Tennis is a great sport to both play and watch. Using a tennis racket, play with a single opponent or in teams of two. While you might think you know the basics, here are 7 tennis facts you didn’t know, yet.
Tennis facts: What’s in a game?
Let’s start with a quick lowdown on the game. The word tennis originated from the French word Tenez, which means to hold or to receive. The sport originated in France around the 12th century.
Originally, the game was played with the palm of the hand; it was like a game of handball. To the monks who played it, the game was “jeu de paume,” which means the game of the palm. Nets and rackets can later in the 16th century.
As for a few basics of tennis today, each match starts from a coin toss. The player who wins the toss has the opportunity to serve first, and also decides which side they want to serve on.
Tennis is played on a rectangular court, with a net across the center. The main object is to hit the ball within the court and win points when your opponent fails to return the ball.
When there is 1 player at each side of the court, it is a singles match. Meanwhile, if 2 players are on each side of the court then it’s called a doubles match.
Some more surprising tennis facts are:
1. Tiebreak rules
The tiebreaker was introduced by Van Alan in 1965. There are 2 types of tennis tiebreakers: the sudden death, and the lingering death.
Sudden death tiebreak happens after a maximum of 9 points, while the lingering death is after maximum 12 points. The lingering tiebreaker continues until one team wins the match with a clear margin of 2 points.
The tiebreak was firstly used at Wimbledon in 1971.
2. The yellow ball was introduced in 1972
Before that, the tennis balls were white. Then, in 1972, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) discovered through a survey that the color yellow was easier for TV viewers to see at home.
Wimbledon continued to use the white ball until 1986, however. Then they introduced yellow ones.
Some people think they’re green though… And that dispute continues to rage on.
To win the match, you need to score (15 as 1 point), 30 as 2 points, 40 as 3, and the fourth point is considered to be the winning score. If it would be 40 40 on the scorecard then the situation is called deuce, and if the game is in deuce the player needs to win the match by a score of 2 points.
Also, if the ball doesn’t stay wwithin the opponent’s area or if it hits the net, then the player will eventually lose the point.
4. For the win
To win the match, a player must win certain sets. To achieve the victory, it’s the best of 3 for women matches and best of 5 for men matches.
For someone to win a set requires winning 6 games with a margin of 2. For example, if you win 5 games, then your opponent must win by 7; the difference would be 2 clear points.
5. Major events
Wimbledon, the most prestigious tournament of tennis, is also the oldest in the world. It was first played in 1877.
Wimbledon is one of only four Grand Slam tournaments on the tennis tour. It brings big names like Serena Williams to the court.
The awesome Billie Jean King took Wimbledon, as well as two other Grand Slams (the U.S. Open and French Open) all in the same year, 1972.
That was just a year after the tiebreaker was firstly introduced in 1971 in Wimbledon.
Today, tennis continues to be a favorite competition in the Summer Olympic Games. It’s been a part of the Olympics since the first Summer Games of 1896.
More tennis facts:
There are also different combinations of fibers used by companies. Other materials on the market for tennis rackets include titanium, basalt, tungsten, and Kevlar.
As for the tennis ball (yellow… or green), its weight should be between 56 to 58 grams. That’s about 2-2.5 ounches. The ball is usually changed after an agreed-upon number of games, such as every 6th game.
7. Court area
It’s a rectangular court that can have 4 surface types:
- Hard surface area
A tennis court features baseline and service areas, as well as a sideline. The standard size is 27 feet wide for single matches and 78 feet long.
The net should be 3 feet and 6 inches high, and for the double match the wide length (width) should be 36 feet (the height remains the same).
In men’s competition, Roger Federer has won 20 Grand Slam single titles until 2018, and, on the women’s side, Margaret Court dominated 24 singles titles. In 2007, the price of the championship of Wimbledon for both men and women become equal – which isn’t yet true of most other major sports.
Tennis facts conclusions
Whether you’re watching a match or participating in a game on the weekend with friends, knowing the rules and other facts above can help you better understand the fun game. Use the trivia to stump your buddies or to get ahead in a friendly competition.
As you practice more, notice how your tennis skills strengthen and be proud of how your fitness improves too. Tennis works the legs, obviously, but also the arms and abs, so you’re getting a great full body workout!
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