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Tennis is a
racket sport Racket sports are games in which players use a Racket (sports equipment), racket or paddle to hit a ball or other object. Rackets consist of a handled frame with an open hoop that supports a network of tightly stretched strings. Paddles have a sol ...
that is played either individually against a single opponent ( singles) or between two teams of two players each (
doubles Men's doubles, Women's doubles or Mixed doubles are sports having two players per side, including; * Beach volleyball Beach volleyball is a team sport played by two teams of two or more players on a sand court divided by a net. Similar to indo ...
). Each player uses a
tennis racket A racket, or racquet, is a sports implement used for striking a ball A ball is a round object (usually sphere, spherical, but can sometimes be ovoid) with several uses. It is used in ball games, where the play of the game follows the state ...

tennis racket
that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber
ball A ball is a round object (usually sphere, spherical, but can sometimes be ovoid) with several uses. It is used in ball games, where the play of the game follows the state of the ball as it is hit, kicked or thrown by players. Balls can also be ...

ball
covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of justice in Civil law (common law), civil, C ...

court
. The object of the game is to manoeuvre the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball validly will not gain a point, while the opposite player will. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis originated in
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...

Birmingham
, England, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis. It had close connections both to various field (lawn) games such as
croquet Croquet ( or ; french: croquet) is a sport that involves hitting wooden or plastic balls with a mallet through hoops (often called "wickets" in the United States) embedded in a grass playing court. Its international sports governing body, gov ...

croquet
and
bowls Bowls, also known as lawn bowls or lawn bowling, is a sport in which the objective is to roll biased balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball called a "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a bowling green, which may be flat (for "flat-gre ...

bowls
as well as to the older racket sport today called
real tennis Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original List of racquet sports, racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis (also called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court ...
. The rules of modern tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that until 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tiebreak in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point-challenge system, which allows a player to contest the
line call In sports, a line call occurs when there is doubt as to whether a specific and significant event took place, for example, whether the ball in tennis touched the line rather than landing outside the court. The phrase ''line call'' is more generall ...
of a point, a system known as
Hawk-Eye Hawk-Eye is a computer vision system used in numerous sports such as cricket, tennis, Gaelic football, badminton, hurling, rugby union, association football and volleyball, to visually track the trajectory of the ball and display a profile of ...
. Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is a popular worldwide spectator sport. The four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the majors) are especially popular: the
Australian Open The Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne Melbourne ( ; Boonwurrung language, Boonwurrung/Woiwurrung–Taungurung language, Woiwurrung: ''Narrm'' or ''Naarm'') is the List of Australian ...
, played on
hardcourt A hardcourt (or hard court) is a surface or floor on which a sport is played, most usually in reference to tennis courts. It is typically made of rigid materials such as asphalt or concrete, and covered with acrylic resins to seal the surface and ...
s; the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de tennis), also known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, beginning in late May each year. The tournament and ven ...
, played on red
clay court A clay court is one of the types of tennis court on which the sport of tennis, originally known as "lawn tennis", is played. Clay courts are made of crushed stone, brick, shale, or other unbound mineral construction aggregate, aggregate dependin ...
s; Wimbledon, played on
grass court A grass court is one of the four different types of tennis court on which the sport of tennis, originally known as "lawn tennis", is played. Grass courts are made of grasses in different compositions depending on the tournament. Although grass c ...
s; and the US Open, also played on hardcourts.


History


Predecessors

Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th-century northern France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand.
Louis X of France Louis X (4 October 1289 – 5 June 1316), known as the Quarrelsome (french: le Hutin), was King of France from 1314 and King of Navarre as Louis I from 1305 until his death. He emancipated serfs who could buy their freedom and readmitted Jews in ...

Louis X of France
was a keen player of ''
jeu de paume ''Jeu de paume'' (, ; originally spelled ; ), nowadays known as real tennis, (US) court tennis or (in France) ''courte paume'', is a ball-and-court game that originated in France. It was an indoor precursor of tennis played without racquets, a ...

jeu de paume
'' ("game of the palm"), which evolved into
real tennis Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original List of racquet sports, racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis (also called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court ...
, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century". In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe. In June 1316 at
Vincennes Vincennes (, ) is a Communes of France, commune in the Val-de-Marne Departments of France, department in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the Kilometre Zero, centre of Paris. It is next to but does not include the Châtea ...

Vincennes
, Val-de-Marne, and following a particularly exhausting game, Louis drank a large quantity of cooled wine and subsequently died of either
pneumonia Pneumonia is an Inflammation, inflammatory condition of the lung primarily affecting the small air sacs known as Pulmonary alveolus, alveoli. Symptoms typically include some combination of phlegm, productive or dry cough, chest pain, fever, ...

pneumonia
or
pleurisy Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is inflammation of the membranes that surround the lungs and line the chest cavity (Pulmonary pleurae, pleurae). This can result in a sharp chest pain while breathing. Occasionally the pain may be a constant d ...

pleurisy
, although there was also suspicion of poisoning. Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player known by name. Another of the early enthusiasts of the game was King
Charles V of France Charles V (21 January 1338 – 16 September 1380), called the Wise (french: le Sage; la, Sapiens), was King of France France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. I ...
, who had a court set up at the
Louvre Palace The Louvre Palace (french: link=no, Palais du Louvre, ), often referred to simply as the Louvre, is an iconic French palace located on the Rive Droite, Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, occupying a vast expanse of land between the Tuileries Ga ...

Louvre Palace
. It was not until the 16th century that s came into use and the game began to be called "tennis", from the French term ''tenez'', which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an
interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling or reaction. It is a diverse category, encompassing many different parts of speech, such as exclamations ''(ouch!'', ''wow!''), curse ...
used as a call from the server to his opponent. It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors, where the ball could be hit off the wall.
Henry VIII of England Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his Wives of Henry VIII, six marriages, and for his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) ...
was a big fan of this game, which is now known as
real tennis Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original List of racquet sports, racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis (also called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court ...
. An epitaph in , written , read, in part: During the 18th and early 19th centuries, as real tennis declined, new racket sports emerged in England. The invention of the first
lawn mower A lawn mower (also known as a mower, grass cutter or lawnmower) is a device utilizing one or more revolving blades (or a reel) to cut a grass surface to an even height. The height of the cut grass may be fixed by the design of the mower, but g ...

lawn mower
in Britain in 1830 is believed to have been a catalyst for the preparation of modern-style grass courts, sporting ovals, playing fields, pitches, greens, etc. This in turn led to the codification of modern rules for many sports, including lawn tennis, most football codes, lawn bowls and others.


Origins of the modern game

Between 1859 and 1865 Harry Gem, a solicitor, and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game
pelota Pelota (Spanish language, Spanish for ''ball'') can refer to the popular and shortened names for a number of ball games: * Basque pelota * Chaza * Jai alai * Mesoamerican ballgame * Palla (game), Palla * Pelota mixteca * Valencian pilota * Fronteni ...
, which they played on Perera's
croquet Croquet ( or ; french: croquet) is a sport that involves hitting wooden or plastic balls with a mallet through hoops (often called "wickets" in the United States) embedded in a grass playing court. Its international sports governing body, gov ...

croquet
lawn in
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...

Birmingham
, England.Tyzack, Anna
The True Home of Tennis
''Country Life'', 22 June 2005
In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club on Avenue Road,
Leamington Spa Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa or simply Leamington (), is a spa town and civil parish in Warwickshire, England. Originally a small village called Leamington Priors, it grew into a spa town in the 18th century following ...
. This is where "lawn tennis" was used as the name of an activity by a club for the first time. In ''Tennis: A Cultural History'', Heiner Gillmeister reveals that on 8 December 1874, British army officer
Walter Clopton Wingfield Major Walter Clopton Wingfield (16 October 1833 – 18 April 1912) was a Welsh people, Welsh inventor and a British Army officer who was one of the pioneers of tennis, lawn tennis.Tyzack, AnnThe True Home of Tennis''Country Life'', 22 June 2005 ...
wrote to Harry Gem, commenting that he (Wingfield) had been experimenting with his version of lawn tennis "for a year and a half". In December 1873, Wingfield designed and patented a game which he called ''sphairistikè'' ( el, σφαιριστική, meaning "ball-playing"), and which was soon known simply as "sticky" – for the amusement of guests at a garden party on his friend's estate of Nantclwyd Hall, in Llanelidan, Wales. According to Evans, turfgrass
agronomist An agriculturist, agriculturalist, agrologist, or agronomist (abbreviated as agr.), is a professional in the Agricultural science, science, practice, and management of Farming, agriculture and agribusiness. It is a regulated profession in Canada ...

agronomist
, "Sports historians all agree that ingfielddeserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis."J. Perris (2000
Grass tennis courts: how to construct and maintain them
p.8. STRI, 2000
According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, poles, rackets, balls for playing the game – and most importantly you had his rules. He was absolutely terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had very good connections with the clergy, the law profession, and the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874."
CNN. Retrieved 21 September 2011
The world's oldest annual tennis tournament took place at Leamington Lawn Tennis Club in Birmingham in 1874. This was three years before the
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, also known as the All England Club, based at Church Road, Wimbledon, London, Wimbledon, London, England, is a Gentlemen's club, private members' club. It is best known as the venue for the Wimbledon ...
would hold its first championships at Wimbledon, in 1877. The first Championships culminated in a significant debate on how to standardise the rules. In the United States in 1874, Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the King" , song_type = National song , song = "Hail to Bermuda" , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , mapsize2 = , map_caption2 = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = , es ...

Bermuda
with a ''sphairistikè'' set. She became fascinated by the game of tennis after watching British army officers play. She laid out a tennis court at the Staten Island Cricket Club at Camp Washington, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York. The first American National championship was played there in September 1880. An Englishman named O.E. Woodhouse won the singles title, and a silver cup worth $100, by defeating Canadian I. F. Hellmuth. There was also a doubles match which was won by a local pair. There were different rules at each club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one normally used in New York. On 21 May 1881, the oldest nationwide tennis organization in the world was formed, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (now the
United States Tennis Association The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national Sport governing body, governing body for tennis in the United States. A not-for-profit organization with more than 700,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop ...
) in order to standardize the rules and organize competitions. The US National Men's Singles Championship, now the US Open, was first held in 1881 at the
Newport Casino The Newport Casino is an athletic complex and recreation center located at 180-200 Bellevue Avenue Historic District, Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island, Newport, Rhode Island in the Bellevue Avenue/Casino Historic District. Built in 1879&nd ...

Newport Casino
,
Newport, Rhode Island Newport is an American seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island. It is located in Narragansett Bay, approximately southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, Providence, south of Fall River, Massachusetts, south of Boston, ...
. The US National Women's Singles Championships were first held in 1887 in
Philadelphia Philadelphia, often called Philly, is the List of municipalities in Pennsylvania#Municipalities, largest city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the List of United States cities by population, sixth-largest city i ...

