Good morning! Today from Slazenger Heritage, your vintage sportswear brand, we want to share some fun facts about tennis that are super interesting to know for lovers of tennis and for those who want to learn new things and curiosities about it.
Who invented tennis?
Tennis as we know it today was developed in England at the end of the 19th century. Although its origins go back to similar games played in France and other parts of Europe since the Middle Ages.
As for who “invented” modern tennis, it is credited to Harry Gem and Augurio Perera. Two friends from Birmingham, England, who created a ball game that they played on a rectangular court divided by a net in 1873. They called this game “rubber ball” and it was the basis of modern tennis.
Subsequently, the game evolved and rules and there were standards established for the court, the ball, the net and the rackets, giving rise to the sport that nowadays we know as tennis.
10 fun facts about tennis
As one of the oldest and most popular sports in the world, tennis has a rich history filled with fascinating stories and fun facts. From the origins of the game to the most memorable moments in its history, there is no shortage of interesting tidbits for fans to explore. Here are just a few of the many fun facts about tennis that you may not have known.
- As we have said before, modern tennis originated in Birmingham, England, at the end of the 19th century. Originally, it was played on grass, which explains why tennis courts are still called “turf” in some places.
- The first major tennis tournament was at Wimbledon in 1877 and it is still one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world.
- Modern tennis balls are yellow to make them more visible on TV. Before, they used to be white.
- The youngest tennis player to win a Grand Slam tournament is Michael Chang, who won the French Open in 1989 at the age of 17.
- The most expensive tennis racket ever sold was a limited-edition racket made by Swiss luxury watch brand Richard Mille, which sold for more than $1.1 million.
- American tennis player, Billie Jean King, won an exhibition match against former men’s champion Bobby Riggs in 1973. This match was “Battle of the Sexes” and became a milestone for the gender equality movement in sport.
- The longest tennis match in history lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played this match at Wimbledon in 2010.
- Tennis legend Arthur Ashe was the first African-American man to win a Grand Slam tournament. He took home the title at the US Open in 1968.
- Tennis players tend to change rackets frequently, sometimes after each game. This is because racquet strings wear down and lose tension over time, which can affect player performance.
- Tennis is a popular sport around the world, with over a billion people playing or following it.
These fun facts only scratch the surface of the rich history and fascinating stories behind the sport of tennis. From the elegance and grace of the players to the excitement of the matches themselves, tennis has captured the hearts of fans around the world for centuries. Whether you’re a casual observer or a die-hard fan, there is always something new to discover about this beloved sport. So the next time you’re watching a match, take a moment to appreciate the long and storied history that has made tennis the iconic sport it is today.
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