Is your kid an ardent tennis fan? Are you thinking of enrolling him in a tennis club? If you find yourself nodding along in agreement, you should consider reading this post on fun facts about tennis and other information.
Tennis is one of the most popular individual sports in the world. The players use racquets to hit the ball into the opponent’s court. People play individually against a single opponent (singles) or with two teams of two players on each side (doubles). Let’s have a look at some interesting tennis facts for kids that you can share.
Fun Tennis Facts For kids:
Though several versions of tennis are believed to have been played thousands of years ago by the Greeks, Romans and Eygptians, the modern game can be traced back to the 10th century France, when monks used to play the game in the courtyard of their monasteries. It is said that the word ‘tennis’ was coined by the monks, who used to shout ‘tenez’ while hitting the ball. Teniz, in French, means ‘take it’.
According to the History channel, there were around 1,800 indoor courts across Europe by the 13th century, and attempts by several heads of state and church to ban the game proved futile.
The game, eventually, developed as Lawn Tennis to resemble the modern sport. The Olympic sport has more than 75 million players worldwide.
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2. Tennis Court:
The tennis courts were originally hourglass shaped. The rectangular courts came into being in 1875 for the Wimbledon tournament. A standard tennis court measures 27 feet wide and 78 feet long. For double matches, the width of the courts is 36 feet. The net is 3 feet 6 inches high, and it divides the court in half.
3. Tennis Court Surface:
Initially, tennis players would play on carefully groomed lawns. It was a wealthy man’s sport, played on estates or private clubs. Today, major Grand Slam tennis tournaments feature different court surfaces. The U.S. Open and the Australian Open feature courts made of synthetic surfaces. The French Open has clay courts.
Major world tennis tournaments are a means for the players to showcase their style. Their clothing is widely observed by fashionistas worldwide, and the fashion trends for a long time.
In most of the tournaments, men wear a pair of tennis shorts, a polo shirt, and a headband. Women usually wear a polo shirt and a skirt, but a shorter one than they used to wear previously.
The oldest tournament, Wimbledon, requires players to wear white dress on grass courts.
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The different shots used in tennis are forehand, backhand, lob, drop shot and backhand. Most of the players hold the racket with just one hand to hit a forehand stroke, but you can use two hands for a backhand stroke. You have to hit the ball, ideally, from the middle of the racket head. It cannot be hit with your palm, wrist, or hand. You win points every time you are the last team or player to hit the ball into the opponent’s court. The player must score 4 points to win the game.
The original tennis ball was made of leather and stuffed with wool or hair. Today, tennis balls are usually of bright colors like green or neon yellow, so that they clearly visible. The balls have felt-like finish. Until 1986, Wimbledon was using white color balls but it has changed the rules after the advent of television. Around 42,000 balls are used in a single Wimbledon tournament!
Before racquets, players would use their palms to hit the ball back and forth. With the introduction of racquets, the palm method became obsolete. The first tennis racquets were wooden, yet provided no power. For hundreds of years, tennis racquet strings were made using animal guts.
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The four most important tennis events are the Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open and the Australian Open.
Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tournament of tennis. It has hosted some of the longest and most intense matches in the history. Tompkinsville, Staten Island first hosted the Wimbledon Championship in 1880. Spencer Gore was the first player to win the Wimbledon title. The longest Wimbledon tennis match went on for three days, that is 11 hours and five minutes, to be precise.
The Olympics introduced tennis in 1896 but removed it in 1924. It was re-added as a real event in 1988. It has been a part of the Paralympic Games since 1992.
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11. Tennis Stars:
The tennis scene has emerged rapidly in the last century. The game has produced some excellent tennis stars, which include:
- Roger Federer:
Top seeded Roger Federer is one of the all-time greatest players of tennis, with 17 Grand Slam singles titles in his kitty. The Swiss player continuously ranked among the top ten since 2002. Do you know that Swiss tennis authorities rewarded this great player a cow when he won his first grand slam!
- Althea Gibson:
Althea Gibson was the first African-American to play in the U.S. Open Championship in 1950.
- Tim Henman:
Tim Henman is a former British tennis player. He won 15 ATP titles and an Olympic gold medal in the men’s double event in Atlanta in 1996.
- Fred Perry:
Fred Perry was the first tennis player to achieve a career grand slam. He is also the only player to have won major tournaments in table tennis and tennis.
- Steffi Graf:
Steffi Graf is the only female tennis player to have won the Golden Slam. She won all four grand slams, including an Olympic gold medal for tennis. She also holds the record for being the number 1 for the longest time.
- Serena and Venus Williams:
Venus and Serena Williams were the first sisters to have won Olympic gold medals in tennis.
- Margaret Smith:
Margaret Smith holds the record for winning the most Grand Slam single titles. She has won 24 Grand Slam titles.
- Mita Klima:
Mita Klima is the youngest player to compete in the tennis tournament at the age of 13. The record stood for 106 years.
Other famous tennis players include Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jean King and Billie.
So this was little tennis information for kids. Playing tennis matches helps better coordination and spatial awareness in your children. It will also encourage good sportsmanship. So, this weekend, take out some time from your busy schedule to play tennis with your kids.
Do you know of any amazing tennis facts for kids that we missed? Leave your comment below.
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