Philadelphia
. Tennis also became popular in France, where the French Championships date to 1891, although until 1925 they were open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. Thus, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open and the
Australian Open The Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne Melbourne ( ; Boonwurrung language, Boonwurrung/Woiwurrung–Taungurung language, Woiwurrung: ''Narrm'' or ''Naarm'') is the List of Australian ...
(dating to 1905) became and have remained the most prestigious events in tennis. Together, these four events are called the Majors or ''Slams'' (a term borrowed from
bridge A bridge is a structure built to span a physical obstacle (such as a body of water, valley, road, or rail) without blocking the way underneath. It is constructed for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle, which is usually someth ...

bridge
rather than
baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball sport played between two team sport, teams of nine players each, taking turns batting (baseball), batting and Fielding (baseball), fielding. The game occurs over the course of several Pitch ...
). In 1913, the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF), now the
International Tennis Federation The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the Sports governing body, governing body of world tennis, wheelchair tennis, and beach tennis. It was founded in 1913 as the International Lawn Tennis Federation by twelve List of national tennis ass ...
(ITF), was founded and established three official tournaments as the major championships of the day. The
World Grass Court Championships The Wimbledon Championships, commonly known simply as Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely regarded as the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, All England Club in ...
were awarded to Great Britain. The
World Hard Court Championships World Hard Court Championships was an annual major tennis tournament sanctioned by the International Lawn Tennis Federation and held from 1912 to 1923. It was principally held in Paris, on clay courts of the Stade Français in the Paris suburb of S ...
were awarded to France; the term "hard court" was used for clay courts at the time. Some tournaments were held in Belgium instead. And the
World Covered Court Championships The World Covered Court Championships were part of a series of three major world championships sanctioned from 1913 to 1923 by the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF). The tournament was played indoors on wood floors, and its venue changed ...
for indoor courts were awarded annually; Sweden, France, Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland and Spain each hosted the tournament. At a meeting held on 16 March 1923 in Paris, the title "World Championship" was dropped and a new category of "Official Championship" was created for events in Great Britain, France, the US and Australia – today's Grand Slam events. The impact on the four recipient nations to replace the "world championships" with "official championships" was simple in a general sense: each became a major nation of the federation with enhanced voting power, and each now operated a major event. The comprehensive rules promulgated in 1924 by the ILTF have remained largely stable in the ensuing 80 years, the one major change being the addition of the '' tiebreak'' system designed by
Jimmy Van Alen James Henry Van Alen II (September 19, 1902 – July 3, 1991) was an American tennis official and former player. Van Alen was a poet, musician, publisher, civic leader, and raconteur. He was best known for his influence of tennis, especially for ...
. That same year, tennis withdrew from the Olympics after the 1924 Games, but returned 60 years later as a 21-and-under demonstration event in 1984. This reinstatement was credited by the efforts of then ITF president
Philippe Chatrier Philippe Chatrier (; 2 February 1928 – 22 June 2000) was a French tennis player. After his playing career ended, he became a journalist, and was then involved in sports administration. He was president of the French Tennis Federation for 20 ye ...
, ITF general secretary David Gray and ITF vice president Pablo Llorens, with support from
International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: link=no, Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental Sports governing body, sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is constituted in the form of an associ ...
president
Juan Antonio Samaranch Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, 1st Marquess of Samaranch (Catalan language, Catalan: ''Joan Antoni Samaranch i Torelló'', ; 17 July 1920 – 21 April 2010) was a Spaniards, Spanish sports administrator under the Franco regime (1973–1977) ...
. The success of the event was overwhelming, and the IOC decided to reintroduce tennis as a full-medal sport at
Seoul Seoul (; ; ), officially known as the Seoul Special City, is the Capital city, capital and largest metropolis of South Korea.Before 1972, Seoul was the ''de jure'' capital of the North Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea ...
in 1988. The
Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a Single-elimination tournament, knock-out format. ...
, an annual competition between men's national teams, dates to 1900. The analogous competition for women's national teams, the
Fed Cup The Billie Jean King Cup (or the BJK Cup) is the premier international team competition in women's tennis, launched as the Federation Cup in 1963 Federation Cup (tennis), 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Feder ...
, was founded as the Federation Cup in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ITF. In 1926, promoter C. C. Pyle established the first professional tennis tour with a group of American and French tennis players playing exhibition matches to paying audiences. The most notable of these early professionals were the American Vinnie Richards and the Frenchwoman
Suzanne Lenglen Suzanne Rachel Flore Lenglen (; 24 May 1899 – 4 July 1938) was a French tennis player. She was the inaugural world No. 1 from 1921 to 1926, winning eight Grand Slam titles in singles and twenty-one in total. She was also a four-time World ...
. Players ''turned pro'', would no longer permitted to compete in the major (amateur) tournaments. In 1968, commercial pressures and rumours of some amateurs taking money under the table led to the abandonment of this distinction, inaugurating the
Open Era The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, invented in Birmingham, England now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sp ...
, in which all players could compete in all tournaments, and top players were able to make their living from tennis. With the beginning of the Open Era, the establishment of an international professional tennis circuit, and revenues from the sale of television rights, tennis's popularity has spread worldwide, and the sport has shed its middle-class English-speaking image (although it is acknowledged that this stereotype still exists). In 1954, Van Alen founded the
International Tennis Hall of Fame The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, United States. It honors both players and other contributors to the sport of tennis. The complex, the former Newport Casino, includes a museum, grass tennis courts, an indo ...
, a nonprofit museum in Newport, Rhode Island. The building contains a large collection of tennis memorabilia as well as a hall of fame honouring prominent members and tennis players from all over the world.


Equipment

Part of the appeal of tennis stems from the simplicity of equipment required for play. Beginners need only a racket and balls.


Rackets

The components of a tennis racket include a handle, known as the grip, connected to a neck which joins a roughly elliptical frame that holds a matrix of tightly pulled strings. For the first 100 years of the modern game, rackets were made of wood and of standard size, and strings were of animal gut. Laminated wood construction yielded more strength in rackets used through most of the 20th century until first metal and then composites of carbon graphite, ceramics, and lighter metals such as titanium were introduced. These stronger materials enabled the production of oversized rackets that yielded yet more power. Meanwhile, technology led to the use of synthetic strings that match the feel of gut yet with added durability. Under modern rules of tennis, the rackets must adhere to the following guidelines; * The hitting area, composed of the strings, must be flat and generally uniform. * The frame of the hitting area may not be more than in length and in width. * The entire racket must be of a fixed shape, size, weight, and weight distribution. There may not be any energy source built into the rackets. * The rackets must not provide any kind of communication, instruction or advice to the player during the match. The rules regarding rackets have changed over time, as material and engineering advances have been made. For example, the maximum length of the frame had been until 1997, when it was shortened to . Many companies manufacture and distribute tennis rackets. Wilson, Head and Babolat are three of the most commonly used brands; however, many more companies exist. The same companies sponsor players to use these rackets in the hopes that the company name will become better known by the public.


Strings

There are multiple types of tennis strings, including natural gut and synthetic stings made from materials such as
nylon Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers composed of polyamides (polymer, repeating units linked by amide links).The polyamides may be aliphatic or Aromaticity, semi-aromatic. Nylon is a silk-like thermoplastic, genera ...
,
kevlar Kevlar (para-aramid) is a strong, heat-resistant synthetic fiber, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed by Stephanie Kwolek at DuPont in 1965, the high-strength material was first used commercially in the early 1970s as ...
, or
polyester Polyester is a category of polymers that contain the ester functional group in every repeat unit of their main chain. As a specific material, it most commonly refers to a type called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Polyesters include natural ...


Natural gut

The first type of tennis strings available were natural gut strings, introduced by Babolat. They were the only type used until synthetic strings were introduced in the 1950s. Natural gut strings are still used frequently by players such as Roger Federer. They are made from
cow Cattle (''Bos taurus'') are large, domestication, domesticated, Cloven hoof, cloven-hooved, herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos''. Adult females are referr ...
intestines, and provide increased power, and are easier on the arm than most strings.


Synthetic

Most synthetic strings are made from monofilament or multifiliament nylon strings. Monofilament strings are cheap to buy, and are used widely by many recreational level players for their all round performance, while multifilament strings are created to mimic natural gut more closely by weaving together fibres, but are generally more expensive than their monofilament counterparts. Polyester strings allow for more spin on the ball than any other string, due to their firm strings, while keeping control of the ball, and this is why many players use them, especially higher player ones. Kevlar tennis strings are highly durable, and are mostly used by players that frequently break strings, because they maintain tension well, but these strings can be stiff on the arm.


Hybrid strings

Hybrid stringing is when a tennis racket is strung with two different strings for the mains (the vertical strings) and the crosses (the horizontal strings). This is most commonly done with two different strings that are made of different materials, but can also be done with two different types of the same string. A notable example of a player using hybrid strings is Roger Federer, using natural gut strings in his mains and polyester strings in his crosses.


Balls

Tennis balls were originally made of cloth strips stitched together with thread and stuffed with feathers. Modern tennis balls are made of hollow
vulcanized rubber Vulcanization (British: Vulcanisation) is a range of processes for hardening rubber Rubber, also called India rubber, latex, Amazonian rubber, ''caucho'', or ''caoutchouc'', as initially produced, consists of polymers of the organic com ...
with a
felt Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool or animal fur, or from synthetic fibers such as petroleum-based acrylic fiber, acrylic or acrylonit ...
coating. Traditionally white, the predominant colour was gradually changed to optic yellow in the latter part of the 20th century to allow for improved visibility. Tennis balls must conform to certain criteria for size, weight,
deformation Deformation can refer to: * Deformation (engineering) In engineering, deformation refers to the change in size or shape of an object. ''Displacements'' are the ''absolute'' change in position of a point on the object. Deflection (engineerin ...
, and bounce to be approved for regulation play. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) defines the official diameter as . Balls must weigh between . Tennis balls were traditionally manufactured in the United States and Europe. Although the process of producing the balls has remained virtually unchanged for the past 100 years, the majority of manufacturing now takes place in the
Far East The ''Far East'' was a European term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia, South-eastern Asia or S ...
. The relocation is due to cheaper labour costs and materials in the region. Tournaments that are played under the ITF Rules of Tennis must use balls that are approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and be named on the official ITF list of approved tennis balls.


Manner of play


Court

Tennis is played on a rectangular, flat surface. The court is 78 feet (23.77 m) long, and wide for singles matches and for doubles matches. Additional clear space around the court is required in order for players to reach overrun balls. A net is stretched across the full width of the court, parallel with the baselines, dividing it into two equal ends. It is held up by either a cord or metal cable of diameter no greater than . The net is high at the posts and high in the centre. The net posts are outside the doubles court on each side or, for a singles net, outside the singles court on each side. The modern tennis court owes its design to Major
Walter Clopton Wingfield Major Walter Clopton Wingfield (16 October 1833 – 18 April 1912) was a Welsh people, Welsh inventor and a British Army officer who was one of the pioneers of tennis, lawn tennis.Tyzack, AnnThe True Home of Tennis''Country Life'', 22 June 2005 ...
. In 1873, Wingfield patented a court much the same as the current one for his stické tennis (sphairistike). This template was modified in 1875 to the court design that exists today, with markings similar to Wingfield's version, but with the
hourglass An hourglass (or sandglass, sand timer, sand clock or egg timer) is a device used to measure the passage of time. It comprises two glass bulbs connected vertically by a narrow neck that allows a regulated flow of a substance (historically sand) ...
shape of his court changed to a rectangle. Tennis is unusual in that it is played on a variety of surfaces.
Grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous Family (biology), family of monocotyledonous flowering plants commonly known as grasses. It includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and species culti ...
,
clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil material containing clay minerals (hydrous aluminium phyllosilicates, e.g. kaolin, aluminium, Al2Silicon, Si2Oxygen, O5(hydroxide, OH)4). Clays develop plasticity (physics), plasticity when wet, du ...
, and hard courts of concrete or asphalt topped with acrylic are the most common. Occasionally carpet is used for indoor play, with hardwood flooring having been historically used.
Artificial turf Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. However, it is now being used on residential lawns and commerc ...
courts can also be found.


