Origins of Tennis

The game of Tennis can be traced to the courtyards of Medieval France, where a racketless version known as jeu de paume (the Palm Game) was extremely popular.

Field Tennis was being played in the 18th century but it took a Welshman in 1873 to invent the modern version of this popular pastime and sporting event.

Actually named 'sphairistike' by it's creator Walter Wingfield.  Walter patented the game and for a time it continued to be called this.  (The name comes from the greek, sphairistike techne, the art of playing ball.) it later became known as lawn tennis this came from the French word tenez to take or receive.

Rules, Description and Other information

Tennis is a racket and ball game played on a rectangular court and can be for two or four players.

The court measures 78 x 27 feet for single play and 78 x 36ft for doubles play.  Players stand at opposite ends of the court which is divided by a net strung centrally across the court and is 3ft high.

Players on opposite sides of the court hit the ball over the net with the racket until a point is won by a player hitting a shot that lands in the court and cannot be returned or by the opponents shot landing out of the court or failing to clear the net.  Each point begins with a serve, where the ball is thrown into the air and hit diagonally across the net to the opponent. The server continues to serve until four points have been gained and a game won.  These 4 points are called 'fifteen' 'thirty', ' forty', and 'game'.  A two point margin is required for a game to be won.  Should the score reach forty each, deuce is called, the first player to reach a two point margin after this wins the game,

Games are grouped into sets a player wins a set if they win 6 games provided a 2 game margin is maintained.  Should the set reach 6 games each a tie break is called the first player to win seven points in the tie break with at least a two point margin wins the set, matches are decided on a best of three sets or best of five in mens championships.

Major competitions are:
Wimbledon the oldest tennis tournament in the world and the third Grand Slam event of the year.  It is held in June on grass at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon London, the first Men's winner was Spencer Gore in 1877, The first ladies champion was Maud Watson in 1884. You can bet on Wimbledon at Paddy Power

French Open the second grand slam event of the year is held on clay at Roland Garros in Paris in May - Famous winners Born Borg

US Open the final grand slam of the year held in August in at Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York. it is played on Decoturf hard courts. Famous winners John McEnroe

Australian Open the first grand slam of the year played in January on hard surface held in Melbourne. Famous winner Pete Sampras

Davis Cup International mens team competition played annually over three days the most successful modern team is Sweden.