HISTORY OF TENNIS – Where the game was invented and who are Mahut isner?

Tennis Origin - when was the game invented?

The origins of Tennis (1) can be well traced to a 12th–13th-century French handball game called jeu de paume (“game of the palm”).  It has been referred to as the immediate offspring which was invented in the 11th century in France.

Evolution of Tennis

The evolution of this medieval monument can be traced to initially being played with bare hands, like the 16th century which witnessed the invention of the racket and the distinct scoring model. This led to tennis directly, with its name being traced back to the French word “tenez!”, Which you had to say to your opponent at the point where you wanted to serve. The fame of tennis quickly overtook that of croquet in England.

This ancient game is still enjoyed to a large extent and is usually referred to as real tennis in Britain, royal tennis in Australia, and court tennis in the United States. It is noteworthy that tennis is still formally referred to as lawn tennis in Britain although it can now be played on various surfaces.

In the 1870s, it was designed and codified in England. Tennis was initially known as lawn tennis because it was usually played on grass courts by ladies and gentlemen of the Victorian era.

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In the 1870s, it was designed and codified in England. Tennis was initially known as lawn tennis because it was usually played on grass courts by ladies and gentlemen of the Victorian era.

During that time, they wore long sleeved dresses while playing. Charlotte Cooper at the age of 23, was dressed like this the first time she won her first Wimbledon title in 1895. Charlotte Cooper became one of the first female players to carry out a service by throwing the ball up before hitting it, amidst her counterparts who were still underhand. She was as unique as an attacker in that she was found always making use of any opportunity to score. She was the winner of the final of mixed doubles along with Reginald Frank Doherty.

Her performance was outstanding; she won women’s singles in 1900 against France’s Helene Prevost, 6-1, 6-4, and changed history by becoming the first woman to have her name written for an individual event. Welsh Major Walter Clopton Wingfield had published his book A Portable Court of Playing Tennis in 1874, this was the defining work in terms of stratifying lawn tennis, and in 1877, the first Wimbledon tournament took place.

Tennis in the 1880s was strongly dominated by the magnificent twin brothers William and Ernest Renshaw. William who won the Wimbledon singles championship seven different times, in three instances beating his brother in the finals. Ernest, however, was victorious once, and when they both partnered, they won the doubles championship, which first took place at Oxford in 1879, this they won seven times.

Modern Day Tennis - who are mahut & isner?

The modern game of tennis is loved and massively played by millions in clubs and also on public courts. The period when this phenomenon rapidly grew as both a spectator and a participant sport continued in the later parts of the 1960s when the professionals and amateurs as well were allowed to participate in the major championships in the 1970s.

Television broadcasts of these professional tournaments and the evolution of some superstar players increased the appeal the game has. From being only restricted to white, color and style were added to tennis wear which further created a new structure of recreational clothing. Tennis balls had once been white historically. Now they come in several colors, with yellow being the preferable color of choice. Racket frames, which previously had a standard size and shape were suddenly manufactured in different sizes, materials, and shapes.

The most important achievement was the emergence of metal frames which started in 1967 and the oversized heads which were also manufactured in 1976.

The rackets also improved quite considerably, too. Until the 1980s, the rackets were primarily made of wood. Then newly improved materials evolved and were starting to get used, this added more power while still reducing the weight as well. The materials being used were like graphite, titanium, carbon, steel, etc.

In the early 1970s, the principle of tie break had to be introduced, to stop indefinite going on of sets. If the score got to 6 all, then the first player to win 7 points wins the set. The “decisive set” (i.e., the fifth set) with no tie break was still used by Wimbledon only, This resulted in John Isner of America beating Frenchman Nicolas Mahut by a record score of 70 games to 68 after playing for 11 hours and 5 minutes, with the fifth set going on for 8 hours 11 minutes, during the first round in 2010.


Professional Competitions

Despite its absence from the Olympics, tennis still went through some landmark achievements, like the Grand Slam in the 1930s, which refers to the winning of the four major tournaments, namely, the French Open, the Australian Open, the US Open, and Wimbledon. Amateurism ended in 1968, with the start of the Open era, where the sport became more professional and structured. The ATP and WTA global and weekly rankings also kick-started in 1973.

The Davis Cup was the first international team competition, as it was officially called the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy, and was donated by Dwight Davis, U.S doubles champion in 1900. Great Britain was the only country that challenged the first year, but they got defeated by the United States, with Davis the legend himself playing on the team that won. No challenges held in 1901, but a strong British team in 1902 that included the Doherty brothers went to represent Britain in America.

The United States defended their trophy, but the next year, the Doherty brothers assisted Britain in winning the cup, which was retained the next three years. The final observations brought by Wingfield led to the adoption of the use of a rubber ball, which could bounce well on the grass. But other surfaces were adopted quickly. After selecting the use of grass, clay was introduced at the end of the 19th century, then hardwood floor and, until later, the concrete and acrylic surfaces soon replaced the use of clay. Women also soon started participating in tennis competitions as they began to compete at Wimbledon in 1884.

Achieving a golden Grand Slam has inadvertently become synonymous with a particularly prized achievement for the top-tier players. To achieve a golden Grand Slam a player must win all four Grand Slams and an Olympic Gold medal during his or her career. Andre Agassi, who was America’s Olympic champion in Atlanta in 1996 is another number on the list. Spain’s Rafael Nadal was also a gold medalist in Beijing in 2008, and Serena Williams who also represented America in London at the Olympics women’s singles has also completed this feat in 2012. Alongside her sister Venus, Serena Williams is also a proud owner of four Olympic gold medals, while her elder sister also has four Olympic gold medals alongside taking one silver medal which she won in the mixed doubles in Rio in 2016, making her the tennis player with the most Olympic medals in history, with five medals.


Olympic Games

Tennis was soon back at the Olympic Games in 1968 in the city of Mexico, but it only served as a demonstration sport. In 1984 in Los Angeles, Steffi Graf, the 15-year-old German player saw a win in a dramatic fashion. The real return to the official programme happened in Seoul at the 1988 Games. Apart from winning the major four tournaments, Steffi Graf also won the women’s singles in the same year. Because of this, she thereby rose to be the only person, man or woman, in history ever to achieve the height of winning the “Golden Slam” in just a single season. 

Participating in the Olympic Games then became a turning point for the career components of the world’s best players. Players, like Chile’s Nicolas Massu, reached the pinnacle of their careers during these Games. After he won two gold medals in Athens in 2004 (the men’s singles and doubles categories), he was happy to declare that: “I was so happy because this is my best memory in my sports career. If I look back in 10 more years, I look back on this, and I’m going to be so happy.

Now I can die happy.” One of the most excellent players to ever play, Britain’s Andy Murray, had seen his career take off after claiming an Olympic victory. He was an Olympic gold medalist in London, in 2012, and he later rose to become world number one five years after that time, a Davis Cup victory and three Grand Slams. Ultimately, in 2016 in Rio, he became the only person ever successfully to defend his title in 120 years of Olympic history.

Other players like Roger Federer, who is one of the greatest players of all time, have made winning the Games a top priority.  He thoroughly expressed his delight when he won the doubles gold medal with his partner Stan Wawrinka in Beijing in 2008 with a broad smile that would not quickly be forgotten. He went on to win the singles silver medal in London in 2012, but he, however, went to also express his immense disappointment at “not being able to represent Switzerland in Rio in 2016” due to an injury.

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