Lines

The lines that delineate the width of the court are called the baseline (farthest back) and the service line (middle of the court). The short mark in the centre of each baseline is referred to as either the hash mark or the centre mark. The outermost lines that make up the length are called the doubles sidelines; they are the boundaries for doubles matches. The lines to the inside of the doubles sidelines are the singles sidelines, and are the boundaries in singles play. The area between a doubles sideline and the nearest singles sideline is called the doubles alley, playable in doubles play. The line that runs across the centre of a player's side of the court is called the service line because the serve must be delivered into the area between the service line and the net on the receiving side. Despite its name, this is not where a player legally stands when making a serve. The line dividing the service line in two is called the centre line or centre service line. The boxes this centre line creates are called the service boxes; depending on a player's position, they have to hit the ball into one of these when serving. A ball is out only if none of it has hit the area inside the lines, or the line, upon its first bounce. All lines are required to be between in width, with the exception of the baseline which can be up to wide, although in practice it is often the same width as the others.


Play of a single point

The players or teams start on opposite sides of the net. One player is designated the ''server'', and the opposing player is the ''receiver''. The choice to be server or receiver in the first game and the choice of ends is decided by a coin toss before the warm-up starts. Service alternates game by game between the two players or teams. For each point, the server starts behind the baseline, between the centre mark and the sideline. The receiver may start anywhere on their side of the net. When the receiver is ready, the server will serve, although the receiver must play to the pace of the server. For a service to be legal, the ball must travel over the net without touching it into the diagonally opposite service box. If the ball hits the net but lands in the service box, this is a ''let'' or ''net service'', which is void, and the server retakes that serve. The player can serve any number of let services in a point and they are always treated as voids and not as faults. A fault is a serve that falls long or wide of the service box, or does not clear the net. There is also a "foot fault" when a player's foot touches the baseline or an extension of the centre mark before the ball is hit. If the second service, after a fault, is also a fault, the server ''double faults'', and the receiver wins the point. However, if the serve is in, it is considered a legal service. A legal service starts a ''rally'', in which the players alternate hitting the ball across the net. A legal return consists of a player hitting the ball so that it falls in the server's court, before it has bounced twice or hit any fixtures except the net. A player or team cannot hit the ball twice in a row. The ball must travel over or round the net into the other players' court. A ball that hits the net during a rally is considered a legal return as long as it crosses into the opposite side of the court. The first player or team to fail to make a legal return loses the point. The server then moves to the other side of the service line at the start of a new point.


Scoring


Game, set, match


= Game

= A
game A game is a structured form of play (activity), play, usually undertaken for enjoyment, entertainment or fun, and sometimes used as an educational tool. Many games are also considered to be work (such as professional players of spectator s ...
consists of a sequence of points played with the same player serving. A game is won by the first player to have won at least four points in total and at least two points more than the opponent. The running score of each game is described in a manner peculiar to tennis: scores from zero to three points are described as "love", "15", "30", and "40", respectively. If at least three points have been scored by each player, making the player's scores equal at 40 apiece, the score is not called out as "40–40", but rather as "deuce". If at least three points have been scored by each side and a player has one more point than his opponent, the score of the game is "advantage" for the player in the lead. During informal games, advantage can also be called "ad in" or "van in" when the serving player is ahead, and "ad out" or "van out" when the receiving player is ahead; alternatively, either player may simply call out "my ad" or "your ad" during informal play. The score of a tennis game during play is always read with the serving player's score first. In tournament play, the chair umpire calls the point count (e.g., "15–love") after each point. At the end of a game, the chair umpire also announces the winner of the game and the overall score.


= Set

= A set consists of a sequence of games played with service alternating between games, ending when the count of games won meets certain criteria. Typically, a player wins a set by winning at least six games and at least two games more than the opponent. If one player has won six games and the opponent five, an additional game is played. If the leading player wins that game, the player wins the set 7–5. If the trailing player wins the game (tying the set 6–6) a '' tiebreak'' is played. A tiebreak, played under a separate set of rules, allows one player to win one more game and thus the set, to give a final set score of 7–6. A tiebreak game can be won by scoring at least seven points and at least two points more than the opponent. In a tiebreak, two players serve by 'ABBA' system which has been proven to be fair. If a tiebreak is not played, the set is referred to as an ''advantage set'', where the set continues without limit until one player leadsby a two-game margin. A "love set" means that the loser of the set won zero games, colloquially termed a "jam donut" in the US. In tournament play, the chair umpire announces the winner of the set and the overall score. The final score in sets is always read with the winning player's score first, e.g. "6–2, 4–6, 6–0, 7–5".


= Match

= A
match A match is a tool for starting a fire. Typically, matches are made of small wooden sticks or stiff paper. One end is coated with a material that can be ignited by friction generated by striking the match against a suitable surface. Wooden matc ...
consists of a sequence of sets. The outcome is determined through a best of three or five ''sets'' system. On the professional circuit, men play best-of-five-set matches at all four Grand Slam tournaments, Davis Cup, and the final of the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: link=no, Jeux olympiques) are the leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a var ...
and best-of-three-set matches at all other tournaments, while women play best-of-three-set matches at all tournaments. The first player to win two sets in a best-of-three, or three sets in a best-of-five, wins the match. Only in the final sets of matches at the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de tennis), also known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, beginning in late May each year. The tournament and ven ...
, the Olympic Games, and
Fed Cup The Billie Jean King Cup (or the BJK Cup) is the premier international team competition in women's tennis, launched as the Federation Cup in 1963 Federation Cup (tennis), 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Feder ...
are tiebreaks not played. In these cases, sets are played indefinitely until one player has a two-game lead, occasionally leading to some remarkably long matches. In tournament play, the chair
umpire An umpire is an Official#Sports, official in a variety of sports and competition, responsible for enforcing the Regulation of sport, rules of the sport, including sportsmanship decisions such as ejection (sports), ejection. The term derives f ...
announces the end of the match with the well-known phrase "''Game, set, match''" followed by the winning person's or team's name.


Special point terms


= Game point

= A ''game point'' occurs in tennis whenever the player who is in the lead in the game needs only one more point to win the game. The terminology is extended to sets (set point), matches (match point), and even championships (championship point). For example, if the player who is serving has a score of 40–love, the player has a triple game point (triple set point, etc.) as the player has three consecutive chances to win the game. Game points, set points, and match points are not part of official scoring and are not announced by the chair umpire in tournament play.


= Break point

= A ''break point'' occurs if the receiver, not the server, has a chance to win the game with the next point. Break points are of particular importance because serving is generally considered advantageous, with servers being expected to win games in which they are serving. A receiver who has one (score of 30–40 or advantage), two (score of 15–40) or three (score of love–40) consecutive chances to win the game has ''break point'', ''double break point'' or ''triple break point'', respectively. If the receiver does, in fact, win their break point, the game is awarded to the receiver, and the receiver is said to have ''converted'' their break point. If the receiver fails to win their break point it is called a ''failure to convert.'' Winning break points, and thus the game, is also referred to as ''breaking serve'', as the receiver has disrupted, or ''broken'' the natural advantage of the server. If in the following game the previous server also wins a break point it is referred to as ''breaking back''. Except where tiebreaks apply, at least one break of serve is required to win a set (otherwise a two-game lead would never occur).


Rule variations

* No ad : From 'No advantage'. Scoring method created by
Jimmy Van Alen James Henry Van Alen II (September 19, 1902 – July 3, 1991) was an American tennis official and former player. Van Alen was a poet, musician, publisher, civic leader, and raconteur. He was best known for his influence of tennis, especially for ...
. The first player or doubles team to win four points wins the game, regardless of whether the player or team is ahead by two points. When the game score reaches three points each, the receiver chooses which side of the court (advantage court or deuce court) the service is to be delivered on the seventh and game-deciding point. Utilized by
World Team Tennis World TeamTennis (WTT) is a mixed-gender professional tennis league played with a team tennis, team format in the United States, which was founded in 1973. The league's season normally takes place in the summer months. Players from the Associat ...
professional competition, ATP tours, WTA tours, ITF Pro Doubles and ITF Junior Doubles. * Pro set : Instead of playing multiple sets, players may play one ''pro set''. A pro set is first to 8 (or 10) games by a margin of two games, instead of first to 6 games. A 12-point tiebreak is usually played when the score is 8–8 (or 10–10). These are often played with no-ad scoring. * Match tiebreak : This is sometimes played instead of a third set. A match tiebreak (also called ''super tiebreak'') is played like a regular tiebreak, but the winner must win ten points instead of seven. Match tiebreaks are used in the
Hopman Cup The Hopman Cup is an international eight-team indoor hardcourt tennis tournament that played mixed-gender teams on a country-by-country basis.It was held in Perth, Western Australia each year from 1989 to 2019, before being replaced on the calen ...
, Grand Slams (excluding Wimbledon) and the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: link=no, Jeux olympiques) are the leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a var ...
for mixed doubles; on the ATP (since 2006), WTA (since 2007) and ITF (excluding four Grand Slam tournaments and the
Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a Single-elimination tournament, knock-out format. ...
) tours for doubles and as a player's choice in USTA league play. * Fast4 : Fast4 is a shortened format that offers a "fast" alternative, with four points, four games and four rules: there are no advantage scores, lets are played, tiebreakers apply at three games all, with it being first to five points with a "sudden death" point at four points all, and the first to four games wins the set. In the event of a no advantage deuce, the receiver gets to choose the service side. If a let occurs, the point continues as normal, and the non-receiver (in a doubles game) is permitted to return the serve. When players swap sides, they are not permitted to sit down and must be ready to play within sixty seconds. Between sets, players are permitted to sit down, and must be ready to play within ninety seconds. Another, however informal, tennis format is called
Canadian doubles Canadian doubles, similar to cutthroat tennis, is a method of playing tennis with three players. It pits two players against one player on the court at the same time. The only major rule variation between Canadian doubles and traditional doubles ...
. This involves three players, with one person playing against a doubles team. The single player gets to utilize the alleys normally reserved only for a doubles team. Conversely, the doubles team does not use the alleys when executing a shot. The scoring is the same as for a regular game. This format is not sanctioned by any official body. "Australian doubles", another informal and unsanctioned form of tennis, is played with similar rules to the
Canadian doubles Canadian doubles, similar to cutthroat tennis, is a method of playing tennis with three players. It pits two players against one player on the court at the same time. The only major rule variation between Canadian doubles and traditional doubles ...
style, only in this version, players rotate court position after each game, each player taking a turn at playing alone against the other two. As such, each player plays doubles and singles over the course of a match, with the singles player always serving. Scoring styles vary, but one popular method is to assign a value of 2 points to each game, with the server taking both points if he or she holds serve and the doubles team each taking one if they break serve.
Wheelchair tennis Wheelchair tennis is one of the forms of tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles (te ...
can be played by able-bodied players as well as people who require a wheelchair for mobility. An extra bounce is permitted. This rule makes it possible to have mixed wheelchair and able-bodied matches. It is possible for a doubles team to consist of a wheelchair player and an able-bodied player (referred to as "one-up, one-down"), or for a wheelchair player to play against an able-bodied player. In such cases, the extra bounce is permitted for the wheelchair users only.


