History of Tennis

The game of tennis has been around for more than 140 years. An early version of the sport started out in France in the 16th century. The players would yell ‘tenez’ before the start of the game, which gave the game its name. Later, the game was refined as Lawn Tennis to resemble the sport that it is now. Tennis is an Olympic sport with more than 75 million players.

tennis court

There are four grand slams played each year. The Australian Open and the U.S. Open play on hard courts made of a synthetic surface. The French Open has clay courts and Wimbledon has grass courts. 


Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament asks players to wear white clothing when on the grass courts. You must wear tennis shoes or sneakers to prevent slipping and injuring yourself. Earlier, women tennis players had to wear full-length dresses. It wasn’t until 1932 that women began wearing shorts.

tennis clothestennis player

Equipmenttennis ball

You hit the ball only with the tennis racket, ideally in the middle of the stringed racket head. Tennis balls are usually bright colors such as neon yellow to help player keep sight of them. The balls are hollow and have a felt-like finish.
You win points every time you are the last player or team to successfully hit the ball into your opponent's court. Before 1986, the tennis balls used at Wimbledon were white in color. The Wimbledon tennis tournament uses around 42,000 balls.

The first tennis rackets were wooden.

wooden racketracket

Now the rackets are much stronger because they're made of metals like titanium and ceramics. They will also have fiberglass or carbon fibre which are great materials that can be molded to different shapes and sizes.  Rackets may also have graphite or aluminum as part of their design. 








The first winner of the Wimbledon Tournament was Spencer Gore.

The longest Wimbledon tennis match was 11 hours and five minutes long. It spanned over a period of three days.

Tennis Players

Roger Federer is the most popular tennis player in the world. The Swiss Tennis Official rewarded Roger Federer with a cow when he first won the grand slam.

Venus and Serena Williams were the first sisters to have won Olympic gold medals in tennis.

gold medal

Fast Facts

  • The height of the net in the middle of the tennis court is approximately three feet.

  • A player must score four points to win a game. Six games need to be won to win a set and two sets to win a match.

  • The different shots used in tennis are: forehand, backhand, serve, volley, lob and drop shot.

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