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The History of Tennis

Tennis is believed to have originated around the 12th century in France by French monks. Before it was called tennis, the game was called Jeu De Paume, meaning "game of the palm" which involved hitting a ball with the palm of one's bare hand across the net to an opponent on the other side of a hard indoor court. The word tennis  comes from the Anglo French tenets "hold", "take" and "receive", which players called out before serving.​


Outdoor tennis, also known as lawn tennis, was invented by Welsh major Walter Clapton Wingfield. He originally called it Sphairistike, derived from the Greek word, Sphairos, meaning ball. Later on, friends of his suggested that he change the name to lawn tennis, a game that could be played by all instead of only by the wealthy as regular citizens did not have access to indoor courts as they did not have the money.


​Up until the 16th century, tennis was played using one's hand. Finally in the 16th century, the racket was introduced. The scoring system was also invented around this time. Despite originating in France, tennis was solidified as a modern game in England around the late 1800s.​​

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