Sports historians believe that tennis started in the 12th century in France when balls were batted about using the palm of one’s hand. Henry VIII of England became a huge fan of the indoor version of this sport that had begun to be played with racquets. This was the start of “real tennis” as we know it today.
Now today we have composite racquet graphics and special nylon strings, fuzzy yellow balls, machines to tells us if we faulted on a serve and tennis shoes galore. But its still that same fundamental game of back and forth across the net.
So tennis is indeed the grand sport of kings. There is something elegant and “high minded” about the sport. And, just so you know, there is a reason singles is far more popular than doubles. Its the idea of a man against man (or woman against woman) in battle. That one on one match of wills for who can be the fastest, the most cunning and the strongest.
Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility. ~ Billie Jean King
I hate to lose more than I love to win. ~ Jimmy Connors
It’s one-on-one out there, man. There ain’t no hiding. I can’t pass the ball. ~Pete Sampras
Other sports don’t really compare to tennis. Most all of them are team sports except perhaps for Golf. But only tennis combines the one one action of two people going at it. Basketball has its superstar and fast paced play but its still about the team working together for victory. Football (the NFL) is brutal of giant men lead by a quarterback throwing a ball high over the heads of linemen and the game win could all come down to the play of a kicker. Soccer is the non-stop running action of the soccer ball being kicked around the field. Hockey is frigid and fast paced with the occasional fights for the delight of the crowd.
With tennis, there is nothing quite like it. The Wimbledon crowd at center court in England watching two of the greats dueling each other serve after serve and volley after volley – back and forth. It might be the excitement of a new comer making the grand stage (think Boris Becker or Tracy Austin) for the first time out of no where.
And yes, it can even be the friendly match at your local tennis club. Both still have that focus of its all on my shoulders to win. You have to plan, run, endure and dig deep. Like Pete Sampras said, you can’t pass the ball. Tennis can also be a great way to socialize. A great match at the club then a friendly lunch can be great to do with friend or new acquaintance.
Even its origin in “Real Tennis” which is the King’s sport speaks to its sense of nobleness, valor and individual triumph against everyone. When your the ranked #1 in tennis you sit on top of the sports world. The many greats through out history including Chris Everett, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Arthur Ash, Serena Williams, John McEnroe, Billy Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Jim Courier and so many more have reached that pinnacle.
If you haven’t considered tennis as a sport to play and follow, you should. If your out playing today keep it up, encourage others to join what is known as the Sport of Kings!
- US Open Official Site – Homepage | US OPEN
Official site for the US Open, with live scores, news, highlights, tickets, tournament history, player profiles, and more.
The official site of the Australian Open is designed, built and hosted by IBM. Follow the championship tennis tournament, view live scores and learn about the players.
- Roland Garros – Le site officiel des Internationaux de France présenté par IBM
The exclusive home of Roland Garros delivering the most complete coverage of the French Open. Le site officiel de Roland Garros vous propose une couverture exhaustive des Internationaux de France.
- Wimbledon Championships Website – Official Site by IBM
The official site of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club is presented by IBM. Follow The Championships, get live scores and results, and see who will win this grand slam tennis tournament.
Interesting Tennis Facts
1. The fastest women’s serve ever recorded was by Venus Williams at 205 km/h
2. Henry “Bunny” Austin first wore shorts at Wimbledon in 1932
3. Strawberries are very popular at Wimbledon and nearly 24 tons are consumed
4. The only major tournament still played on grass is Wimbledon
5. The person with the most grand slam titles is Margaret Smith Court with 24
6. Arthur Ashe was the first African American to win the US open
7. Those fuzzy yellow balls were first used at Wimbledon in 1986