History of Tennis

The history of tennis can be traced to French monasteries of the 12th Century traced. After the precursor Jeu de Paume , especially 16th and 17 Century heyday, in the 1870s, was in Great Britain , the modern tennis developed.


The origin of tennis probably goes back to medieval monasteries in northern France. The first mention of it is recognized in the 1219 to 1223 by the Cistercian monk Caesarius of Heisterbach authored Dialogus miraculorum . It describes one Caesarius to playback one in hell scene in which two teams of demons to strike the ball, a human soul, like a tennis game. Already in the costs incurred before 1165 Summa de ecclesiasticis officiis laments the theologian John Beleth one-expanding “bad habit” in French monasteries, the ball game, which would give now bishops and archbishops. [1]

The game was initially without a club, only with an open hand or over striped glove, within the cloister played. The player had to indicate the ball on a sloping roof of the gallery ( Old French apentis, later it engl. penthouse) play. [2] points could probably be achieved by the ball through an archway to the gallery, or even against other parts of the monastery walls was played. A network was at that time still unknown.

Further back in history reaching conjectures that the beginnings of tennis, like most other ball games in ancient Egypt or Persia, situate, [3] are now considered doubtful. [4]
Jeu de Paume
Jeu de Paume outdoors, c.1510

The game spread throughout France under the name of the Jeu de Paume (“playing with the palm of the hand”, and shortly also a la Paume), soon after it reached Flanders and England , where, under the name “Tenesse” or “Tenys” 5 [ ] was known. It is probably with the Frisian Kaatsen (a corruption of cache, referred to as the Jeu de Paume in northern France and was) and the Pärkspel that still on Gotland is played, used. [6] The French King Louis X to in 1316 have died when, after a strenuous game took a large amount of ice-cold wine itself. The Burgundy Duke Philip III. took some 1427 Margot from Hainault to his court, so they played a fee for him. By Charles VIII (1470-98) is reported that he was on the way to a match head so hard on a door lintel came that he died shortly afterwards.
In a Paris Ballhaus, 17 Century

From 1450′s tennis in Germany, first in the area around Cologne shows where caetschen of monks, under the name or mention khatsen. It was initially a kind of street tennis in public places. [7]

Unlike today, the game was often played not only for pure amusement or for physical training, but high stakes.

From the early 16th Century were used in Paris, the first bat to relieve the heavy traffic palms. They were probably first made ​​from solid wood (similar to today’s beach tennis ), 1539, however, were in Paris already rackets strung with gut strings. [8] rich nobles built their palaces in one’s own tennis halls, next were especially from 16 Century the public buildings ( bale houses ) opens. Besides tennis was played by the common people in the open air, where it was also known as jeu de bonde (“jump ball”) or jeu de tamis (“playing with Getreidesieb”) refers. [9] The balls were made ​​of leather and were with wool or hair filled. [10]

1555 wrote the Italian priest Antonio Scaino from Salò a book titled Trattato del Giuoco della Palla, in which he. five ball games, including the Jeu de Paume, describes Scaino made ​​to detailed sketches of tennis courts, including a hall in the Louvre where.

The heyday of the Jeu de Paume experienced in the 16th and 17 Century, when it was played in many European countries. Middle of the 17th Century was in New York opened a space. [11] tennis players were, among others, the French king Francis I (1515-47) and his successor, Henry II (1519-59). In Paris there were specialized craftsmen (Paumiers), the first balls, rackets and later also manufactured the guild formed the Paumier-Raquetier. Tennis was in England of Henry V (1387-1422) and Henry VIII played (1491-1547). In Hampton Court Palace is a built from 1526 to 1529 tennis court of Henry VIII, 1628 rebuilt in its present form was obtained. [12] During the reign of James I. was (1566-1625) is in London, 14 tennis courts. Even at universities own bale houses were established, for example, at Tübingen Collegium illustrious .
Game end students, Tübingen, about 1598

From about 1540 in Paris, the first places with string or cord were provided, which were transversely stretched across the middle of the square and form the precursor of today’s network. [13] It was now the additional rule that the ball had to be played over the cord . To avoid controversy, whether a ball above or below the line had been played, we started to attach the cord smaller cords, which reached to the ground.

