The history of tennis
Tennis is a very popular game worldwide, which can be played at any age by anyone. There are several major tennis tournaments all over the world throughout the year but four of them are considered the most important. These are: the Australian Open and the US Open which are played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts and the Wimbledon which is played on grass courts. Those four Grand Slam tournaments also known as “Majors” attract most spectators viewers and bettors worldwide.
The history of tennis is not very clear, but there are some evidences that in the 12th century France a game consisting in hitting a small ball with the hand was played, many historians considering that this is the ancestor of the modern tennis game.
Few centuries later, the rackets were introduced to the game and its name was changed to “tennis”. Staring from 16th century the game becomes very popular in France and England, being played by rich people, but only indoors. In 1873, Major Walter Wingfield created the outdoor version of tennis that was played on a lawn. This version of tennis is very similar to the modern game.
One year later the lawn tennis is brought to America and in 1877 the first World Tennis Championship was held in Wimbledon, London (UK). The very first tennis champion was Spencer Gore. In 1881 the first National Tennis Championship was held in United States, at Newport, Rhode Island. The first American champion was Dick Sears.
In 1884 were introduced the men doubles to the Wimbledon Championships and the tournament is opened for the first time to women. Three years later, the US tennis championship is open to women starting with the U.S. National Women's Singles Championships 1887.
Since the early years of the 20th century the tennis game remained almost unchanged but experienced a constantly increasing popularity as the sport become accessible to practically everyone, not only for upper class members.