Match play


Continuity

A tennis match is intended to be continuous. Because stamina is a relevant factor, arbitrary delays are not permitted. In most cases, service is required to occur no more than 20 seconds after the end of the previous point. This is increased to 90 seconds when the players change ends (after every odd-numbered game), and a 2-minute break is permitted between sets. Other than this, breaks are permitted only when forced by events beyond the players' control, such as rain, damaged footwear, damaged racket, or the need to retrieve an errant ball. Should a player be deemed to be stalling repeatedly, the chair umpire may initially give a warning followed by subsequent penalties of "point", "game", and default of the match for the player who is consistently taking longer than the allowed time limit. In the event of a rain delay, darkness or other external conditions halting play, the match is resumed at a later time, with the same score as at the time of the delay, and each player at the same end of the court as when rain halted play, or as close to the same relative compass point if play is resumed on a different court.


Ball changes

Balls wear out quickly in serious play and, therefore, in ATP and WTA tournaments, they are changed after every nine games with the first change occurring after only seven games, because the first set of balls is also used for the pre-match warm-up. In ITF tournaments like
Fed Cup The Billie Jean King Cup (or the BJK Cup) is the premier international team competition in women's tennis, launched as the Federation Cup in 1963 Federation Cup (tennis), 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Feder ...
, the balls are changed after every eleven games (rather than nine) with the first change occurring after only nine games (instead of seven). An exception is that a ball change may not take place at the beginning of a tiebreaker, in which case the ball change is delayed until the beginning of the second game of the next set. As a courtesy to the receiver, the server will often signal to the receiver before the first serve of the game in which new balls are used as a reminder that they are using new balls. Continuity of the balls' condition is considered part of the game, so if a re-warm-up is required after an extended break in play (usually due to rain), then the re-warm-up is done using a separate set of balls, and use of the match balls is resumed only when play resumes.


On-court coaching

A recent rule change is to allow coaching on court on a limited basis during a match. This has been introduced in women's tennis for
WTA Tour The WTA Tour is a worldwide top-tier tennis tour for women organized by the Women's Tennis Association. The second-tier tour is the WTA 125K series, and third-tier is the ITF Women's Circuit. The men's equivalent is the ATP Tour. WTA Tour tourna ...
events in 2009 and allows the player to request her coach once per set.


Stance

Stance refers to the way a player prepares themselves in order to best be able to return a shot. Essentially, it enables them to move quickly in order to achieve a particular stroke. There are four main stances in modern tennis: open, semi-open, closed, and neutral. All four stances involve the player crouching in some manner: as well as being a more efficient striking posture, it allows them to isometrically preload their muscles in order to play the stroke more dynamically. What stance is selected is strongly influenced by shot selection. A player may quickly alter their stance depending on the circumstances and the type of shot they intend to play. Any given stance also alters dramatically based upon the actual playing of the shot with dynamic movements and shifts of body weight occurring.


Open stance

This is the most common stance in tennis. The player's feet are placed parallel to the net. They may be pointing sideways, directly at the net or diagonally towards it. This stance allows for a high degree of torso rotation which can add significant power to the stroke. This process is sometimes likened to the coiling and uncoiling of a spring. i.e. the torso is rotated as a means of preloading the muscular system in preparation for playing the stroke: this is the coiling phase. When the stroke is played the torso rotates to face forwards again, called uncoiling, and adds significant power to the stroke. A disadvantage of this stance is that it does not always allow ‘for proper weight transfer and maintenance of balance’ when making powerful strokes. It is commonly used for forehand strokes; double-handed backhands can also be made effectively from it.


Semi-open stance

This stance is somewhere between open and closed and is a very flexible stance. The feet are aligned diagonally towards the net. It allows for a lot of shoulder rotation and the torso can be coiled, before being uncoiled into the shot in order to increase the power of the shot. It is commonly used in modern tennis especially by ‘top professional players on the forehand’. Two-handed backhands can also be employed from this stance.


Closed stance

The closed stance is the least commonly used of the three main stances. One foot is placed further towards the net with the other foot further from it; there is a diagonal alignment between the feet. It allows for effective torso rotation in order to increase the power of the shot. It is usually used to play backhand shots and it is rare to see forehand shots played from it. A stroke from this stance may entail the rear foot coming completely off the floor with bodyweight being transferred entirely to the front foot.


Neutral stance

This is sometimes also referred to as the square stance. One foot is positioned closer to the net and ahead of the other which is behind and in line with it. Both feet are aligned at a 90 degree angle to the net. The neutral stance is often taught early because ‘It allows beginners to learn about shifting weight and rotation of the body.’ Forehands and backhands may be made from it.


Shots

A competent tennis player has eight basic shots in his or her repertoire: the serve, forehand, backhand, volley, half-volley, overhead smash, drop shot, and lob.


Grip

A grip is a way of holding the racket in order to hit shots during a match. The grip affects the angle of the racket face when it hits the ball and influences the pace, spin, and placement of the shot. Players use various grips during play, including the Continental (The "Handshake Grip"), Eastern (Can be either semi-eastern or full eastern. Usually used for backhands.), and Western (semi-western or full western, usually for forehand grips) grips. Most players change grips during a match depending on what shot they are hitting; for example, slice shots and serves call for a Continental grip.


Serve

A serve (or, more formally, a "service") in tennis is a shot to start a point. The serve is initiated by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it (usually near the apex of its trajectory) into the diagonally opposite service box without touching the net. The serve may be hit under- or overhand although underhand serving remains a rarity. If the ball hits the net on the first serve and bounces over into the correct diagonal box then it is called a "let" and the server gets two more additional serves to get it in. There can also be a let if the server serves the ball and the receiver isn't prepared. If the server misses his or her first serve and gets a let on the second serve, then they get one more try to get the serve in the box. Experienced players strive to master the conventional overhand serve to maximize its power and placement. The server may employ different types of serve including flat serve, topspin serve, slice serve, and kick (American twist) serve. A reverse type of spin serve is hit in a manner that spins the ball opposite the natural spin of the server, the spin direction depending upon right- or left-handedness. If the ball is spinning counterclockwise, it will curve right from the hitter's point of view and curve left if spinning clockwise. Some servers are content to use the serve simply to initiate the point; however, advanced players often try to hit a winning shot with their serve. A winning serve that is not touched by the opponent is called an "ace".


Forehand

For a right-handed player, the forehand is a stroke that begins on the right side of the body, continues across the body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the left side of the body. There are various grips for executing the forehand, and their popularity has fluctuated over the years. The most important ones are the ''continental'', the ''eastern'', the ''semi-western'', and the ''western''. For a number of years, the small, frail 1920s player Bill Johnston was considered by many to have had the best forehand of all time, a stroke that he hit shoulder-high using a ''western'' grip. Few top players used the ''western'' grip after the 1920s, but in the latter part of the 20th century, as shot-making techniques and equipment changed radically, the ''western'' forehand made a strong comeback and is now used by many modern players. No matter which grip is used, most forehands are generally executed with one hand holding the racket, but there have been fine players with two-handed forehands. In the 1940s and 50s, the Ecuadorian/American player
Pancho Segura Francisco Olegario Segura (June 20, 1921 – November 18, 2017), better known as Pancho "Segoo" Segura, was a leading tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent ...
used a two-handed forehand to achieve a devastating effect against larger, more powerful players. Players such as
Monica Seles Monica Seles (; hu, Széles Mónika, ; sr, Моника Селеш, Monika Seleš; born December 2, 1973) is a retired professional tennis player who represented Yugoslavia and the United States. A former List of WTA number 1 ranked singles t ...
or France's
Fabrice Santoro Fabrice Vetea Santoro (born 9 December 1972) is a French retired tennis player. Successful in both singles and doubles, he had an unusually long professional career, with many of his accomplishments coming toward the end of his career, and he is ...
and
Marion Bartoli Marion Bartoli (; born 2 October 1984) is a French former professional tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), singles) or between two teams of ...
are also notable players known for their two-handed forehands.


Backhand

For right-handed players, the backhand is a stroke that begins on the left side of their body, continues across their body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the right side of their body. It can be executed with either one hand or with both and is generally considered more difficult to master than the forehand. For most of the 20th century, the backhand was performed with one hand, using either an ''eastern'' or a ''continental'' grip. The first notable players to use two hands were the 1930s Australians Vivian McGrath and John Bromwich, but they were lone exceptions. The two-handed grip gained popularity in the 1970s as Björn Borg,
Chris Evert Christine Marie Evert (born December 21, 1954), known as Chris Evert Lloyd from 1979 to 1987, is an American former world No. 1 tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single o ...
,
Jimmy Connors James Scott Connors (born September 2, 1952) is an American former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. He held the top Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ATP rankings, ranking for a then-record 160 cons ...
, and later
Mats Wilander Mats Arne Olof Wilander (; born 22 August 1964) is a Swedish former List of ATP number 1 ranked players, world No. 1 tennis player. From 1982 to 1988, he won seven Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major singles titles (three at the French Open, t ...
and
Marat Safin Marat Mubinovich Safin ( rus, Мара́т Муби́нович Са́фин, , mɐˈrat ˈsafʲɪn, Ru-Marat-Safin.ogg; tt-Cyrl, Марат Мөбин улы Сафин; born 27 January 1980) is a Russian retired world No. 1 tennis Te ...
used it to great effect, and it is now used by a large number of the world's best players, including
Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic ( sr-Cyrl, Новак Ђоковић, translit=Novak Đoković, ; born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian professional tennis player. He has been ranked world No. 1 for a record List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players#Weeks ...
,
Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis player. He is currently ranked world No. 2 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He has been ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis ...
and
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American inactive professional tennis player. Considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, she was ranked List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 in s ...
. Two hands give the player more control, while one hand can generate a slice shot, applying backspin on the ball to produce a low trajectory bounce. Reach is also limited with the two-handed shot. The player long considered to have had the best backhand of all time, Don Budge, had a powerful one-handed stroke in the 1930s and 1940s that imparted topspin onto the ball.
Ken Rosewall Kenneth Robert Rosewall (born 2 November 1934) is an Australian former world top-ranking amateur and professional tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (single ...
, another player noted for his one-handed backhand, used a very accurate slice backhand through the 1950s and 1960s. A small number of players, notably
Monica Seles Monica Seles (; hu, Széles Mónika, ; sr, Моника Селеш, Monika Seleš; born December 2, 1973) is a retired professional tennis player who represented Yugoslavia and the United States. A former List of WTA number 1 ranked singles t ...
, use two hands on both the backhand and forehand sides.


