Tennis - History and Great Players
Tennis belongs to the individualistic past - a hero, or at most a pair of friends or lovers, against the world. ~Jacques Barzun
History of Tennis
The History of Tennis dates all the way back in Ancient Egypt and Persia. But the official founding of the game was introduced in the world in the 19th century by a man called Major Walter Wingfield. The game then was called sphairistike which was the Greek for ball game. Officially the game was created by him but he got his “invention” idea from the French who were playing something similar which was called Jeu de Palme.
Jeu de Palme was a game played with a ball being hit over the net using the player’s bare hand and it dated back in the 13th century. It was mostly played amongst monks in their monasteries. The Jeu de Palme developed into a game later on called royal tennis. The French were crazy about that game, in the 1500s a monarch, called Francis even had a royal tennis court built on his personal battleship.
When Major Wingfield officially introduced the game to his friends at a Christmas party, there were a couple of other people who were playing it around the same time as well. However, they didn’t present a document or write it down, so it’s Wingfield who is considered to be the father of the game.
The name tennis dates back to Jeu De Palme. The French would shout ‘Tenetz!’ before hitting the ball which means ‘Take heed!’
The game soon became popular all around the world. Everyone was playing tennis. At first it was invented just for fun but soon it became highly competitive and all kinds of competitions were founded.
People travelled the word to complete with different nations. Different court were introduced apart from lawn, there was clay, composite rubber and cement. There were popular tennis players who were known around the world and were competing against each other for different cups.
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Wimbledon - "If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same"
Wimbledon is considered to be the oldest tennis tournament in the world dating back to the first game of Lawn Tennis Championships in July 1877. The court was situated so that it was in the middle and the people who were watching it were situated around the court.
Enter the male singles
The only event held in 1877 was the male singles won by Spencer Gore. That year around 200 spectators paid to come and watch the finals.
He played against William Marshal and sometime on the 19th of July 1877 he became the first ever Wimbledon Champion. He died in 1906 at the age of 56.
Enter the ladies
In 1884 the ladies tournaments were started and from 13 female candidates that year, Maud Watson became the first female champion.
She was playing against her sister Lillian and defeated her in the Wimbledon finals in 1884.
Wimbledon Second World War
Wimbledon still had its doors open or signing even in the Second World War. The court was a victim of civil defense and military functions. In October 1940 five 500lb bombs struck the Centre Court and caused the loss of 1200 seats.
Wimbledon after the war needed some time to recover but soon returned again into action around 1950s when the champions were welcomed to play again. Outstanding champions were Louise Brough, Maureen Connolly and the late Althea Gibson, the first African American winner.
Behind the scenes employers
- More than 6,000 work for the Wimbledon Championships.
- There 250 ball girls and boys
- Keep your eyes on the ball! The records for fastest serve are Taylor Dent, clocked at 148 mph
- The top-selling item in the Wimbledon gift shop in 2010: 18,000 yellow mini tennis ball key rings.
- All players in the games have to wear white clothing
- The highest ever attendance was in 2001 ,410, 081
- The youngest male champion was Boris Becker and won the male championship in 1885.
- In 1976 the temperature reached 34 degrees.
- The first-ever player to be disqualified from the men's doubles was Tim Henman in 1995, for hitting a ball in anger which struck a ball girl.
- In 1930, Brame Hillyard became the first man to play wearing shorts. That was on court 10 - and Bunny Austin was the first to do so on Centre Court three years later.
Wimbledon has played host to some of the greatest Champions in the game of tennis.
Singles Champion 1985, 1986, 1989. Sunday 7 July 1985 will be etched into one man’s memory as the day that changed his life forever. Became Wimbledon’s youngest ever men’s singles champion at 17 years and 227 days. Boris had watched Wimbledon since he was very young. He had always wanted to be part of it, and he worked for it. He is still No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany .
