Tennis or lawn tennis is a popular sports featuring two players or pairs of players playing against each other. The game involves using rackets to hit the ball over the other side of the court. A score is given when the opponent fails to hit the ball back on the other side of the court. The game is played in accordance with the rules formulated by the International Tennis Federation.
Tennis is also called lawn tennis because this sport was mostly played in lawns or grass courts in Britain in the past. Even before, tennis was a popular sport among men and women. The first signs of tennis games can be traced back to the 12th to 13 century, when the French were fond of playing a handball game call jeu de paume. To date, some people still play this so-called ‘real tennis’ in Britain.
The most accepted version of the origin of modern tennis was the introduction made by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield in 1873. The major also wrote a book about the game’s rules and published it on 1874. However, several historical experts claim that similar games had been reported before Major Wingfield’s time. Meanwhile, in 1872, the Englishman Harry Gem supposedly formed the first tennis clubs with his colleagues. The original tennis court was hourglass in shape, as indicated in Wingfield’s manual. During the same period, the Marylebone Cricket Club was the organization in charge of real tennis. They developed revised rules of the game after a new tennis ball had been invented by JM Heathcote.
Then, the All England Croquet Club started holding tennis games in one their courts at Wimbledon. As the game gained popularity, the club held their first tennis championship in 1877. Spencer Gore emerged as the first winner of the Wimbledon Championships.
Over the years, some of the rules in tennis would see some changes. Most of the rules that are still in use today include those revised and published by the All England Club and MCC. Tennis would then reach USA, with the first US Championship held at the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club. The popularity of the game prompted the establishment of the US National Lawn Tennis Association in 1881. The club was in charge of the first official US national tennis championship, which was held in Newport Casino, Rhode Island in 1881. And as expected, tennis would penetrate various continents in the world and become one of the most popular sports in various sports or Olympic events.