Tennis - History and Great Players

Authors Avatar by yonni (student)


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 ...

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