Tennis Research Paper
Tennis is a complex sport with a long history and provides physical as well as mental benefits. Tennis is widely known as a sport that can be played throughout one's life. The history of tennis dates back to ancient Europe as a variation of modern handball. Its unique nature as a sport and the benefits it delivers, make tennis a very important and influential sport in the society we live in.
Several thousand years ago, European monks played what has evolved to be the game of tennis for entertainment during religious ceremonies. In those early days, tennis was played against a wall. At first, people used their hand to swat at the ball until the leather glove came into existence. This was later replaced with a handle for hitting and serving the ball. As this game gained popularity, the monks began teaching the game to the nobility as well. There were a few European monarchs who banned the game while others promoted the construction of new playing areas. By the year 1500, popularity was on the rise as a new racket strung with sheep guts began to be used, contributing to the common term of "gut strings". In 1850, new balls and an indoor arena to play tennis were introduced this, in turn, promoted the adoption of a new set of rules.
The modern game of tennis was born in England during the late 1800s, when the sport was known as lawn tennis. The year 1874 is however, considered as the birth year of modern tennis, when Major Walter C. Wingfield patented the equipment and rules for the new and improved game. Thereafter, equipment began to be sold in Russia, India, Canada, and China. The rules were revised again in 1875 to appease the critics of the new rules, but further development was left to others to devise. The first widespread tournament, known today as Wimbledon, was held in 1877 at the All England Club. The tournament committee came up with many rules and intricacies that are part of the modern game of tennis. As years passed, tennis gained popularity and became accessible around the world. The International Lawn Tennis Federation was formed in Paris, France. In the early 1900's women's tennis also started to gain worldwide popularity and attention.
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The sport is rooted heavily in European lawn games such as croquet and bowls. The rules of tennis have remained largely the same since its conception. Recently, however, changes have come with the increasing influence of technology in the conduct of the game. Players in professional leagues now have the ability to challenge the decision of the line judge or center judge through the use of instant replay. This new and radical modernization of the sport has been referred to as the "players'" movement. Tennis is enjoyed worldwide, particularly in warmer countries, and several international tournaments garner the attention of millions of people worldwide. The US Open, French Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon are known as the "grand slam" competitions of tennis. The outcome of these tournaments correlates strongly with the international ranking system for professional tennis players. Of these tournaments, Wimbledon (formerly known as the British Open), is the oldest and widely considered the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.
A game of tennis is played in a tennis court, which is a firm rectangular surface with a low net stretched across the center. The game of tennis is played in singles and doubles formats, with either a single player or a duo of players playing the opposing side comprised likewise. The surface of a tennis court is may be made of grass, clay, concrete (hard court) or a synthetic material. For advanced tennis players, the court surface often influences the style of play and equipment they choose to use in a game.
A knockout format is employed in individual tournaments with seeding used to determine the ordering of the groups as the competition progresses from the initial rounds to later rounds, with the quarterfinals, semi-finals and the final game determining the merit order of all the players in the tournament.
Tennis was introduced as an Olympic event in the first modern Olympics in 1896, which took place in Athens, Greece. Since then, it was contested in every Olympics until the year 1924. It was then dropped from the Olympic Games and did not return as a medal event until the summer Olympics of 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. The Davis Cup is the premier tennis tournament between countries. In 2013, 130 nations have entered the Davis Cup tournament, making it the world's largest annual international team competition in sport. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the premier organization engaged in the promotion of the game in the USA. Its membership runs over 300,000 and its members organize and engage in recreational and competitive leagues and tournaments across the nation, throughout the year.
Tennis is a sport that enhances and works many different body parts. Some physical benefits of this sport are interval training, improved balance, dexterity, mobility, and agility. Interval training is a burst of intense exercise followed by a short break or a lower intensity exercise. This is beneficial to the heart, because the heart has to work and adjust under these varying conditions, as well as the muscles from of varied muscle involvement involved in the game. Balance is enhanced through serving and hitting shots from various spots around the court. Dexterity in the limbs is also improved through ground strokes, while the significant amount of running, which is a large part of tennis, provides mobility and agility.
In addition to these physical benefits, there are some mental benefits as well. Because there are many different ways to hit the ball and serve, different players employ different play styles. On the court, the most successful players can identify the varied types, habits and playing styles of the other players. You also have to think and act tactically to set up points to your advantage, slowly countering your opponent's advantages in a match. Discipline is another mental aspect of tennis. It is very easy to lose focus and hit the ball out of bounds, since the court is very short. One must be disciplined enough to not be too aggressive during a match.
Another factor that makes tennis a unique sport is that it is played across all age groups, as soon as one is old enough to hold a racket. Parents often take comfort in the fact that tennis is not a contact sport, for their children to learn in their early years. While the sport improves physical conditioning, it is not generally viewed as favoring any particular physical characteristics in young players, since players have a wide mix of playing styles and equipment to utilize and adopt.
In conclusion, tennis is a sport with a long and storied history, which provides one with a long list of benefits. As with all sports, there are also emotional benefits that one can gain from tennis. Sportsmanship and coping with the stress of competition are always aspects of character-building that can be gained by pursuing any sport. Tennis continues to evolve as new types of balls and rackets make it even easier to start playing and having fun, regardless of age or ability.
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