Getting to the History of Tennis

Getting to the History of Tennis

Who invented tennis? That is going to be hard to say. There are various histories about the invention of tennis. Some individuals believe that that there are different types of tennis played by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. There are no any supporting descriptions or drawings of any tennis-like games; however, a couple of ancient-Egyptian time Arabic words are cited as evidence in some manuscripts. The word tennis, is believed to be derived from the French words such as tendere (to hold), tenez (to take), or tenir (hold this). The exact origins of the word are unknown. The term racquet (racket) is believed to be evolved from the Arabic word rahat, which means palm of the hand. Actually, the racket was invented in Italy in the year 1583.

Various games of ball and racket such as court tennis (United States), real tennis (United Kingdom), and royal tennis (Australia) originated from a 12th-century French game called paume, which means palm. Paume was a game played on a court where the ball was struck with hand. Paume evolved into jeu de paume (game of the palm) in which rackets were used.

In 1873, a game known as Sphairistik (a Greek term, which means playing ball) had been invented by Major Walter C. Wingfield, from which the modern outdoor tennis evolved. He first played the game in Wale at a garden party. In 1874, he formulated rules for lawn tennis. In addition, in the same year, he patented the equipment and the rules in London, which was very similar to the modern tennis. Following his invention, the equipment sets had been traded for use in Canada, China, India, and Russia.

The early tennis-like game was played on a sandglass-shaped court, widest at the service line and narrowest at the net region. In creating the new game Sphairistik, Wingfield adopted largely from the tennis-like older games.

Later, the game spread to Europe. Lawn tennis quickly became popular in Great Britain. Soon, the game was played in many parts of England. At Wimbledon, the All England Croquet Club held the first world tennis championship in the year 1877. During that period, the game was restricted only to male players. Later, the game became the renowned Wimbledon Tournament for the British National Championship. Still it is one of the most esteemed events in tennis. In 1884, Wimbledon inaugurated a tennis championship for women. Soon the womens tennis became popular in different parts of the British Empire, particularly in Australia.

Tennis spread to various parts of the United States through Bermuda. A friend of Wingfield introduced tennis to Mary Ewing Outerbridge of New York in the year 1874. The first mens National Championship was held at Newport, R.I. in the year 1881. Six years later, tennis championship for women was begun.

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