Even in Shakespeare’s Henry V (1599) finds mention tennis. Henry receives the French crown prince a basket of tennis balls, thus mocking the Henry claim to the French throne, given his young age. Henry’s angry response contains a number of references to the medieval tennis: “When we have our rackets to these balls match’d, we will, in France, by God’s grace, play a set [that] shall strike his father’s crown into the hazard . Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler that all the courts of France will be disturb’d with Chaces. “(Act 1, scene 2). “Set” is the phrase still used today, as a “hazard” was referred to the side of the back and alternate team at “chace” it was a peculiarity of the Jeu de Paume, the Schassenregel (see below).

The exercise of the Jeu de Paume was the rulers banned several times, including most recently in England under Oliver Cromwell , and in France, despite the Ballhaus oath , during the French Revolution . End of the 18th Century, it eventually lost in importance.

Today the game is played in Anglo-Saxon countries even where, as opposed to modern tennis, under the name of real tennis (also Royal Tennis) known.
Description of a real tennis center, England, 19 Century

The rules of the Jeu de Paume differed in several respects from today’s tennis. In ballrooms and halls in the corresponding surcharge was always from the same side of the square (English service side). The ball had to indicate on the roof of the gallery located laterally, often sat in the audience, will be played. Behind the serving team was a large opening, the Dedan. The team now had retournierende try to hit the ball to the opponents to pass in the Dedans. However, the serving team could score points by keeping the ball in different smaller openings, such as the so-called cricket (also French version of Craticula , the lattice window of a monastery) or lune, conveyed in the wall behind the serving team kickback.

Next to it was the Schassenregel (French chasse, Eng. Chase) of importance. If a ball for the second time in a row jumped up on the floor, then this was not unlike today considered an error, but instead had a player receives the ball – in his best interest as early as possible – catch and called Schasse point where he ball to had captured (later the one where the ball came up for the second time on the ground), was labeled. Then the pages were changed, and now had the team that had previously caught the ball, get a longer Schasse, ie play the ball so that he could be caught after two popping up on the ground until after the mark from the previous rally. Succeeded, they got a point, the opposing team could prevent this, then this, a point is awarded. On the real tennis courts are as a marker for boot out lines parallel admitted to the network in the ground.
Jeu de tamis the 17th Century

The tennis courts were not identical in structure, so there were lune grille or at various points of the square, or were even omitted entirely. Even the Dedans, the large opening behind the Aufschlägern was bricked in some places, what was then known as jeu de carré. [14] There was talk at places also courte carré (without corresponding hole) and courte Dedans (with opening).

When outdoors by the common people play jeu de bonde the surcharge was also on a side sloped roof, which later was often instead of the roof of one Getreidesieb that one placed in a washing tub or wooden stakes, or similar roof dummy used. The game was so well jeu de tamis (“playing with Getreidesieb”) called. [15] In addition to successful boot out you could probably earn points by playing the ball behind the last player from the opposing team and this rule is in the Jeu de Longue Paume , which is still played in France usual. [16]
Modern Tennis
Invention of the Lawn Tennis

A precondition for the emergence of the modern tennis was the industrialization , and in particular the discovery of vulcanization by Charles Goodyear in 1839. Only now it was possible to produce relatively small balls against moisture and dirt resistant and were generally robust and at the same time had good jumping qualities. The mechanization of operations and the use of machines made ​​it possible to produce these balls in large quantities.

The birth of the modern tennis can be subsequently traced to two factors.
Tennis in the United States, 1880s

By 1858 the combined attorney Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera , a Spanish merchant, different parts of the game rackets and the Spanish pelota together and played it on a Croquetfeld in Birmingham . 1872 the couple moved to Leamington Spa , where she founded two years later along with two doctors from the local hospital the first tennis club in the world, the Leamington Lawn Tennis Club, which organized their own tournaments from 1876. [17]

In December 1873, the British invented Major Walter Clopton Wingfield a similar game for the guests to his garden party. He called the game first Sphairistikè (Σφάίρίστική, from Greek sphairistikos, “belonging to the ball game”), which soon derisively by critics of the game to Sticky [18] (“sticky, chewy”) was shortened. In February 1874 he announced his invention as a patent on and shortly afterwards gave out an eight-page rule book titled “Sphairistikè or Lawn Tennis”. The rules of lawn tennis were the modern tennis already very similar points, however, could be achieved only by the serving team. The playing field was an area of 60 by 30 feet lower than today, and the baseline is slightly wider than the network, making the entire space in the form of an hourglass possessed. The network, however, was 1 foot (30 cm) higher than today.
Title page of Wingfield rulebook, February 1874

In the following years were tennis sets consisting rackets, balls and a net, under license from Wingfield sells French and Co. in the UK and enjoyed such popularity that soon competing manufacturer also sets brought out. The popularity of the new sport contributed decisively that from the beginning, women were allowed to participate in the Game. [19] The game was in the early days mostly on Croquet – or cricket grounds hits that were very well suited for it. Army in journals such as the Army and Navy Gazette, or The Field, the game was promoted several times and contributed actively discussed.

