What is interesting in tennis? Well, everything!
Tennis is a racket sport with a fascinating history. Even today, the sport is a gift that keeps on giving.
Here are some of the most interesting tennis facts.
- The word “tennis” originated from an Anglo-Norman term “tenez” which means “to take heed.”
- Tennis was used to be played using the palm. Thus, it was called “jeu de paume” or game of the palm. The racquet was first used in the 16th century.
- Players can only wear white tennis wear, but in the 1960s to 1970s, colours and styles were introduced. When it was played Great Britain originally, men wore long white flannels while women wore whalebone corsets paired with starched petticoats.
- The oldest tennis court, the Royal Tennis Court found at Hampton Court Palace, was still used today. The court was Henry VIII’s favourite court for playing tennis. It was built from 1526 to 1529.
- Tennis courts have initially been in hourglass shape before the standard rectangular court was adapted.
- Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament. It was first Lawn tennis, which later became simply tennis, was originally played on grass courts. Today, Wimbledon is the only major tournament played on grass cut at precisely 8 mm height during the tournament.
- The Open era began in 1968, and the French Open was the first tournament to be played.
- The term “love” in tennis’s scoring system originated from the word “l’oeuf,” a French term that means “egg.” Its shape resembles zero on the scoreboard.
- In tennis, when the ball hits any body part of the opponent or his or her clothing, the point is awarded to the opponent. The rule is also upheld if the ball went outside.
- Tennis balls are either yellow or green, but for some, it is greenish-yellow or yellowish-green. In1986, yellow tennis balls were used for the first time at Wimbledon.
- Tennis balls were originally a ball of rubber covered with white flannel. JM Heathcote, a real tennis player, developed that design.
- Today, the tennis ball must weigh from 56 to 59.4 grams while the length of tennis racquet must be 29 inches.
- Every year, about 54,250 tennis balls were used during Wimbledon.
- The longest tennis match, which John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played, took 11 hours and 5 minutes; Isner won the game.
- The shortest Wimbledon match was played for 34 minutes. It was between Steffi Graf and Natasha Zvereva in 1988 where Graf triumphed 6-0, 6-0.
- Tennis was reintroduced into the Olympics in 1988. The sport was first introduced in 1986 but was removed in 1924.
- Men’s winners are given the golden cup while women’s winners are given the salver.
- Sam Groth, an Australian, is the fastest server in men’s tennis at 263.44 km/h while Sabine Lisicki, a German, holds the record for the fastest women server with 211 km/h.
- Arthur Ashe won the US Open for the first time in 1968; he was the first African American to do so.
- Venus and Serena Williams were the first sisters ever to win Olympic gold medals.
- Roger Federer holds the highest career prize money at $93.4 million as of June 2019.
- Tennis grunt is a thing, and Maria Sharapova holds the record for the loudest grunt at 105 decibels.
- A Harris hawk was stationed at every Wimbledon match to help in keeping the sky clear from any local pigeons. His name is Rufus. Rufus has a Twitter account with more than 5,000 followers.