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The History of Tennis

While tennis is a highly popular sport today, the history of tennis goes a long way before what it has become today. While the original game of tennis might have been different from what is currently played it is still one that has a strong history over the years.


The history of tennis starts about fifteen hundred years before the start of the Common Era. Drawings on Egyptian temple walls have shown what appears to be an early form of the game. This appears to have been an activity that was related to religious traditions. This idea was brought to the southern part of France around the year 800. This was done under the influence of the Moors.

The history of tennis in Europe first appeared as Christian monks played the game. Called “La Soule,” players used their hands or a small stick to hit the ball from side to side. Eventually this game would spread to the public. A leather glove for handling the ball was soon introduced into the game, thus adding to the level of control of the ball. A small wooden stick was added to the glove. This made it similar to the tennis racket that is commonly used today.

The balls in tennis were originally made of wood. Eventually they became softer and made of different materials. This helped to get the game to be more popular in royal palaces around France.

The history of tennis continues into the sixteenth century. The game was called palm at this time, and the word tennis became used because it was shouted by players in France at the start of the game to state that the play can begin.

The general public is the next part of the history of tennis. The game spread around Europe in the seventeenth century, and English king Henry VIII was especially fond of the game.

In the nineteenth century the history of tennis continued to grow after the French Revolution stinted its progress. More tennis clubs were built around Europe, and lawn tennis became popular. This was especially seen in the forming of the Lawn Tennis Club in 1877.

With vulcanized rubber in production balls could be softer and easier to handle. Also, clay courts became popular, as the grass on courts could die easily.

Many organized meets are a part of the history of tennis. After the Lawn Tennis Club was formed a tournament was held for the sport, and eventually a committee for the club worked to create a system of rules for the game. The Wimbledon Championship was soon formed as a result. This tournament is still considered to be the greatest in the history of tennis.

Tennis became even more popular in the 1930s as matches were broadcast around the world on radio. After World War II the game became more popular in North America.

The history of tennis ends here, but with the sport growing in popularity the history of tennis is nowhere near completed.


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