Lawn Tennis

 

Lawn Tennis

Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis. It had close connections both to various field (lawn) games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older racket sport today called real tennis.

Tennis is a sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to manoeuvre the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.

 

Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is also a popular worldwide spectator sport. The four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the Majors) are especially popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open also played on hard courts.


Racket



The components of a tennis racket include a handle, known as the grip, connected to a neck which joins a roughly elliptical frame that holds a matrix of tightly pulled strings. The frame of the hitting area may not be more than 29 inches (74 cm) in length and 12.5 inches (32 cm) in width. Earlier rackets were made of wood and strings were of animal gut. Afterwards rackets were made of metal and then composites of carbon graphite, ceramics, and then rackets of lighter metals such as titanium were introduced. These stronger materials enabled the production of oversized rackets that yielded yet more power. Meanwhile, technology led to the use of synthetic strings to match the feel of gut.


Ball


Tennis balls were originally made of cloth strips stitched together with thread and stuffed with feathers. Modern tennis balls are made of hollow vulcanized rubber with a felt coating. In the beginning the ball was white in colour, but the colour was gradually changed to optic yellow in the latter part of the 20th century to allow for improved visibility. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) defines the official diameter of a ball as 65.41–68.58 mm (2.575–2.700 in). Balls must weigh between 56.0 and 59.4 g (1.98 and 2.10 oz).


Court



Tennis is played on a rectangular, flat surface. The court is 78 feet (23.77 m) long, and 27 feet (8.2 m) wide for singles matches and 36 ft (11 m) for doubles matches. Additional clear space around the court is required in order for players to reach overrun balls. A net is stretched across the full width of the court, parallel with the baselines, dividing it into two equal ends.

 

The match

A match consists of a sequence of sets. The outcome is determined through a best of three or five sets system. On the professional circuit, men play best-of-five-set matches at all four Grand Slam tournaments, Davis Cup, and the final of the Olympic Games and best-of-three-set matches at all other tournaments, while women play best-of-three-set matches at all tournaments. The first player to win two sets in a best-of-three, or three sets in a best-of-five, wins the match. Each Set contains six games, played with alternative service and return, ergo, to win a set; a player needs to triumph in at least six games, with a minimum margin of two games.

Additionally, the initiating score in all games is ‘love’ which in tennis jargon implies a zero. Every point won hereon adds fifteen in numeric to love, therefore, from zero to 15, then 30, and 40, and eventually game point wins the game. Hence, four points in all. Once the competing players or pairing teams are on the same score in terms of points, it is regarded as a 15-all, or 30-all, and so on. If in the same game, both opponents equally win three points; it is referred to as ‘Deuce’, instead of 40-all.  The player that wins the next point is then on ‘Advantage’, necessitating two consecutive points, as margin, to claim the game.

 

Tournaments

Event

Dates

Venue

Surface            

Australian Open  

mid/late January

Melbourne Park, Melbourne

Hard

French Open

late May/ early June

Stade Roland Garros,

Paris                           

Clay

Wimbledon

late June/ early July

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club,

London

Grass

US Open

late August/ early September

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,

New York City           

Hard               

           


Ace Players

Men

Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic

Women

Serena Williams

Venus Williams

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