Tennis on the court

Tennis is a sport usually played between two players (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to play the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a good return.[1] Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including people in wheelchairs. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis".[2] It had close connections both to various field ("lawn") games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older raquet sport of real tennis. During most of the 19th-century in fact, the term "tennis" referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis: for example, in Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845), Lord Eugene De Vere announces that he will "go down to Hampton Court and play tennis. As it is the Derby [classic horse race], nobody will be there".[3] The rules of tennis have not changed much since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tie-break in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point challenge system, which allows a player to challenge the line (or chair) umpire's call of a point. Players have unlimited opportunities to challenge provided the challenges made are correct. However, once three incorrect challenges are made in a set, they cannot challenge again until the next set. If the set goes to a tie-break, players are given one additional opportunity to challenge the call. This electronic review, called Hawk-Eye, is available at a limited number of high-level ATP and WTA tournaments. 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.

Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th century France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume, which evolved into real tennis, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis out of doors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century".[4] In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe.[4] Unfortunately, in June 1316 at Vincennes, Val-de-Marne and following a particularly exhausting game, Louis drank a large quantity of cooled wine and subsequently died of either pneumonia or pleurisy, although there was also suspicion of poisoning.[5] Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player known by name.[5] Another of the early enthusiasts of the game was King Charles V of France, who had a court set up at the Louvre Palace.[6] It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis", from the Old French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent.[7] 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 is now known as real tennis.[8] During the 18th century and early 19th century, as real tennis declined, new rackets sports emerged in England