Tennis history allows us to see the story behind this amazing game, and all the stages it had to go through to become such a popular sport. Although you may not believe this, before the 16th century those who played tennis used the palms of their hands to strike the ball instead of using rackets.
If we analyze the tennis history we will discover that this game was invented in the 12th century, in the monastic cloisters of France. The monks turned to this activity as a way to spend their free time and relax, and since they game was called “jeu the paume” they played it using their hands. After introducing rackets, the game became very popular in England, where it was quickly embraced by Henry VIII of England who became a big fan of this sport. The Medieval term for tennis was real tennis, and although it was played indoors, it gain lots of popularity among the royalty in Europe.
The Davis Cup, which is an annual international competition in men’s tennis, was introduced for the first time in 1900, when Great Britain and the United States challenged each other to see which one of them had the best tennis players. Women received the chance to practice this sport at a high level when the Federation Cup was founded in 1963. It represented a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation.
In 1926 a professional tennis tour was created which involved a group of American and French players offering exhibition games to the audience who had to pay money to see them performing. The best tennis players were Vinnie Richards and Suzanne Lenglen. However, the most notable thing was the fact that there were some strict rules regarding the possibilities that the players had.
The professionals weren’t allowed to compete in the major or amateur tournaments. Still, things changed in 1968 when, according to some rumors, there were certain amateurs that would take money under the table to achieve their goals. So, that led to the opening of a new era which involved that all players could participate in all tournaments. That is how professionals managed to make a living from this sport and enjoy a life with no worries.
According to tennis history, international circuits were established and four types of tournaments were implemented: US Open, Wimbledon, Australian Open and French Open. Since 1920 they have remained the main events in tennis.