The history of tennis started in Medieval Europe when monks played a game which bore some resemblance to modern tennis. In the first version, the ball was hit with a hand. Later, the players started using gloves and finally, in XVI century, the prototypes of the first tennis racket appeared. First, the tennis ball was made of wood. After some time, the leather was used to make tennis balls because it was easier to play. Tennis had quickly become very popular, mostly in France and England. English kings Henry VII and Henry VIII decided to build tennis courts all over the country.
Modern tennis dates back to XIX century when Harry Gem together with his friend Augurio Parera started playing a game on the grass with the use of rackets and a ball. In 1872, together with doctors Frederic Haynese and Arthur Tomkin, they created the first tennis club in the world.
Nowadays, tennis is a very popular game which is connected with prestige and big money. There are 2 main tennis organizations in the world: Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). The players from ATP and WTA rankings take part in many tournaments and British Wimbledon is one of them.
Wimbledon is one in four tournaments in Grand Slam. It is played from 1877 and it is the most popular and prestigious tennis tournament in the world. It takes place on the grass courts in Wimbledon, every year, at the end of June. The best tennis players in the world fight for the Wimbledon trophy and thousands of people watch the matches on the courts and millions in front of the TV.
Other important tennis tournaments in the Grand Slam are: Australian Open, Rolland Garros and US Open. However, Wimbledon is the oldest one. Next, there is US Open (1881), Roland Garros (1891) and the youngest one is Australian Open (1905).
Author: Szymon Ojczyk, class II Gim