The History of Tennis

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The History of Tennis
Presentation by: Nikki Cannon
In the beginning
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Ball games can be traced back
to ancient times and the
earliest representations can be
found on carvings in Egyptian
temples.
The Ancient Egyptians actually
played ball games as part of
their religious ceremonies
These traditions and the whole
concept of ball games spread
into Europe in the 8th century
influenced by the Moors.
It was the meeting of Eastern
culture and Christianity that
gave rise to tennis.
Still in the beginning
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Christian Monks became
interested in the religious rites of
the Moors and were the first
Europeans to play the game that
was to become tennis.
The earliest version was called ‘La
Soule’ where they would hit the
ball with their hands or a stick off
of walls. It became so popular that
the church considered banning it!
The game started out with just
using the hands but over time the
leather glove was replaced by a
wooden handle.
The game soon became very
popular by the French royals.
Real Tennis
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It was in France that the game as
we know it today really came into
being.
The French players would begin a
game by shouting ‘teniz’ or ‘Play!’
and this is how it got it’s name.
Real Tennis was actually very
different from the game we know
today. It was played indoors, the
ball was hit off the walls, and the
ball went into chases instead of
only bouncing once.
Tennis spread throughout Europe,
becoming especially popular in
England.
Lawn Tennis
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During the period of Victorian
Prosperity, enthusiasts had been
trying for some time to adapt the
game into an open-air sport and was
brought upon by the development of
vulcanized rubber. This enabled balls
that were soft enough to not damage
the grass, but still maintain the
elasticity of rubber.
Courts were being built in many
country houses and the first tennis
clubs providing facilities for members
started to appear.
The biggest boost for tennis came in
1875, when the All England Croquet
Club decided to offer lawn tennis as an
added attraction. It was so popular
that the club decided to change it’s
name to the All England Croquet and
Tennis Club. In 1877, the first ever
Lawn Tennis tournament was
organized with 22 players and 200
spectators. The Wimbledon
Championship was born.
Wimbledon
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The Wimbledon Championship was one
of the most significant developments
in the history of tennis. Over the next
few years the sport gained tremendous
popularity all over the world. It was
here that new designs in tennis
clothing and racquets were shown to
the world.
In 1905, May Sutton from the United
States became the first international
player.
The championships came to an end in
1939 and didn’t resume play until
1946 because of World War Two.
The most dominating players in tennis
were Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors,
John McEnroe, Billy Jean King, Chris
Evert, and Martina Navratilova.
Tennis is for Everyone!
Today tennis is a world-class
competitive sport played and
watched by millions of people all
around the world! A constant
program of tournaments and
events takes place throughout the
year and top players have become
sporting icons. Something that
was once a pastime for kings has
become a sport for all!
The End!
Love Means Nothing to a Tennis Player!
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