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Tennis, the game, which was once originated by European monks to be played for entertainment purpose in religious ceremonies, several thousand years back, is today a world recognized Olympic sport that is played and enjoyed at all levels of society and at all ages. Almost every day, several tennis matches are being played at professional levels in various parts of the world. The tennis players are known to be one of the very highly praised sports celebrities as tennis has a lot of super stardom.

 

During the 12th century, a glove had started being used to cover and prevent the bare hand while throwing the ball. Then in the 16th century and continuing until the mid 18th century, tennis rackets of different shapes and sizes had started being used. The tennis ball has also changed largely over the years, as first it was a wooden ball, then a leather ball stuffed with hair or wool, and then it finally transformed into its present form, with an approximate diameter of 6.7 cm and usually yellow in color.

 

It was the 19th century when the modern game of tennis originated in the U.K., being known as the Lawn Tennis, and it was linked to the ancient game - real tennis. Soon, tennis became popular among the upper crust English-speaking population, which further led to its spread throughout the world, in countries including Canada, Russia, China and India.

 


Tennis is a game which is played between two players (as in singles) or four players (as in doubles), using rackets and a hollow rubber ball, on a rectangular court with a net strung between the middle of the longer sides of the court. It may be played indoors or outdoors. Each player has to hit the ball, which is usually yellow in color, with the racket in his/her hand over the net into the court of the opponent. The person hitting the ball is called the server, and the other one is the receiver. If it is a doubles game, then one person is chosen as the server, and one of the opposing players, is going to be the receiver. Service changes amid the two halves of the court. The server, starts behind his/her own baseline, for each point, flanked by the sideline and the center mark; whereas, the receiver does not have to stand on some particular point and may start from anywhere on their side of the net. The server serves once the receiver is ready. The ball must not touch the net in between of the court, as only then it will be a legal service by the server. It should travel over the net obliquely opposite service box. If, however, the it is not a legal service and the ball get hit by the net in the service box, it would be called a net service, and would be void, resulting in making the server make the serve again. The term fault in tennis refers to when a serve is not over the net, and is long and wide. A term foot fault is also commonly used in tennis, which means that a player's foot has touched the baseline or an extension of the center mark before the ball is hit. When the second serve is also not correct, then this would be called double fault, and it would win the receiver a point. while making legal serves, the game continues smoothly and the first player or team, which fails to make a legal return loses a point.

 

Tennis is ranked as one of the most well-liked spectator and participation sports around the globe. This sport has generated fans and competitors in more than 100 countries all over the world. The most prestigious events in the entire tennis circuit till date are the four Grand Slam tournaments, known as Wimbledon (1877), the US Open (1881), the French Open (1891), and the Australian Open (1905). Like many other sports in the world today, tennis too has a mysterious history. According to a few beliefs, tennis was first played in different versions by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, and the name tennis is derived from the Egyptian town, called Tinnis. However, most historians are of the view that the game came about in either the 11th or 12th century by the French monks, who began to play a simple handball against their monastery walls or over a rope strung across a courtyard. The game was called Jeu de Paume, which translates into English meaning Game of the Hand. A large number of people also believe that the word tennis was actually derived from the French word tenez, which meant something to the effect of take this, said as one competitor would serve to the other.

 

The longest tennis match played till date has been the 2004 French Open. It was played between two French men, called Arnaud Clement and Fabrice Santoro. The famous tennis players borne by various countries around the world include Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Gonzales, Billie Jean King, and numerous more. Other than this, there have been only five people who have won the Grand Slam, i.e. all the four Grand Slams. These include Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver and, Margaret Court, and Steffi Graf.

 

Today, the game is more commonly known as Tennis. The rules of the game have hardly been changed since the 1890s; however, a latest addition to professional tennis has been the implementation of Instant Replay technology together with a point challenge system, allowing a participant to challenge the official call of a point.


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