Despite the hardships and hardships, the ancient people, nevertheless, invented games and entertainment, organized sports competitions. As the story goes, and this is amazing – from the VIII to the IV century BC, almost 300 Olympic Games took place, and in our time, only the XXXIII Games will take place in 2020. Therefore, there is undoubtedly every reason to assume that the appearance of tennis dates back to earlier times than the official history mentions.
Ancient ball games: the pre-history of the emergence and development of tennis
The fact that in ancient times they were fond of various ball games is evidenced by archaeological excavations, the remains of rock paintings depicting a man throwing a ball. In history, there are also assumptions about the origin of the word racket from the Arabic “rakhat” – hand. The word “tennis” comes from the French “tenes” – hold, catch. The ball was initially made of sheep’s skin, filled with sawdust, sand, wool.
To this day, data from history have been preserved, testifying to the appearance of the prototype of lawn tennis in France in the VIII century. The palm–de-pom game, which the French monks were fond of. After 100 years, tennis was played in Italy, Germany, and other European countries. Later, the appearance of an unusual game was noted on other continents – Australia, North America.
The real euphoria of the game began during the reign of King Henry IV of France at the end of the 16th century. Those times were marked by the rapid development of tennis, the creation of about 5 thousand courts for the game. The same-de-pom could be played by 12 people at the same time. At first, the ball was simply beaten with a hand, then protective gloves, planks, bats were created. With the advent of a tennis racket with a stretched net, the game has become even more popular.
For many years, there was a certain limitation in the development of lawn tennis, since it was not a spectacular game for the masses. The courts were closed and could not accommodate many spectators. Charles IX called tennis a noble exercise, useful for health, which can be practiced exclusively by noble persons. Lawn tennis was considered a royal game for the elite.
Official information about the creation of tennis
With the advent of lawn tennis in England, a new surge in the development of an exciting game begins. The widespread fascination was not without dramatic scenes described in Shakespeare’s plays. Fortunes were lost on tennis courts, and debts were collected through the courts. Princes and kings left the court wet and sweaty, like simple artisans.
The year 1874 is considered the starting point in the creation of tennis as an official sport. Spherica – it was under this unusual name that the retired major of the Queen’s Guard of Great Britain W. Wingfield received a patent for the game. Some researchers of the history of lawn tennis believe that the new game resembled such a collection of an old game on the court, squash, badminton, but with some changes in the rules.
- The appearance of a traditional English lawn with neatly trimmed grass.
- Creating rubber balls.
Thanks to these events, which coincided in time, the emergence of tennis became possible. Soon the original name of the spherical was changed to lawn tennis – lawn tennis, lawn tennis, the game moved from indoor areas to grass lawns.
At first, Wingfield developed an active activity to popularize and develop lawn tennis: selling equipment around the world, creating a rule book. However, due to the great difficulties in his personal life (the death of his children, the mental illness of his wife), Wingfield lost interest in the game, and since 1877 did not renew the patent.
The name of W. Wingfield is included in the honorary list of celebrities in the history of the creation and development of lawn tennis. Periodically, disputes arise in the sports world regarding the authenticity of the history of the emergence of lawn tennis. The priority of the creation and development of the game is disputed, the names of A. Pereira, T. Jam, etc. are voiced. Historical researchers cite evidence of the appearance of lawn tennis as early as 15 years before the registration of Wingfield’s patent in the form of a Spanish folk game with a pelota ball.
History of lawn tennis tournaments
Gradually, lawn tennis becomes a spectacular game. The emergence of the opportunity to play professionally began to bring tennis players good money for games. The beginning of the last century was marked by the emergence of various tennis tournaments, the creation of sports cups, some of them are held today and have become prestigious competitions.
The first amateur tournament was held in Wimbledon, this suburb of London is rightfully considered a landmark place for the history of tennis. The USA and Great Britain teams played in the first international lawn tennis tournament in 1900. The name of Dwight Davis, who developed the rules and purchased the cup at his own expense, has gone down in history.
Lawn tennis tournaments are divided into men’s and women’s. Mixed competitions, women’s and men’s singles, and doubles are also held. Youth and children’s tournaments are gaining more and more popularity. Competitions for disabled people and veterans (over 45 years old) are allocated in a separate category.
National teams demonstrate their skills at competitions held by the International Federation at the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Hopman Cup. The most prestigious are the Grand Slam tournaments: the Wimbledon tournament, the Open Lawn Tennis Championships, which are held in the USA, Australia, France. In addition, each country has its own tournaments. Since 1988, professional lawn tennis tournaments have been included in the Olympic Games program.
Briefly about tennis equipment, balls, rackets, accessories
As in any other sport, tennis clearly spelled out all the nuances of tournaments, which differ for single and doubles. The dimensions of the court and the premises for lawn tennis, various types of coverings are strictly defined. High–quality sports equipment for courts is of great importance – tennis cannons, dividing tapes, sports nets, baskets for balls.
Sometimes it may seem that the form of tennis players reflects a certain fashionable style. In fact, all accessories for lawn tennis are distinguished by exceptional expediency – nothing should distract or interfere with the game. Bracelets and vibration dampers are provided to protect the hands and shock absorption. The grips on the racket provide a good fixation in the hand, the wristbands are designed to wipe sweat from the forehead during the game.
Athletes choose good strings for rackets especially carefully. It is the thickness of the strings and the material of manufacture that determines the quality of the game, the speed of the ball, its rotation, and the accuracy of the strike. Expensive rackets, lawn tennis balls, uniforms, shoes need to be carried carefully in something. Modern bags, cases and backpacks for lawn tennis perfectly cope with this task. In addition, the original tennis bag is also a matter of prestige for tennis players.
Today, athletes and fans of different ages are passionate about tennis, an exciting game, unlike other sports, is available to almost everyone. Professional tennis players dream of winning all Grand Slam tournaments, but few succeed.