Facts You Need to Know About the History of Tennis

Tennis is well known as a very competitive sport. The prize money of the sport is just the iceberg of something much bigger down below. Which means that tennis is just more than what it can be in terms of money and reputation. Tennis is also perceived as a sport that only the rich and famous can play just like golf. But when did the sport actually began and why do people have this kind of perception on it? Diving in its history is the key to finding the answers. Find out by reading down below.

  • How Tennis Got its Name
  • In the 16th and 18th centuries, the sport was originally called the “Jeu de Paumm” which means the game of the palm. But when players started playing it, they will often shout “Tenez!” which means “Play!” during the game. And that’s where the name Tennis came from. During medieval times, it was called “real tennis” or “royal tennis.”

  • Tennis is a Favorite Among the Monks
  • Back then, it was known that tennis was loved by the Monks. They often play the sport to pass the time or just want to have a little bit of exercise.
  • But the gameplay was different back then. Monks will use their palms to hit the ball, which resulted in various accidents. The Monks then came to an idea to use leather gloves while playing the sport. But this hasn’t stopped the accidents from happening because the ball was made of wood. So instead of gloves, they created wooden racquets to serve and hit the ball. During the 16th century, the game was played in an enclosed area opposed to outdoors, and by this time, a set of rules have been made. Originating from the Monk’s monastery, the sport had found its way to the royal courts because of its popularity.

  • A Favorite Sport of Kings
  • In the time of Henri II, there was a book about tennis that’s written by one of their priests. However, two royals have died because of the sport. Louis X being the first one because of severe chill and Charles VIII where he was struck by a tennis ball. But their deaths didn’t stop the royal players from playing the game. King Charles IX even created the first over pro tennis tour with three ranks. The apprentice, associate, and master.

  • How Modern Tennis Began
  • Tennis became a popular sport in England because of the Henry’s. Henry VIII was even rumored that he was playing tennis while his second wife has been arrested and executed (talk about not giving a damn). When James I was held king, there were 14 courts existed in London alone.
  • But the origins of modern tennis began with two military men named Harry Gem and Walter Clopton Wingfield. They combined elements of rackets such as the Pelota and Croquet and based the game on real tennis back in the medieval times.
  • Wingfield patented the game in 1874 and called it “lawn tennis.” He then released a book that talks about lawn tennis where the modern terms “deuce” and “love” originated from. The scoring method of modern tennis was heavily borrowed from the French.

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