1877 refrained Wingfield to extend his patent. He had already lost interest in the game in 1875 and printed in a letter published in The Field announced to turn to other things. [20]
Revision of the rules, the first Wimbledon tournament
Wimbledon 1883

As the new tennis game was played in the early days by different rules, formed in the wake out several initiatives to standardize the rules. As of March 1875 by the Commission was a Marylebone Cricket Club , a new version of the rules published by which first had to serve in the special boxes made ​​at the net. In April 1877, announced the All England Croquet Club – simultaneously with its renamed All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club – on, in July of that year to organize on its premises a large lawn tennis tournament. To this end, the rules were revised again, so was the tennis court to the present dimensions of 27 times 78 feet (single) or 36 times 78 feet (double) increases and assumed rectangular shape, the height of the net has been reduced. Once more the size of the service courts was adjusted, the tennis court was 1880 its present dimensions. While initially singles and doubles was played on different courses, they united in the course of the 1890s, the need for both types of lines on a square game.

The first tournament at Wimbledon in July 1877, by Spencer Gore , a captain of the cricket team from Harrow won. In 1884, the Women’s competition was added, with Maud Watson was the first winner. In the first decades of the Wimbledon Championships were held in the “Challenge Round” process. This meant that the last year’s winner. Automatically qualified for the finals and there against the players took, which was previously in the tournament through against the other challengers This method was used even until 1922. [21]

In January 1888, the British tennis federation, which was Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) was founded. He took over the rules of the All England Club, which had reserved the right to stage the British Championships.
Distribution outside the UK
United States

The subsequent seven-time U.S. champion Richard Sears reported that his brother Fred bought already in August 1874 is one of Wingfield tennis sets and there with his cousin James Dwight at a vacation home in Nahant at Boston played. The writer Martha Summerhayes According Lawn Tennis was established in October 1874 in Camp Apache north of present-day Tucson in Arizona played. [22] As the “mother of American tennis” is, however, often Mary Outerbridge called. These learned Lawn Tennis during a stay on Bermuda by British soldiers know. Upon their return to the United States , probably in the spring of 1875, she built on the site of Staten Iceland Cricket Club in New York on a tennis court. [23] The head of the cricket club was her brother. [24]
First competition in the U.S. on Staten Iceland , 1880

In September 1880 there was the first American championship aligned the Englishman Otway Woodhouse won. He had already played in the tournament in Wimbledon in the same year and during a stay in the United States accidentally in the newspaper from the tournament. [25]

In May 1881 the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (USNLTA), founded, which later became the United States Tennis Association emerged (USTA). At the same time it was decided, the annual championships in late August in Newport in Rhode Iceland hold. The first tournament was held in the same year and was won by Richard Sears. 1916 the first American Championships Men were by Forest Hills in New York’s Queens moved while taking findenen since 1887 the Women’s competitions until 1934 in Philadelphia were held. [26]

The first tennis sets were probably brought by British travelers to France. As the oldest club for lawn tennis in France is DECIMAL club called the 1877 ten Englishmen in Paris was founded. [27] In 1878 in the resorts of Dinard and Le Havre founded more tennis clubs of English tourists, [28] which at the first beach played. Over time, they established a seven hard courts and held until 1898 tournaments.

The formative subsequently clubs were formed in the 1880s in Paris. 1882 was the Racing Club founded by a group of young men in Paris sports enthusiast. The former students of Lycée Condorcet had regularly from 1880 race at the station Saint-Lazare delivered that had temporarily become a Parisian attraction with coverage in various tabloid magazines. Beginning in 1885 the Lawn Tennis Club took to the program, for which the city of Paris a year later, an area in the Bois de Boulogne was made ​​available. After being initially established lawns, this soon to be transformed into hard courts, as these require much less maintenance. Another Parisian sports club, Stade Français , was established in 1883. First, the members played tennis since 1889 in the hall, before 1899 at Saint-Cloud, several tennis courts were built. [29]

In 1891 the Championnat de France, the French Championships and forerunner of French Open , held alternately in the grounds of Stade Français and Racing Club. The first winner was the Englishman H. Briggs . And 1925 to participate in the national championships only to members of French tennis clubs was reserved.