Other shots

A '' volley'' is a shot returned to the opponent in mid-air before the ball bounces, generally performed near the net, and is usually made with a stiff-wristed punching motion to hit the ball into an open area of the opponent's court. The '' half volley'' is made by hitting the ball on the rise just after it has bounced, also generally in the vicinity of the net, and played with the racket close to the ground. The ''swinging volley'' is hit out of the air as the player approaches the net. It is an offensive shot used to take preparation time away from the opponent, as it returns the ball into the opponent's court much faster than a standard volley. From a poor defensive position on the baseline, the '' lob'' can be used as either an offensive or defensive weapon, hitting the ball high and deep into the opponent's court to either enable the lobber to get into better defensive position or to win the point outright by hitting it over the opponent's head. If the lob is not hit deeply enough into the other court, however, an opponent near the net may then hit an '' overhead smash'', a hard, serve-like shot, to try to end the point. A difficult shot in tennis is the return of an attempted lob over the backhand side of a player. When the contact point is higher than the reach of a two-handed backhand, most players will try to execute a high slice (under the ball or sideways). Fewer players attempt the backhand sky-hook or smash. Rarely, a player will go for a high topspin backhand, while themselves in the air. A successful execution of any of these alternatives requires balance and timing, with less margin of error than the lower contact point backhands, since this shot is a break in the regular pattern of play. If their opponent is deep in their court, a player may suddenly employ an unexpected '' drop shot'', by softly tapping the ball just over the net so that the opponent is unable to run in fast enough to retrieve it. Advanced players will often apply back spin to a drop shot, causing the ball to "skid" upon landing and bounce sideways, with less forward momentum toward their opponent, or even backwards towards the net, thus making it even more difficult to return.


Tournaments

Tournaments are often organized by gender and number of players. Common tournament configurations include men's singles, women's singles, and doubles, where two players play on each side of the net. Tournaments may be organized for specific age groups, with upper age limits for youth and lower age limits for senior players. Example of this include the
Orange Bowl The Orange Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in the Miami metropolitan area. It has been played annually since 1935 Orange Bowl, January 1, 1935, making it, along with the Sugar Bowl and the Sun Bowl, the second-oldes ...
and
Les Petits As Les Petits As (English: ''Little champions'') is a junior tennis tournament for players aged 12–14, held in Tarbes, France. The event has seen a number of its champions go on to become slam winners, including Rafael Nadal, Michael Chang, Martin ...
junior tournaments. There are also tournaments for players with disabilities, such as
wheelchair tennis Wheelchair tennis is one of the forms of tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles (te ...
and deaf tennis. In the four Grand Slam tournaments, the singles draws are limited to 128 players for each gender. Most large tournaments
seed A seed is an Plant embryogenesis, embryonic plant enclosed in a testa (botany), protective outer covering, along with a food reserve. The formation of the seed is a part of the process of reproduction in seed plants, the spermatophytes, includ ...
players, but players may also be matched by their skill level. According to how well a person does in sanctioned play, a player is given a rating that is adjusted periodically to maintain competitive matches. For example, the
United States Tennis Association The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national Sport governing body, governing body for tennis in the United States. A not-for-profit organization with more than 700,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop ...
administers the National Tennis Rating Program ( NTRP), which rates players between 1.0 and 7.0 in 1/2 point increments. Average club players under this system would rate 3.0–4.5 while world class players would be 7.0 on this scale.


Grand Slam tournaments

The four Grand Slam tournaments are considered to be the most prestigious tennis events in the world. They are held annually and comprise, in chronological order, the
Australian Open The Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne Melbourne ( ; Boonwurrung language, Boonwurrung/Woiwurrung–Taungurung language, Woiwurrung: ''Narrm'' or ''Naarm'') is the List of Australian ...
, the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de tennis), also known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, beginning in late May each year. The tournament and ven ...
, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Apart from the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: link=no, Jeux olympiques) are the leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a var ...
,
Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a Single-elimination tournament, knock-out format. ...
,
Fed Cup The Billie Jean King Cup (or the BJK Cup) is the premier international team competition in women's tennis, launched as the Federation Cup in 1963 Federation Cup (tennis), 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Feder ...
, and
Hopman Cup The Hopman Cup is an international eight-team indoor hardcourt tennis tournament that played mixed-gender teams on a country-by-country basis.It was held in Perth, Western Australia each year from 1989 to 2019, before being replaced on the calen ...
, they are the only tournaments regulated by the
International Tennis Federation The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the Sports governing body, governing body of world tennis, wheelchair tennis, and beach tennis. It was founded in 1913 as the International Lawn Tennis Federation by twelve List of national tennis ass ...
(ITF). The ITF's national associations,
Tennis Australia Tennis Australia Limited is the governing body for Tennis in Australia. It is owned by Australian states and territories. The association organises national and international Tennis tournaments including the Australian Open, the Australian Open S ...
(Australian Open), the Fédération Française de Tennis (French Open), the
Lawn Tennis Association The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is the Sports governing body, national governing body of tennis in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Founded in 1888, the LTA promotes all levels of lawn tennis. It believes that tenni ...
(Wimbledon) and the
United States Tennis Association The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national Sport governing body, governing body for tennis in the United States. A not-for-profit organization with more than 700,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop ...
(US Open) are delegated the responsibility to organize these events. Aside from the historical significance of these events, they also carry larger prize funds than any other tour event and are worth double the number of ranking points to the champion than in the next echelon of tournaments, the
ATP Masters 1000 The ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (previously known as ATP Masters Series) is an annual series of nine tennis tournaments featuring the top-ranked players on the ATP Tour. The series' events have been held in Europe and North America since the ...
(men) and Premier events (women). Another distinguishing feature is the number of players in the singles draw. There are 128, more than any other professional tennis tournament. This draw is composed of 32 seeded players, other players ranked in the world's top 100, qualifiers, and players who receive invitations through
wild cards ''Wild Cards'' is a series of science fiction superhero shared universe anthologies, mosaic novels, and solo novels. They are written by a collection of more than forty authors (referred to as the "Wild Cards Trust") and are edited by George R. ...
. Grand Slam men's tournaments have best-of-five set matches while the women play best-of-three. Grand Slam tournaments are among the small number of events that last two weeks, the others being the
Indian Wells Masters The Indian Wells Masters, also known as the Indian Wells Open and BNP Paribas Open is an annual tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), singles ...
and the Miami Masters. Currently, the Grand Slam tournaments are the only tour events that have mixed doubles contests. Grand Slam tournaments are held in conjunction with wheelchair tennis tournaments and junior tennis competitions. These tournaments also contain their own idiosyncrasies. For example, players at Wimbledon are required to wear predominantly white.
Andre Agassi Andre Kirk Agassi ( ; born April 29, 1970) is an American former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. He is an eight-time Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major champion and an Tennis at the 1996 Summer Olympic ...
chose to skip Wimbledon from 1988 through 1990 citing the event's traditionalism, particularly its "predominantly white" dress code. Wimbledon has its own particular methods for disseminating tickets, often leading tennis fans to follow complex procedures to obtain tickets. *The international tournament began in 1925.


Men's tournament structure


Masters Series

The
ATP Masters 1000 The ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (previously known as ATP Masters Series) is an annual series of nine tennis tournaments featuring the top-ranked players on the ATP Tour. The series' events have been held in Europe and North America since the ...
is a group of nine tournaments that form the second-highest echelon in men's tennis. Each event is held annually, and a win at one of these events is worth 1000 ranking points. When the ATP, led by Hamilton Jordan, began running the men's tour in 1990, the directors designated the top nine tournaments, outside of the Grand Slam events, as "Super 9" events. In 2000 this became the Tennis Masters Series and in 2004 the ATP Masters Series. In November at the end of the tennis year, the world's top eight players compete in the
ATP Finals The ATP Finals is the season-ending championship of the ATP Tour. It is the most significant event in the annual ATP calendar after the four Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, majors as it features the top-eight singles players and top-eight doubles ...
, a tournament with a rotating locale. It is currently held in London. In August 2007 the ATP announced major changes to the tour that were introduced in 2009. The Masters Series was renamed to the "ATP Masters 1000", the addition of the number 1000 referring to the number of ranking points earned by the winner of each tournament. Contrary to earlier plans, the number of tournaments was not reduced from nine to eight and the
Monte-Carlo Masters The Monte-Carlo Masters is an annual tennis tournament for male professional players held in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, a Communes of France, commune that borders on Monaco. The event is part of the ATP Tour Masters 1000 on the Association of ...
remains part of the series although, unlike the other events, it does not have a mandatory player commitment. The Hamburg Masters has been downgraded to a 500-point event. The Madrid Masters moved to May and onto clay courts, and a new tournament in
Shanghai Shanghai (; , , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The city is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze River, with the Huangpu River flow ...
took over Madrid's former indoor October slot. As of 2011 six of the nine "1000" level tournaments are combined ATP and WTA events.


500 and 250 series

The third and fourth tier of men's tennis tournaments are formed by the ATP 500 series, consisting of 11 tournaments, and the ATP 250 series with 40 tournaments. Like the
ATP Masters 1000 The ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (previously known as ATP Masters Series) is an annual series of nine tennis tournaments featuring the top-ranked players on the ATP Tour. The series' events have been held in Europe and North America since the ...
, these events offer various amounts of prize money and the numbers refer to the number of ranking points earned by the winner of a tournament. The
Dubai Tennis Championships The Dubai Tennis Championships or Dubai Open (also known as the ''Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships'' for sponsorship reasons) (formerly known for sponsorship reasons as the ''Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships'' and the ''Dubai Duty Free Men's ...
offer the largest financial incentive to players, with total prize money of US$2,313,975 (2012). These series have various draws of 28, 32, 48 and 56 for singles and 16 and 24 for doubles. It is mandatory for leading players to enter at least four 500 events, including at least one after the US Open.


Challenger Tour and Futures tournaments

The Challenger Tour for men is the lowest level of tournament administered by the ATP. It is composed of about 150 events and, as a result, features a more diverse range of countries hosting events. The majority of players use the Challenger Series at the beginning of their career to work their way up the rankings.
Andre Agassi Andre Kirk Agassi ( ; born April 29, 1970) is an American former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. He is an eight-time Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major champion and an Tennis at the 1996 Summer Olympic ...
, between winning Grand Slam tournaments, plummeted to World No. 141 and used Challenger Series events for match experience and to progress back up the rankings. The Challenger Series offers prize funds of between US$25,000 and US$150,000. Below the Challenger Tour are the Futures tournaments, events on the
ITF Men's Circuit The ITF World Tennis Tour (formerly known as the ''ITF Men's World Tennis Tour'', and previously ''ITF Men's Circuit'') is a series of professional tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually ag ...
. These tournaments also contribute towards a player's
ATP rankings The Pepperstone ATP rankings are the merit-based method used by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for determining the qualification for entry as well as the seeding of players in all singles and doubles tournaments. The first rankings ...
points. Futures Tournaments offer prize funds of between US$10,000 and US$15,000. Approximately 530 Futures Tournaments are played each year.


Women's tournament structure

In 2021, the WTA rebranded, resembling the men's tournament series, and also providing extra simplicity for fans and consumers. The numbers do not indicate ranking points, or prize money, but is a system to help define different levels of women's tennis.


WTA 1000

The
WTA 1000 Tournaments WTA 1000 tournaments is a category of tennis tournaments on the WTA Tour, governed by the Women's Tennis Association. The old WTA Premier tournaments, WTA Premier Mandatory and Premier 5 tournaments merged into a single highest tier and it is ...
(formerly the
Premier Premier is a title for the head of government in central governments, state governments and local governments of some countries. A second in command to a premier is designated as a deputy premier. A premier will normally be a head of governm ...
Mandatory and Premier 5 Tournaments), are a series of seven tournaments that are part of the second-highest tier in women's tennis.


500 and 250 Series

The third and fourth tier of women's tennis tournaments are formed from the WTA 500 Series (formerly Premier 700), with fifteen tournaments, and the WTA 250 Series (formerly International), consisting of thirty tournaments.


