About Tennis and Tennis Tournaments

 By: Victoria Ellison
The origins of any game of racket and ball including tennis are traditionally credited to 11th or 12th century French game paume which was played with the hand and later advanced into jeu be paume with the use of rackets. However, not all historians agree on this, there is a theory that the word tennis comes from the name of Tinnis, a town in ancient Egypt, and the word racket - from rahat, meaning 'palm of the hand' in Arabic. It is believed that different versions of the game were played in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece, although there is no additional evidence to that.

By the 14th century the game became so popular, both the Pope and Louis IV tried to ban it unsuccessfully. Tennis soon spread to England, where it obtained the "royal game" title. Both Henry VII and Henry VIII were keen players who ensured the building of more courts. One of them, Hampton Court, built in 1625, is still used today.

The scoring history has two theories as well. The first one states that the scoring has its origins in ancient numerology. In medieval times, the number 60 was considered complete in a similar way as the number 100 is considered to be a "complete" figure today. The medieval adaptation of tennis thus considered 60 to be the "game" with four steps of points like 15, 30, 45 (or 40 as it is today) and finally 60. The second theory is attributed to the presence of a clock at the end of the tennis court. A quarter move of the clock hand was made after each break with the score being referred to as 15, 30, 45 and finally 60.

The first tennis championship was held in 1877 in Wimbledon, and is still considered the most prestigious one. US Open came into being a while later in 1881. Now there are four Grand Slam tennis tournaments: US Open, French Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon. The US Open tennis tournament was borne from two distinct tournaments -- US National Singles Championship for men and US Women's National Singles Championship, which were combined and renamed into US Open in 1968. Since then it has become the most expensive grand slam tournament and introduces some of the greatest players of all times like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. According to http://us-opentickets.com/us_open_packages.html/, Wimbledon is the only grand slam where fans without tournament tickets can wait in line and still get seats on Centre Court, Court 1 and Court 2. From 2008, about 500 seats for each court are given away for free.
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