Tennis has been termed as the “gentleman’s game”. Tennis originated from a French game named Paume. By the 12th century Paume was gaining popularity among the French people. The exact sense of the term Paume is Palm. It was a court game where players used to strike the ball with their hand. As the game progressed, Paume had evolved to Jeu de Paume which implemented the use of rackets in the game. Quickly, this form of tennis progressed and started to spread throughout the Europe. In the 1873, Major Walter Wingfield had altered the game and called Sphairistikè, which means “playing ball”. From Sphairistikè, this game concept was developed into the modern outdoor tennis.


In the 1500’s, tennis players were using tennis racquets that were made of wood and the ball used to be a cork-cored ball that weighs around three ounces. Early tennis courts were much narrower than today’s tennis court but still useable. In fact there is tennis court in Hampton, which was made in 1625, that is still in use.


By the mid of 1700’s, the popularity of tennis had dwindled tremendously. Fortunately in 1850’s, Charles Goodyear has invented a vulcanization process for rubber that offered tennis players a new look for the old tennis balls. Now the new tennis balls were made of rubber which gave a faster, bouncy element to the game. With the new rubber tennis balls, new rules were adopted to accommodate this revolutionary transformation.


Tennis as a game is known by different names in different countries. In Australia people used to call it as Royal Tennis and in Britain it is known as Real Tennis. People in United Sates are calling it as Court Tennis. Whatever be the name for this game, rules and other aspects of this game are same everywhere. Tennis can be played on grass, concrete and clay. However, during the 1800’s, lawn tennis exploded in popularity. In the 1874, lawn tennis has been established the foundation for the modern tennis game. Lawn tennis was played on a marked-out surface where there is no side or end wall. The modern tennis game is more popular than ever. Today, there are 144 nations in the International Tennis Federation and over 25 million people in the US alone that play tennis.


Article Title:   The History of Tennis