WTA 125

The WTA 125 Series (formerly 125K Series), is the lowest tier of women's tennis, with fourteen tournaments.


Players


Professional players

Professional tennis players enjoy the same relative perks as most top sports personalities: clothing, equipment and endorsements. Like players of other individual sports such as
golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not use a standar ...
, they are not salaried, but must play and finish highly in tournaments to obtain prize money. In recent years, professional tennis players have been mocked by tabloids and fans for the involuntary or deliberate noise caused by players' grunting. This controversy has spurred the Grand Slam Committee, the International Tennis Association, and the Women's Tennis Association to teach players techniques to avoid grunting.


Singles and doubles professional careers

While players are gradually less competitive in singles by their late 20s and early 30s, they can still continue competitively in doubles (as instanced by
Martina Navratilova Martina Navratilova ( cs, Martina Navrátilová ; ; born October 18, 1956) is a Czech–American, former professional tennis player. Widely considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tourname ...
and
John McEnroe John Patrick McEnroe Jr. (born February 16, 1959) is an American former professional tennis player. He was known for his shot-making and volleying skills, his rivalries with Björn Borg and Jimmy Connors, and his confrontational on-court behavi ...
, who won doubles titles in their 40s). In the Open Era, several female players such as
Martina Navratilova Martina Navratilova ( cs, Martina Navrátilová ; ; born October 18, 1956) is a Czech–American, former professional tennis player. Widely considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tourname ...
,
Margaret Court Margaret Court ('' née'' Smith; born 16 July 1942), also known as Margaret Smith Court, is an Australian retired former world No. 1 tennis player and a Christian minister. Considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, her 24 ma ...
,
Martina Hingis Martina Hingis (, sk, Martina Hingisová; 30 September 1980) is a Swiss former professional tennis player. Hingis is the first Swiss player, male or female, to win a Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major title and attain a world No. 1 ranking. ...
,
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American inactive professional tennis player. Considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, she was ranked List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 in s ...
, and
Venus Williams Venus Ebony Starr Williams (born June 17, 1980) is an American professional tennis player. A former world No. 1 in both List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, singles and List of WTA number 1 ranked doubles tennis players, double ...
(the latter two sisters playing together) have been prolific at both singles and doubles events throughout their careers.
John McEnroe John Patrick McEnroe Jr. (born February 16, 1959) is an American former professional tennis player. He was known for his shot-making and volleying skills, his rivalries with Björn Borg and Jimmy Connors, and his confrontational on-court behavi ...
is one of the very few professional male players to be top ranked in both singles and doubles at the same time, and
Yevgeny Kafelnikov Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Kafelnikov ( rus, Евгений Александрович Кафельников, , jɪvˈɡʲenʲɪj ˈkafʲɪlʲnʲɪkəf, a=Ru-Yevgeny-Kafelnikov.ogg; born 18 February 1974) is a Russian former List of ATP number 1 ...
is the most recent male player to win multiple Grand Slams in both singles and doubles during the same period of his career. In terms of public attention and earnings (see below), singles champions have far surpassed their doubles counterparts. The Open Era, particularly the men's side, has seen many top-ranked singles players that only sparingly compete in doubles, while having "doubles specialists" who are typically being eliminated early in the singles draw but do well in the doubles portion of a tournament. Notable doubles pairings include
The Woodies The Woodies was the nickname given to the tennis doubles pairing of Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, one of the most successful pairings in tennis history. The Woodies combined Woodforde's left-handed baseline play with Woodbr ...
(
Todd Woodbridge Todd Andrew Woodbridge, Order of Australia, OAM (born 2 April 1971) is an Australian former professional tennis player and current sports broadcaster with the Nine Network. Woodbridge is best known for his successful Doubles (tennis), Doubles ...
and
Mark Woodforde Mark Raymond Woodforde, Order of Australia, OAM (born 23 September 1965) is a former professional tennis player from Australia. He is best known as one half of "The Woodies", a doubles partnership with Todd Woodbridge. Woodforde was born in A ...
) and the
Bryan Brothers The Bryan brothers, identical twin brothers Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, are retired American professional doubles tennis players and the most successful duo of all time. They were born on April 29, 1978, with Mike being the elder by two minute ...
(identical twin brothers Robert Charles "Bob" Bryan and Michael Carl "Mike" Bryan). Woodbridge has disliked the term "doubles ‘specialists’", saying that he and Woodforde "set a singles schedule and doubles fitted in around that", although later in Woodbridge's career he focused exclusively on doubles as his singles ranking fell too low that it was no longer financially viable to recover at that age. Woodbridge noted that while top singles players earn enough that they don't need to nor want to play doubles, he suggested that lower-ranked singles players outside the Top Ten should play doubles to earn more playing time and money.


Olympics

The Olympics doubles tennis tournament necessitates that both members of a doubles pairing be from the same country, hence several top professional pairs such as Jamie Murray and
Bruno Soares Bruno Fraga Soares (; born 27 February 1982) is a Brazilian former professional tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), singles) or between t ...
cannot compete in the Olympics. Top-ranked singles players that are usually rivals on the professional circuit, such as
Boris Becker Boris Franz Becker (, ; born 22 November 1967) is a German former List of ATP number 1 ranked players, world No. 1 tennis player. Becker was successful from the start of his career, winning the The Championships, Wimbledon, Wimbledon Championshi ...
and
Michael Stich Michael Detlef Stich (, ; born 18 October 1968) is a German former professional tennis player. He won the men's singles title at 1991 Wimbledon Championships – Men's singles, Wimbledon in 1991, the men's doubles titles at both 1992 Wimbledon ...
, and
Roger Federer Roger Federer (; born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss former professional tennis player. He was ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players#Weeks at No. 1, world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 310 weeks, in ...
and
Stan Wawrinka Stanislas "Stan" Wawrinka (; born 28 March 1985) is a Swiss professional tennis player. He reached a career-high Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles ATP rankings, ranking of world No. 3 for the first time on 27 January 2014. His ca ...
have formed a rare doubles partnership for the Olympics. Unlike professional tennis tournaments (see below) where singles players receive much more prize money than doubles players, an Olympic medal for both singles and doubles has similar prestige. The Olympics is more of a priority for doubles champions while singles champions often skip the tournament. While the ATP has voted for Olympic results to count towards player ranking points, WTA players voted against it. For the
2000 Olympics The 2000 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXVII Olympiad and also known as Sydney 2000 (Dharug The Dharug or Darug people, formerly known as the Broken Bay tribe, are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of ...
,
Lisa Raymond Lisa Raymond (born August 10, 1973) is an American retired professional tennis player who has achieved notable success in Doubles (tennis), doubles tennis. Raymond has eleven Grand Slam (tennis), Grand Slam titles to her name: six in women's do ...
was passed over for Team USA in favour of
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American inactive professional tennis player. Considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, she was ranked List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 in s ...
by captain
Billie Jean King Billie Jean King (née Moffitt; born November 22, 1943) is an American former World number 1 ranked female tennis players, world No. 1 tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women's double ...
, even though Raymond was the top-ranked doubles player in the world at the time, and Raymond unsuccessfully challenged the selection.


Prize money

In professional tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon, the singles competition receives the most prize money and coverage, followed by doubles, and then mixed doubles usually receive the lowest monetary awards. For instance in the US Open as of 2018, the men's and women's singles prize money (US$40,912,000) accounts for 80.9 percent of total player base compensation, while men's and women's doubles (US$6,140,840), men's and women's singles qualifying (US$3,008,000), and mixed doubles (US$505,000) account for 12.1 percent, 5.9 percent, and 1.0 percent, respectively. The singles winner receives US$3,800,000, while the doubles winning pair receives $700,000 and the mixed doubles winning pair receives US$155,000.


Grand Slam tournament winners

The following players have won at least five singles titles at Grand Slam tournaments (active players in bold):


Greatest male players

File:Ken Rosewall portrait.jpg,
Ken Rosewall Kenneth Robert Rosewall (born 2 November 1934) is an Australian former world top-ranking amateur and professional tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (single ...
File:Rodney George Laver crop.jpg,
Rod Laver Rodney George Laver (born 9 August 1938) is an Australian former tennis player. Laver was the World number 1 ranked male tennis players, world number 1 ranked professional in some sources in 1964, in all sources from 1965 to 1969 and in some ...
File:R federer.jpg,
Roger Federer Roger Federer (; born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss former professional tennis player. He was ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players#Weeks at No. 1, world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 310 weeks, in ...
File:Nadal vs Federer RG 2007.jpg,
Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis player. He is currently ranked world No. 2 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He has been ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis ...
File:Novak Djokovic at ATP 2015.jpg,
Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic ( sr-Cyrl, Новак Ђоковић, translit=Novak Đoković, ; born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian professional tennis player. He has been ranked world No. 1 for a record List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players#Weeks ...
A frequent topic of discussion among tennis fans and commentators is who was the greatest male singles player of all time. By a large margin, an
Associated Press The Associated Press (AP) is an American Nonprofit organization, non-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. It produces news reports that are distributed to ...
poll in 1950 named
Bill Tilden William Tatem Tilden II (February 10, 1893 – June 5, 1953), nicknamed "Big Bill", was an American tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), sin ...
as the greatest player of the first half of the 20th century. From 1920 to 1930, Tilden won singles titles at Wimbledon three times and the US Championships seven times. In 1938, however, Donald Budge became the first person to win all four major singles titles during the same calendar year, the Grand Slam, and won six consecutive major titles in 1937 and 1938. Tilden called Budge "the finest player 365 days a year that ever lived." In his 1979 autobiography,
Jack Kramer John Albert Kramer (August 1, 1921 – September 12, 2009) was an American tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), singles) or between two tea ...
said that, based on consistent play, Budge was the greatest player ever. Some observers, however, also felt that Kramer deserved consideration for the title. Kramer was among the few who dominated amateur and professional tennis during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Tony Trabert Tony may refer to: People and fictional characters * Tony (given name) Tony is an English language, English masculine given name that occurs as a diminutive form of Anthony (given name), Anthony in many countries. As a diminutive form of Antonia ...
has said that of the players he saw before the start of the
Open Era The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, invented in Birmingham, England now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sp ...
, Kramer was the best male champion. By the 1960s, Budge and others had added
Pancho Gonzales Ricardo Alonso "Pancho" González (May 9, 1928 – July 3, 1995), known sometimes as Richard Gonzales, was an American tennis player. He won 15 major singles titles, including two Grand Slam (tennis), U.S. National Singles Championships in 1948 ...
and Lew Hoad to the list of contenders. Budge reportedly believed that Gonzales was the greatest player ever. Gonzales said about Hoad, "When Lew's game was at its peak nobody could touch him. ... I think his game was the best game ever. Better than mine. He was capable of making more shots than anybody. His two volleys were great. His overhead was enormous. He had the most natural tennis mind with the most natural tennis physique." Before and during the Open Era,
Rod Laver Rodney George Laver (born 9 August 1938) is an Australian former tennis player. Laver was the World number 1 ranked male tennis players, world number 1 ranked professional in some sources in 1964, in all sources from 1965 to 1969 and in some ...
remains the only male player in history to have won the calendar year Grand Slam twice in 1962 and 1969 and also the calendar year Professional Grand Slam in 1967.
Jimmy Connors James Scott Connors (born September 2, 1952) is an American former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. He held the top Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ATP rankings, ranking for a then-record 160 cons ...
, Björn Borg, and
John McEnroe John Patrick McEnroe Jr. (born February 16, 1959) is an American former professional tennis player. He was known for his shot-making and volleying skills, his rivalries with Björn Borg and Jimmy Connors, and his confrontational on-court behavi ...
had a fierce rivalry in the late 1970s and early 1980s that propelled "the men's game to new heights of popularity". Connors had a long and prolific career and holds the Open Era men's singles records of 109 titles including eight Grand Slams, 1,557 matches played, and 1,274 match wins. Borg was regarded by his contemporaries as among the greatest ever, having a calm court demeanor and unrivalled physical conditioning, winning six French Opens and five straight Wimbledon titles, retiring at age 26 when he was still in his prime. McEnroe attained the No. 1 ranking in both singles and
doubles Men's doubles, Women's doubles or Mixed doubles are sports having two players per side, including; * Beach volleyball Beach volleyball is a team sport played by two teams of two or more players on a sand court divided by a net. Similar to indo ...
, finishing his career with 77 singles and 78 doubles titles; this remains the highest men's combined total of the
Open Era The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, invented in Birmingham, England now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sp ...
. The Agassi–Sampras rivalry showcased the two best players in the 1990s.
Andre Agassi Andre Kirk Agassi ( ; born April 29, 1970) is an American former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. He is an eight-time Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major champion and an Tennis at the 1996 Summer Olympic ...
, the first of two male players in history to have achieved a Career Golden Slam in singles tennis (followed by
Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis player. He is currently ranked world No. 2 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He has been ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis ...
), has been called the best service returner in the history of the game. Agassi was the first man to win grand slams on all modern surfaces (hard, grass, and clay court, as previous holders of all grand slam tournaments played in an era of grass and clay only), and is regarded by a number of critics and fellow players to be among the greatest players of all time. Both Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall also won major Pro Slam tournaments on all three surfaces (grass, clay, hard court) Rosewall in 1963 and Laver in 1967.
Pete Sampras Petros "Pete" Sampras ( el, Πέτρος Σάμπρας; born August 12, 1971) is an American former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. His professional career began in 1988 and ended at the 2002 US Open – ...
had a precise and powerful serve, set the record of six consecutive year-end No.1 finishes, and was the first player to break
Roy Emerson Roy Stanley Emerson (born 3 November 1936) is an Australian former tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), singles) or between two teams of ...
's record of twelve Grand Slams. Sampras retired with a then-Open era record of fourteen Grand Slam titles which was by far the most among his contemporaries, as the second-most Slams held at the time by another active player was Agassi with seven. Earlier in Sampras' career, the most Grand Slams won up to that point by other active players was eight (jointly held by
Jimmy Connors James Scott Connors (born September 2, 1952) is an American former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. He held the top Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ATP rankings, ranking for a then-record 160 cons ...
and
Ivan Lendl Ivan Lendl (; born March 7, 1960) is a Czech–American former professional tennis player. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Lendl was ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 i ...
). By the early twenty-first century, the " Big Three" of
Roger Federer Roger Federer (; born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss former professional tennis player. He was ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players#Weeks at No. 1, world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 310 weeks, in ...
,
Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis player. He is currently ranked world No. 2 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He has been ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis ...
and
Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic ( sr-Cyrl, Новак Ђоковић, translit=Novak Đoković, ; born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian professional tennis player. He has been ranked world No. 1 for a record List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players#Weeks ...
had dominated. As of 2022,
Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis player. He is currently ranked world No. 2 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He has been ranked List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis ...
holds the record for the most grand slam titles with 22.


