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The Birth of a Popular Game – Tennis History


Tennis is definitely popular nowadays. We are all aware of the different rules of the game but just some of us know the history that it has. There was one tennis form that was actually popular during the Medievel Ages. Real tennis is what we now refer to it. All started with a ball game that was popular in France around the 12th century. The ball was being hit by using your bear hand or a glove. Racquets began being used only from the 16th century. At that point in time we also saw rules appearing. Real tennis started to be highly popular among royalty.

Even if few are aware of this, you might find it interesting that 1571 was the year when we saw a tennis tour being held for the first time. King Charles IX wanted it to be held. 3 mastering levels appeared for players: apprentice, associate and master. 1599 saw the first ever publishing of a book that contained tennis rules. While France showed us a high popularity of this game England got to the same levels only during Henry VIII’s reign. He built a special tennis court and during the reign of James I we already saw 14 courts available in London alone.

By the 17th century this game was really popular in France, Spain, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy, being played mostly by noblemen. The development seen in England was not helped at all thanks to English Puritanism. Unfortunately Napoleon’s reign also market the abandonment of real tennis. During the 18th and then the 19th centuries we saw good news offered from England. That was the moment when we saw the appearance of squash racquets, lawn tennis and racquets, 3 sports that derived from real tennis. Lawn tennis gained the most popularity and became the game of tennis that we love today. Tennis history could not have existed without France and England and their nobility ranks.


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