Real Tennis: The Beginning
Hailed as the ‘sport of kings', real tennis is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis descends. First played around 12th century in France, real tennis evolved over three centuries. In the beginning, the game was played using bare hands and had similarities to sports like handball, pelota, fives and palla. By 16th century, there were more than 250 courts operating in Paris alone according to Papal Legate. During this time, racquets were introduced in the game and several rules were stabilized.
During the 15th century, royal interest had been developed in the sport beginning with Henry V. However, Henry VIII's reign was the most prosperous for real tennis. The young monarch promoted the sport heavily throughout England by playing at Hampton Court that he built in 1530.
The modern tennis initially began in Birmingham, England during the late 19th century. More famously called ‘Lawn Tennis' at that time, the sport was heavily influenced by real tennis as well as other games such as bowls and croquet. During the 19th century, modern tennis was known as ‘lawn tennis' where as the word ‘tennis' was generally used for real tennis.
In 1913, an international governing body called the International Lawn Tennis Federation was formed to oversee rules and regulations of lawn tennis around the world. In 1923, the governing body promulgated comprehensive rules that have become a standard in the tennis world. The federation of national association dropped ‘Lawn' from its name, becoming the International Tennis Federation in order to acknowledge the different surfaces the sport is now played on.
Grand Slams are the most celebrated and prestigious tennis tournaments around the world. The four Grand Slams or Majors include the US Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open. The championship tournaments are held annually and attract thousands of tennis fans from around the world. The events are held in a chronological order each year, with the Australian Open taking place in January. It is followed by French Open that takes place during late May and early June. Wimbledon follows next and is played in London, UK. It is the oldest of the four Grand Slams, starting in 1877. The last Grand Slam of the year is US Open, played on Deco Turf courts. The US Open is held in New York City, USA, over a period of two weeks beginning in late August.
The Live Experience
Witnessing a tennis game is always an edge of the seat affair for the fans. The players' accuracy and skills keep the audiences captivated throughout the match. Every season thousands of Tennis tickets are sold around the world, making it one of the most popular modern sports today. The matches are played on several different surfaces such as clay, grass and hard courts, with each having its own appeal.
This season, some of the most highly awaited tennis tournaments and fixtures include Sony Open Tennis Sessions, NHRA Nationals, New Haven Open, US Open Championship, Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and Rogers Cup Men's Tennis Canada. All avid sports lovers are advised to reserve their seats and be a part of an exciting tennis season for a memorable sporting experience.