Greatest female players

File:Helen Wills Moody 1932.jpg,
Helen Wills Helen Newington Wills (October 6, 1905 – January 1, 1998), also known by her married names Helen Wills Moody and Helen Wills Roark, was an American tennis player. She won 31 Grand Slam (tennis), Grand Slam tournament titles (singles, doubles, ...
File:Margaret Court 1970.jpg,
Margaret Court Margaret Court ('' née'' Smith; born 16 July 1942), also known as Margaret Smith Court, is an Australian retired former world No. 1 tennis player and a Christian minister. Considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, her 24 ma ...
File:Tennis Nederland tegen Verenigde Staten in Den Haag Navratilova in aktie, Bestanddeelnr 930-9118 (cropped).jpg,
Martina Navratilova Martina Navratilova ( cs, Martina Navrátilová ; ; born October 18, 1956) is a Czech–American, former professional tennis player. Widely considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tourname ...
File:Chris Evert.jpg,
Chris Evert Christine Marie Evert (born December 21, 1954), known as Chris Evert Lloyd from 1979 to 1987, is an American former world No. 1 tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single o ...
File:Steffi Graf in Hamburg.jpg,
Steffi Graf Stefanie Maria Graf ( , ; born 14 June 1969) is a German former professional tennis player. Widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, she was ranked List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 for a ...
File:Serena Williams at 2013 US Open.jpg,
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American inactive professional tennis player. Considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, she was ranked List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 in s ...
As with the men there are frequent discussions about who is the greatest female singles player of all time with
Steffi Graf Stefanie Maria Graf ( , ; born 14 June 1969) is a German former professional tennis player. Widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, she was ranked List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 for a ...
,
Martina Navratilova Martina Navratilova ( cs, Martina Navrátilová ; ; born October 18, 1956) is a Czech–American, former professional tennis player. Widely considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tourname ...
and
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American inactive professional tennis player. Considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, she was ranked List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 in s ...
being the three players most often nominated. In March 2012 the Tennis Channel published a combined list of the 100 greatest men and women tennis players of all time. It ranked Steffi Graf as the greatest female player (in 3rd place overall), followed by
Martina Navratilova Martina Navratilova ( cs, Martina Navrátilová ; ; born October 18, 1956) is a Czech–American, former professional tennis player. Widely considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tourname ...
(4th place) and
Margaret Court Margaret Court ('' née'' Smith; born 16 July 1942), also known as Margaret Smith Court, is an Australian retired former world No. 1 tennis player and a Christian minister. Considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, her 24 ma ...
(8th place). The rankings were determined by an international panel. Sportswriter John Wertheim of
Sports Illustrated ''Sports Illustrated'' (''SI'') is an American sports magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication, generally published on a regular schedule (often weekly or monthly), containing a variety of content (media), cont ...
stated in an article in July 2010 that
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American inactive professional tennis player. Considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, she was ranked List of WTA number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 in s ...
is the greatest female tennis player ever with the argument that "Head-to-head, on a neutral surface (i.e. hard courts), everyone at their best, I can't help feeling that she crushes the other legends.". In a reaction to this article Yahoo sports blog Busted Racket published a list of the top-10 women's tennis players of all time placing Martina Navratilova in first spot. This top-10 list was similar to the one published in June 2008 by the Bleacher Report who also ranked Martina Navratilova as the top female player of all time. Steffi Graf is considered by some to be the greatest female player.
Billie Jean King Billie Jean King (née Moffitt; born November 22, 1943) is an American former World number 1 ranked female tennis players, world No. 1 tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women's double ...
said in 1999, "Steffi is definitely the greatest women's tennis player of all time."
Martina Navratilova Martina Navratilova ( cs, Martina Navrátilová ; ; born October 18, 1956) is a Czech–American, former professional tennis player. Widely considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tourname ...
has included Graf on her list of great players. In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the
Associated Press The Associated Press (AP) is an American Nonprofit organization, non-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. It produces news reports that are distributed to ...
. Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book ''The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century'', named her as the best female player of the 20th century, directly followed by Martina Navratilova. ''
Tennis Tennis is a List of racket sports, racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent (singles (tennis), singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles (tennis), doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket th ...
'' magazine selected Martina Navratilova as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005. Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins has called Navratilova "arguably, the greatest player of all time."
Billie Jean King Billie Jean King (née Moffitt; born November 22, 1943) is an American former World number 1 ranked female tennis players, world No. 1 tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women's double ...
said about Navratilova in 2006, "She's the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived." In 2018, a Tennis.com panel selected Serena Williams as the greatest female tennis player in the Open Era. In May 2020, the Tennis Channel ranked Williams as the greatest female tennis player of all time. In November 2018, Tennis.com polled its readers to choose the greatest women's tennis player of all time and Graf came in first. In July 2020, The Guardian polled its readers to determine the greatest female tennis player of the past 50 years, and Steffi was the clear favorite, picking up nearly twice as many votes as any other player.


Officials

In most professional play and some amateur competition, there is an officiating head judge or chair
umpire An umpire is an Official#Sports, official in a variety of sports and competition, responsible for enforcing the Regulation of sport, rules of the sport, including sportsmanship decisions such as ejection (sports), ejection. The term derives f ...
(usually referred to simply as the umpire), who sits in a raised chair to one side of the court. The umpire has absolute authority to make factual determinations. The umpire may be assisted by line judges, who determine whether the ball has landed within the required part of the court and who also call foot faults. There also may be a net judge who determines whether the ball has touched the net during service. The umpire has the right to overrule a line judge or a net judge if the umpire is sure that a clear mistake has been made. In past tournaments, line judges tasked with calling the serve were sometimes assisted by electronic sensors that beeped to indicate an out-of-bounds serve; one such system was called "
Cyclops In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, the Cyclopes ( ; el, Κύκλωπες, ''Kýklōpes'', "Circle-eyes" or "Round-eyes"; singular Cyclops ; , ''Kýklōps'') are giant one-eyed creatures. Three groups of Cyclopes can be distinguish ...
". Cyclops has since largely been replaced by the
Hawk-Eye Hawk-Eye is a computer vision system used in numerous sports such as cricket, tennis, Gaelic football, badminton, hurling, rugby union, association football and volleyball, to visually track the trajectory of the ball and display a profile of ...
system. In professional tournaments using this system, players are allowed three unsuccessful appeals per set, plus one additional appeal in the tiebreak to challenge close
line call In sports, a line call occurs when there is doubt as to whether a specific and significant event took place, for example, whether the ball in tennis touched the line rather than landing outside the court. The phrase ''line call'' is more generall ...
s by means of an electronic review. The US Open, Miami Masters,
US Open Series The US Open Series is the name given by the United States Tennis Association The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national Sport governing body, governing body for tennis in the United States. A not-for-profit organization with mor ...
, and
World Team Tennis World TeamTennis (WTT) is a mixed-gender professional tennis league played with a team tennis, team format in the United States, which was founded in 1973. The league's season normally takes place in the summer months. Players from the Associat ...
started using this challenge system in 2006 and the
Australian Open The Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne Melbourne ( ; Boonwurrung language, Boonwurrung/Woiwurrung–Taungurung language, Woiwurrung: ''Narrm'' or ''Naarm'') is the List of Australian ...
and Wimbledon introduced the system in 2007. In clay-court matches, such as at the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de tennis), also known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, beginning in late May each year. The tournament and ven ...
, a call may be questioned by reference to the mark left by the ball's impact on the court surface. The referee, who is usually located off the court, is the final authority about tennis rules. When called to the court by a player or team captain, the referee may overrule the umpire's decision if the tennis rules were violated (question of law) but may not change the umpire's decision on a question of fact. If, however, the referee is on the court during play, the referee may overrule the umpire's decision. (This would only happen in Davis Cup or Fed Cup matches, not at the World Group level, when a chair umpire from a non-neutral country is in the chair).


