Monday, January 9, 2012

Tennis - History, Rules, and Technique

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Tennis - History, Rules, and Technique

The rules, and regulations of tennis is the same everywhere in the world. Tennis is a popular sport which requires skill, agility, and concentration when playing. Over the years, tennis has become a popular sport to participate in and watch all over the world.

Many experts believe that tennis was invented in 1873 by British Army officer, Walter Clopton Wingfield. Wingfield said that he modeled the game after the ancient Greek sport of Sphairistik (“Playing at ball”). The first players of tennis called the game lawn tennis or tennis-on-the-lawn. The name now differs from country to country. In the USA it is called court tennis. Great Britain calls the game Tennis, Lawn tennis, Real Tennis, and Royal Tennis. In France, it is called Jeu de Paume. And in Australia it is called Royal tennis.

Tennis was introduced in Bermuda in 1874, then later introduced to the United States by Mary Ewing Outerbridge of Staten Island, New York. The first game was believed to be played in 1874 at the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club. The first world amateur championships were held at the All- England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, England. The men’s being in 1877, and women’s in 1884. In the late 1th century, tennis had been introduced into British colonies and other nations throughout the world.

A standard tennis court is marked with white lines to indicate its service areas and dimensions. The court is 78 feet (23.8 meters) long and is divided into equal sides at the center by a net standing three feet high (0.9 meters). For singles play, the court is 7 feet (8.2 meters) wide. For doubles play, the court is 6 feet wide with the addition of the alleys. Tennis courts are made of asphalt, concrete, clay, grass, wood, artificial grass, or other synthetic materials.

The tennis racket is used when hitting the ball. Sizes, designs and shapes vary, but the general classifications are determined by the head of the racket, which are standard, midsize, oversize, and super oversize. But in tournament play, the maximum length of a racket is inches long, and 11 and 1/ inches wide. The head of the racket cannot be more than 15 and 1/ inches long, and the width no more than 11 and 1/ inches wide. Rackets are usually strung with nylon or other synthetic materials. Originally, rackets were made of wood, but are now made of aluminum or graphite, which is much lighter and stronger than wood. The handles are covered with either leather or rubber for a better grip.

A tennis ball is hollow and made of rubber and is covered with wool and other artificial fibers. The diameter is between 5/8 inches and 1/ inches, and weighs between and 1/16 ounces. Tennis balls come in various colors, but only yellow and white are used in competitions.

When starting a game of tennis, a serve begins every point of a tennis match. The player who starts the point is called the server, and the player who receives the ball is called the receiver. When serving, the server delivers the ball from behind the baseline, and his or her feet must stay out of the court until the ball is hit. To serve, the player tosses the ball into the air and hits it with the tennis racket before it hits the ground. The ball is hit into the opponent’s service area, which is called the service box. The ball must be hit diagonally to the opponents service box. Two tries are allowed for each serve. If the ball goes out of the court or hits any other part of the court except the opponent’s service box, a fault is called. A fault is also called if the ball is served into the net. If the server’s foot enters before contact with the ball is made, a foot fault is called. The server is allowed two faults, and if another fault should occur, a double fault is called, resulting in the opponent winning the point. When serving, if the ball touches the net and falls into the correct service box, a let is called, and the server gets to serve again. If the opponent misses a valid serve, it is called an ace. Generally, the faster that a serve goes, the harder it is to return. But a faster serve makes it more difficult for the server to keep the ball under control.

When the receiver returns the serve, he or she stands a certain distance behind the service box line, usually closer to the base line. If a fast serve is served, it is better to stand behind the base line to give the receiver more time to react. The receiver then hits the ball from the left-hand service court to the opponent’s diagonally opposite service court. From there, the service side alternates until an entire game has been played. The opponent serves the next game, and the serve alternation continues. In doubles, the serves alternate between teams and between players so an individual player will serve every fourth game.

After a valid serve, the ball is hit back and forth until one player or side misses the ball or hits it out of bounds. A ball is not valid when being hit if a player lets the ball bounce more than once, hits it into the net, or hits it out of bounds on the opposite side of the court. If the ball lands on the line of the of the court, it is considered valid. If the ball hits the net and falls out of bounds on the opposite side of the court, it is considered out. If it lands on the line on the opposite side of the court, it is considered in. If a hit is considered unsuccessful, the opposing player or players scores the point.

Scoring is the same in both singles games and doubles games. A tennis game is played to forty points. The game is scored by points of 15, 20, 40, and game. In a tennis game, the server’s score is always given first. Since the game starts out as each team having no points, it is called love. Once one person or team has reached 40 points, the game is won. If each person or team is tied at 40 points each, it is called a deuce. To win a tied game, it has to be won by two points. If tied, the game continues until one player or team is ahead by two points. When a deuce has been called, the player or team that only needs to score one more point is called advantage.

Players win six games to win a set, but must win by at least two games. A tiebreaker is called if a set is tied at 6-6. A tiebreaker is usually played to seven points, but it also has to be won by two points, so the score can be extended. The winner of a tiebreaker is always recorded as winning the set 7-6. Most tennis matches are won by the best two out of three sets, or the best three out of five sets.

There are many different strokes used when playing tennis, but the two basic strokes used in tennis are the forehand and the backhand. When using the forehand, the player places the body so that the hand holding the racket faces away from the net. He or she then swings the racket forward to hit the ball. When using the backhand, the player turns so that the hand holding the racket faces the net, then brings the arm forward and across the body to hit the ball.

Other strokes used in tennis include the lob and the overhead smash. The lob is a high, soft return to an opponent who has come towards the net. It causes the player to go to the back of the court to return the ball. The overhead smash is a stroke that is hit in a manner similar to the serve, and is often used to return a lob that has not been high or deep enough.

After players become more acquainted and experienced with the game, they may begin putting spins on the balls. The topspin occurs when a player hits the ball so that it spins from low to high as it goes forward. The topspin helps the player to hit the ball with more power, because spinning from low to high helps to bring the ball lower. The underspin, which is also called a slice, occurs when the player hits the ball so that it spins from high to low as it travels forward. The underspin causes the ball to lose speed and bounce lower. Most player use both spins during a game, and also use no spin on the ball at all.

Most people, after playing for a while, think that tennis is an enjoyable sport. It provides exercise, builds agility, and increases endurance. Tennis is a game that has been played all around the world for many years and will continue to grow in popularity and participants for many more years to come.

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