By 1880, Lawn Tennis was also in the former British colony of Australia spread. 1904, three years after its independence from the United Kingdom, Australia, was in preparation for Australia’s participation in the Davis Cup , the Australasian Lawn Tennis Association, the forerunner of Tennis Australia , was founded. In 1905, at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in Melbourne , the first Australasian Championships held that later became the Australian Open developed. Only in 1922 a women’s competition was held. The Australian Open has been a long time in various cities in Australia and New Zealand fought until they were installed in 1972 on the tennis courts of the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Melbourne. Since 1988 the venue for the specially created is Melbourne Park . Until the 1980s, due to the long travel path took only a few professional players from Europe and America attended the Australian Open. [30]
Lawn Tennis in Germany, 1876

As in France, it was introduced in Germany as the Lawn Tennis by travelers from the UK. In August 1874, ordered an English lord Pettersham one Tennisset to his hotel after Bad Homburg . In einer Notiz auf einer 1876 in Bad Homburg aufgenommenen Fotografie, die ein Tennisspiel zeigt, wird dem Schotten Sir Robert Anstruther zugeschrieben, das Tennisspiel nach Deutschland gebracht zu haben. [31]

The counting of today’s tennis originated in the Jeu de Paume. There has already been counted around 1415 the Score in 15s increments. To win a game you had to, like today, scored four points, which was the score the 60th Already in the middle of the 16th Century was the reason for this counting forgotten and made ​​fertile ground for various speculations. [78] Among other things, the counting arising from the face of a clock. [79] According to another theory is that counting on then usual betting amounts go back. Several coins in medieval France (eg the gros denier tournois ) were in 15 Sous divided. The number 60 is the French one count limit (70, 80 and 90 are expressed by combinations of smaller numbers), suggesting that most of the people at that time could only count to 60. In addition, several cities in the Middle Ages (including Nuremberg and Munich known) that there is a wager of a citizen per day could not exceed 60 cents. [78]

Already in the 15th Century is well known that with a score of 45:45 the team which won the game, who won two consecutive boot out for themselves. Once a team won the first Schasse, they had loud “advantage” call (german advantage, French avantage). This resulted in the current Score advantage. As time was probably 45 to 40 simplified, thereby Scores in French short words (XV – trente – quarante) corresponded. The Deuce in the English language used for the acquisition is a corruption of the French “à deux (points) du jeu” (“two points for the game”). [80]

Another in the Anglo-Saxon area used term – Love for the score 0 – is also often attributed to the französche language: “l’œuf” (the egg) to be the origin, due to the fact that the zero digit of an egg resembles. However, the sounds were of similar derived from the French words transformed into a different form in the English language; Thus, from the French word “steak” the English “beef”. Another theory is that the phrase alludes to a proverbial correlation between success in the game and in love. There are, for example, in English the phrase “neither for love, nor for money” in (neither pure (neighbor) love or money) or “Unlucky at cards, lucky in love”, in the German language in “bad luck cards, lucky in love known. ” A third possibility is that Love is derived from the Dutch lof (honor), an expression – “omme lof”, playing for pride – is being used in medieval tennis in the Netherlands. Also, the expressions of other games (for example in backgammon ) taken from the English from the Dutch. [81]
Other terms

Grand Slam: The term originated in the card game Bridge , where he will be in the German language area referred to as “big slam”, French “Grand Chelem” and stands for the profit of all thirteen possible stitches. The first reference is to use tennis with John F. Kieran , a columnist for the New York Times back. Kieran wrote in 1933 about Jack Crawford after his victory at the Australian and French Championships and Wimbledon Championships in the same year, if this was going to win the U.S. Championships, it was like a “Grand Slam on courts” (a “Grand Slam the tennis courts “). [82] Subsequently, while Crawford in the final of the U.S. Championships the British Fred Perry defeated, the first Grand Slam succeeded in the men’s 1938 Don Budge , in the women’s 1953 Maureen Connolly .
Center Court: Today, the term for the place where the most important games are played and offers the most spectators. Until 1922, this was at the Wimbledon Championships actually imitten the other places.

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