Tennis is enjoyed by millions of recreational players and is also a hugely popular worldwide spectator sport, especially the four Grand Slam tournaments(also referred to as the "Majors"): the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open played also on hard courts.
Most historians believe that tennis originated in France in the 12th century, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand. It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use, andthe game began to be called "tennis." It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, which historians now refer to as real tennis.
Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of rackets and the Basque ball game pelota, which theyplayed on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, United Kingdom. In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club in Leamington Spa.
The components of a tennis racquet are a handle and neck joining a roughly elliptical frame that holds a matrix of tightly pulled strings. For the first 100 years of the modern game, racquets were of wood and of standardsize, and strings were of animal gut. Laminated wood construction yielded more strength in racquets used through most of the 20th century until first metal and then composites of carbon graphite, ceramics, and lighter metals such as titanium were introduced. These stronger materials enabled the production of oversized rackets that yielded yet more power. Meanwhile technology led to the use ofsynthetic strings that match the feel of gut yet with added durability.
Under modern rules of tennis, the racquet must adhere to the following guidelines;
* The hitting area, composed of the strings, must be flat and generally uniform.
* The frame of the hitting area may not be more than 29 inches in length and 12.5 inches in width.
* The entire racquet must be of a fixed shape, size,weight, and weight distribution. There may not be any energy source built into the racquet.
* The racquet must not provide any kind of communication, instruction or advice to the player during the match.
The rules regarding racquets have changed over time, as material and engineering advances have been made. For example, the maximum length of the frame had been 32 inches until 1997, when itwas shortened to 29 inches.
Main article: Tennis ball
Tennis balls are of hollow rubber with a felt coating. Traditionally white, the predominant color was gradually changed to Optic Yellow in the latter part of the 20th century to allow for improved visibility
Main article: Serve (tennis)
A serve (or, more formally, a "service") in tennis is a shot to start a point. Theserve is initiated by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it (usually near the apex of its trajectory) into the diagonally opposite service box without touching the net. The serve may be hit under- or overhand. If the ball hits the net on the first serve and bounces over into the correct diagonal box then it is called a "let" and the server gets two more additional serves to get it in. If theserver misses his or her first serve and gets a let on the second serve, then they get one more try to get the serve in the box.]
Main article: Forehand
For a right-handed player, the forehand is a stroke that begins on the right side of the body, continues across the body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the left side of the body. There are various grips for executing...