Fact File - Rafael Nadal
Full Name: Rafael Nadal Parera
Residence: Majorca Manacor, Majorca
Born: 3rd June 1986
Turned Pro: 2001
Coach: Uncle Toni Nadal
Basics: Full name is Rafael Nadal Parera, nicknamed Rafa. Plays left-handed but writes right-handed. He began to play tennis at the age of four with his uncle Toni. His mother I called Ana Maria, his sister is called Maria Isabel and his dad is called Sebastian.
Rafa’s other uncle; Miguel Angel Nadal is a professional soccer player with a history in Rel Mallorca, FC Barcelona and Spanish National Team.
Strengths: Massive forehand; physically imposing; consistent off ground; fast; indefatigable
Weaknesses: Second serve; handling of flat, hard groundstrokes on hard courts; injury prone
Rafael Nadal was nineteen years old and two days when he won the 2005 French Open in his very first appearance at the event. A left-hander with an absolutely booming forehand, he has been known as a clay court professional since playing at his first pro tournaments in 2001.
He won the French Open in 2006 2007 and 2008, defeating Roger Federer every single time at the finals. He also beat Federer at the Australian Open on Hard-court in 2009 confirming his no. 1 ranking in the world. After this he completed ‘Grand Slam’ by winning the US Open in 2010, beating Novak Djokovic.
Biography - Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal Parera was born on the 3rd of June, 1986, in Manacor, Mallorca. His parents Sebastian and Ana Maria introduced him to tennis at a very young age so he plated his very first championship tournament at the age of eight in Baleares.
At the time his coach was his own uncle Toni Nadal who was encouraging him to play left-handed for an advantage on the court, then he noticed that Rafa was playing his forehand with two hands. When Nadal was twelve he won the Spanish and European Titles at his age group. At this time he was playing football and tennis at the same time. Then his father made his chose between these two so that the training does not interfere with his school work. ‘I chose tennis. Football had to stop straightaway.’ Rafa said.
By the time he was seventeen he won against Roger Federer and became to be the youngest man who reached the third round at Wimbledon. Year by year he started winning more and more matches and taking part in more and more championships. He became famous with the ‘Grand Slam’ period, by winning 10 titles in the championship.
The Three woman key – his mother, his sister, his girlfriend
Maria Francisca Perello has been dating Rafa since 2005. She supports him in every single way but she isn’t with him because of his popularity. In fact she hates the photographers and the paparazzi. Their relationship is love and they don’t like it to interfere with his work.
Nadal’s Mother and Sister
Nadal’s mother Ana Maria Parrera has been supporting Nadal since his first tennis game. (Right-hand-side)
Nadal’s sister Maria Isabel Parrera has been very close to Nadal since thay were little. He used to invite her to hang out with his friends. They found it kind of odd but this was the secret of their strong bond! (Left hand-side)
Today – Nadal vs Federer
Nadal and Federer have been playing each other since 2004. Those playing are a significant part of both men’s careers. They have played 28 times and their head-to-head score is 18-10 with Nadal leading.
Fourteen of their matches have been on clay which is Nadal’s best surface and Federer’s worst surface.
Today – Nadal vs Djokovic
Djokovic and Nadal have met 32 times (which is the sixth-most head-to-head meetings in the Open Era) with Nadal having an 18-14 advantage. This rivalry is the third greatest rivalry in the last decade. Djokovic is one of the two only players to have at least 10 wins against Nadal, the other one being Federer. Djokovic’s greatest game was when he defeated Nadal in the Australian Open final for a third consecutive slam final. This was the longest Grand Slam final in the Open Era History at 5 hours and 53 minutes. Nadal won their last meeting in the final of Rome Masters in May 2012.
Why I chose tennis?
I have loved tennis since I was little and I have been training it all the time. This individual project is supposed to be about something we love, any hobby, anything. I enjoy playing and learning about tennis more than any hobby in the world. I also wanted to find out something more about tennis than I already knew. This is why I chose tennis.