity through the centuries to the point where both the Pope and King Louis IV attempted to ban it. • Spread to England early 16th century, and both Henry VII and Henry VIII were “avid players, promoting the building of more courts.” • The game’s popularity waned during the 1700’s because of the French Revolution, but enjoyed a resurgence following the conflict • In 1850, with the invention of vulcanized rubber, players began to try the game with the bouncy rubber balls on outdoor grass courts and a new game was born.
Changing the Game • Modern tennis is credited to British Army Major Walter Wingfield. • patented a portable equipment set, making tennis more accessible. • Lawn tennis caught on quickly in Great Britain and the first world championship was played at Wimbledon in 1877. • 1884 Wimbledon launched a women’s championship.
Tennis Comes to the United States • Tennis came to the United States around 1874, via a New Yorker, Mary Ewing Outerbridge, who was introduced to the game by a friend of Major Wingfield’s. • She helped establish the first US Open played in Newport RI in 1881-men only. • Women were allowed in 1887.
Major Tournaments • Wimbledon, Great Britain • 1877 men; 1884 women • US Open • 1881 men; 1887 women • French Championship • 1891 men; 1897 women; French citizens only until 1925 when Tournament evolved into French Open • Australian Open • 1969 • Davis Cup • 1900
Grand Slam • Four major championships are won in one year • Wimbledon, French Open, US Open, Australian Open • American Don Budge was first winner 1838 • Most recently Stephi Graf won in 1988 • Serena Williams won in 2002 & 2003
Modern Tennis • Is played on a court of regulated size, in which two to four players attempt to hit a ball, specifically designed for the game, with racquets, also specifically designed for the game, over a net of regulation height, placed in the center of the court.
Required Equipment • Tennis court with net • Tennis racquet • Tennis ball
Desirable Equipment • Court shoes • Cute little outfit
1800’s Early 1900’s 1920’s 1940’s What they Used to Wear
What They Wear Today Dominik Hrbaty Andre Agassi Serena Williams Venus Williams
The Aim of the Game • Players stand on opposite sides of a net and use a stringed racket to hit a ball back and forth to each other. • Each player has a maximum of one bounce after it has been hit by their opponent to return the ball over the net and within the boundaries of the court. • Once a player fails to do any of these three things, their opponent wins a point. • The aim is to win enough points to win a game, enough games to win a set and enough sets to win a match.
Tennis Scoring • Tennis has an unusual scoring system. • The first point in a game is called 15 and the next 30. So you'd think that the next point should be 45 - but it isn't, it's 40. • Said to have originated from quarters of a clock • And the score of a player who has not won any points is not 'nil' or 'zero', but 'love'. • said to come from the French word oeuf, which means egg and is shaped like a zero. • The server's score is always called first by the umpire. • So if Player A is serving to Player B and Player B wins the point, the score is love-15. • If Player A wins the next point the score is 15-all, and so on
Competition and Fun • Tennis today is played around the world by professionals, amateurs, and recreational enthusiasts. • Championship games were first open only to male players but eventually opened to women as well. • First world tennis championship was held in 1877 in Wimbledon, Great Britain. The Wimbledon Tournament is still played today and is considered one of the most prestigious tournaments in tennis.
Influential Players • The “Four Musketeers” – dominated game in late 1920’s and 30’s. Unseated current American winners. • Jean Borotra • Rene Lacoste (“the Alligator”) • Henri Cochet • Jacques Brugnon • Rod Laver • For his use of topspin • Ivan Lendl • Athleticism and fitness • Martina Navratilova • Athleticism and fitness • Won most tournaments 167 singles; 162 doubles • Chris Everett • 125 match winning streak • Two-handed backhand