History of lawn tennis:
While the modern game of tennis originated in late 19th century England, most 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". In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe. 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. Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player known by name. 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. 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. During the 18th century and early 19th century, as real tennis declined, new rackets sports emerged in England. Origins of the modern game
Between 1859 and 1865 Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of rackets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played 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. In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield designed and patented a similar game – which he called sphairistike (Greek: σφάίρίστική, from ancient Greek meaning "skill at playing at ball"), and was soon known simply as "sticky" — for the amusement of his guests at a garden party on his estate of Nantclwyd, in Llanelidan, Wales. Sport historians agree that Wingfield deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis. According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, poles, rackets, balls for playing the game -- and most importantly you had his rules. He was absolutely terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had very good connections with the clergy, the law profession, and the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874." The world's oldest tennis tournament, the Wimbledon championships, were first played in London in 1877. The first Championships culminated a significant debate on how to standardize the rules. In America in 1874 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda where she met Major Wingfield. She laid out a tennis court at the Staten Island Cricket Club at Camp Washington, Tompkinsville, New York. The first American National championship was played there in September 1880. An Englishman named O.E Woodhouse won the singles title, and a silver cup worth $100, by defeating Canadian I.F. Hellmuth. There was also a doubles match which was won by a local pair. There were different rules at each club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one normally used in New York. On 21 May 1881, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (now the United States Tennis Association) was formed to standardize the rules and organize competitions. The U.S. National Men's Singles Championship, now the US Open, was first held in 1881 at the Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island. The U.S. National Women's Singles Championships were first held in...
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