Junior tennis

In tennis, a junior is a player under 18 who is still legally protected by a parent or guardian. Players on the main adult tour who are under 18 must have documents signed by a parent or guardian. These players, however, are still eligible to play in junior tournaments. The
International Tennis Federation The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the Sports governing body, governing body of world tennis, wheelchair tennis, and beach tennis. It was founded in 1913 as the International Lawn Tennis Federation by twelve List of national tennis ass ...
(ITF) conducts a junior tour that allows juniors to establish a world ranking and an
Association of Tennis Professionals The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits – the ATP Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. It was formed in September 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and ...
(ATP) or
Women's Tennis Association The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) is the principal organizing body of Women's tennis, women's professional tennis. It governs the WTA Tour which is the worldwide professional tennis tour for women and was founded to create a better future fo ...
(WTA) ranking. Most juniors who enter the international circuit do so by progressing through ITF, Satellite, Future, and Challenger tournaments before entering the main circuit. The latter three circuits also have adults competing in them. Some juniors, however, such as Australian
Lleyton Hewitt Lleyton Glynn Hewitt (born 24 February 1981) is an Australian former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. He is the most recent Australian man to win a Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major singles title, wit ...
and Frenchman Gaël Monfils, have catapulted directly from the junior tour to the ATP tour by dominating the junior scene or by taking advantage of opportunities given to them to participate in professional tournaments. In 2004, the ITF implemented a new rankings scheme to encourage greater participation in doubles, by combining two rankings (singles and doubles) into one combined tally. Junior tournaments do not offer
prize money Prize money refers in particular to naval prize money, usually arising in naval warfare Naval warfare is combat in and on the sea, the ocean, or any other battlespace involving a major body of water such as a large lake or wide river. Manki ...
except for the Grand Slam tournaments, which are the most prestigious junior events. Juniors may earn income from tennis by participating in the Future, Satellite, or Challenger tours. Tournaments are broken up into different tiers offering different amounts of ranking points, culminating with Grade A. Leading juniors are allowed to participate for their nation in the Junior Fed Cup and Davis Cup competitions. To succeed in tennis often means having to begin playing at a young age. To facilitate and nurture a junior's growth in tennis, almost all tennis playing nations have developed a junior development system. Juniors develop their play through a range of tournaments on all surfaces, accommodating all different standards of play. Talented juniors may also receive sponsorships from governing bodies or private institutions.


Injuries

Muscle strain is one of the most common injuries in tennis. When an isolated large-energy appears during the muscle contraction and at the same time body weight apply huge amount of pressure to the lengthened muscle,
muscle strain A strain is an acute or chronic soft tissue injury that occurs to a muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are Organ (biology), organs of the vertebrate muscular system and typically are attached by tendons to bones of ...
can occur. Inflammation and bleeding are triggered when muscle strain occurs, which can result in redness, pain and swelling. Overuse is also common in tennis players of all levels.
Muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are Organ (biology), organs of the vertebrate muscular system and typically are attached by tendons to bones of a skeleton. The muscle cells of skeletal muscles are much longer than in the other ...
,
cartilage Cartilage is a resilient and smooth type of connective tissue. In tetrapods, it covers and protects the Epiphysis, ends of long bones at the joints as articular cartilage, and is a structural component of many body parts including the rib cage, th ...
,
nerves A nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of nerve fibers (called axons) in the peripheral nervous system. A nerve transmits electrical impulses. It is the basic unit of the peripheral nervous system. A nerve provides a common pathway for the E ...
, bursae,
ligaments A ligament is the Connective tissue#Types, fibrous connective tissue that connects bones to other bones. It is also known as ''articular ligament'', ''articular larua'', ''fibrous ligament'', or ''true ligament''. Other ligaments in the body inc ...
and
tendons A tendon or sinew is a tough, high-tensile-strength band of dense fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone. It is able to transmit the mechanical forces of muscle contraction to the skeletal system without sacrificing its abilit ...
may be damaged from overuse. The repetitive use of a particular muscle without time for repair and recovery is the most common cause of injury.


In popular culture

* "Tennis balles" are mentioned by
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's nation ...
in his play ''Henry V'' (1599), when a basket of them is given to King Henry as a mockery of his youth and playfulness. *
David Foster Wallace David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and university professor of English and creative writing Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of no ...
, an amateur tennis player himself at Urbana High School in
Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its largest metropolitan areas include the Chicago metropolitan area, and the Metro East section, of Greater St. Louis. Other smaller metropolitan areas inc ...
, included tennis in many of his works of non-fiction and fiction including "Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness," the autobiographical piece "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley," and ''
Infinite Jest ''Infinite Jest'' is a 1996 novel by American writer David Foster Wallace. Categorized as an encyclopedic novel, ''Infinite Jest'' is featured in ''TIME Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occu ...
'', which is partially set at the fictional "Enfield Tennis Academy" in
Massachusetts Massachusetts (Massachusett language, Massachusett: ''Muhsachuweesut assachusett writing systems, məhswatʃəwiːsət'' English: , ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New England ...
. * Japanese
Manga Manga (Japanese language, Japanese: 漫画 ) are comics or graphic novels originating from Japan. Most manga conform to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century, and the form has a long prehistory in earlier Japanese art. The term ...
series ''
The Prince of Tennis is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The manga was serialized in Shueisha's ''Weekly Shōnen Jump'' from July 1999 to March 2008, with its chapters collected in forty-two ''tankōbon'' volumes. ...
'' revolves around the tennis prodigy Echizen Ryoma and tennis matches between rival schools. * ''
The Royal Tenenbaums ''The Royal Tenenbaums'' is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and co-written with Owen Wilson. It stars Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, and Owen Wilson. ...
'' (2001) features Richie Tenenbaum ( Luke Wilson), a tennis pro who suffers from depression and has a breakdown on court in front of thousands of fans. * '' Wimbledon'' (2004) is a film about a discouraged pro tennis player ( Paul Bettany) who meets a young woman on the women's tennis circuit (
Kirsten Dunst Kirsten Caroline Dunst (; born April 30, 1982) is an American actress. She made her acting debut in the short ''Oedipus Wrecks'' directed by Woody Allen in the anthology film ''New York Stories'' (1989). She then gained recognition for her rol ...
) who helps him find his drive to go and win Wimbledon. * In ''
The Squid and the Whale ''The Squid and the Whale'' is a 2005 American Independent film, independent comedy-drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach and produced by Wes Anderson. It tells the semi-autobiographical story of two boys in Brooklyn dealing with the ...
'' (2005), Joan (
Laura Linney Laura Leggett Linney (born February 5, 1964) is an American actress. Having studied acting at Juilliard School The Juilliard School ( ) is a private performing arts The performing arts are The arts, arts such as music, dance, and dram ...
) has an affair with her kids' tennis coach, Ivan (
William Baldwin William Joseph Baldwin (born February 21, 1963), Note: While birthplace is routinely listed as Massapequa, that town has no hospital, and brother Alec Baldwin was born in nearby Amityville, which does. known also as Billy Baldwin,is an American ...
). In a symbolic scene, Joan's ex-husband, Bernard (
Jeff Daniels Jeffrey Warren Daniels (born February 19, 1955) is an American actor, comedian, musician, and playwright, known for his work on stage and screen playing diverse characters switching between comedy and drama. He is the recipient of several accol ...
), loses a tennis match against Ivan in front of the kids. *
Woody Allen Heywood "Woody" Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg; November 30, 1935) is an American film director, writer, actor, and comedian whose career spans more than six decades and multiple Academy Award-winning films. He began his career writing ...
's ''
Match Point ''Match Point'' is a 2005 psychological thriller film written and directed by Woody Allen and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox (actor), Brian Cox, and Penelope Wilton. In the film, Rh ...
'' (2005) features a love affair between a former tennis pro, Chris Wilton ( Jonathan Rhys Meyers), and his best friend's fiancé, Nola Rice (
Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Ingrid Johansson (; born November 22, 1984) is an American actress. The world's highest-paid actress in 2018 and 2019, she has featured multiple times on the Forbes Celebrity 100, ''Forbes'' Celebrity 100 list. ''Time (magazine), Tim ...
). A scene of the movie includes a brief comparison between
Andre Agassi Andre Kirk Agassi ( ; born April 29, 1970) is an American former List of ATP number 1 ranked singles players, world No. 1 tennis player. He is an eight-time Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, major champion and an Tennis at the 1996 Summer Olympic ...
and
Tim Henman Timothy Henry Henman (born 6 September 1974) is a British former professional tennis player. Henman played a serve-and-volley style of tennis. He was the first British man to reach the singles semifinals of The Championships, Wimbledon, Wimble ...
, with Chris Wilton calling both of them "geniuses". * ''
Confetti Confetti are small pieces or streamers of paper, mylar, or metallic material which are usually thrown at celebration (party), celebrations, especially parades and weddings. The origins are from the Latin ''confectum'', with ''confetti'' the plu ...
'' (2006) is a
mockumentary A mockumentary (a Blend word, blend of ''mock'' and ''documentary''), fake documentary or docu-comedy is a type of film or television show depicting fictional events but presented as a documentary. These productions are often used to analyze or ...
which sees three couples competing to win the title of "Most Original Wedding of the Year". One competing couple ( Meredith MacNeill and
Stephen Mangan Stephen James Mangan (born 16 May 1968) is an English actor, comedian, presenter and writer. He has played Guy Secretan in ''Green Wing'', Dan Moody in ''I'm Alan Partridge'', Seán Lincoln in ''Episodes (TV series), Episodes'', Bigwig in ''Wat ...
) are a pair of hyper-competitive professional tennis players holding a tennis-themed wedding. * There are several tennis video games including the ''Mario Tennis'' series, the ''TopSpin'' series, the '' Virtua Tennis'' series, ''
Sega Superstars Tennis ''Sega Superstars Tennis'' is a mascot sports video game developed by Sumo Digital and published by Sega. It is the second title in the ''Sega All-Stars'' series, preceded by ''Sega Superstars'' (2005), and Crossover video game, crosses over cha ...
'', ''
Grand Slam Tennis The Grand Slam in tennis is the achievement of winning all four major championships in one discipline in a calendar year, also referred to as the "Calendar-year Grand Slam" or "Calendar Slam". In doubles, a team may accomplish the Grand Slam pl ...
'' and ''
Wii Sports ''Wii Sports'' is a 2006 sports game, sports simulation game, simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The 1.0 (pre-release) version of the game was released in North America along with the Wii on ...
''.


See also

* Outline of tennis * Tennis games * Tennis strategy * Tennis technology * Tennis statistics * Tennis injuries * International Tennis Integrity Agency


References


Further reading

* Barrett, John. ''Wimbledon: The Official History of the Championships'' (HarperCollins, 2001) * Collins, Bud. ''History of Tennis – An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book'' (New Chapter Press, 2010) * Danzig, Allison and Peter Schwed (ed.). ''The Fireside Book of Tennis'' (Simon & Schuster, 1972) * Doherty, Reginald Frank. ''R.F. and H.L. Doherty – On Lawn Tennis'' (Kessinger Publishing, 2010) * Dwight, Eleanor. ''Tie Breaker – Jimmy Van Alen and Tennis in the 20th century'' (Scala Books, 2010) * Gillmeister, Heiner. ''Tennis: A Cultural History'' (Continuum, 1998) * Grimsley, Will. ''Tennis – Its History, People and Events'' (Prentice-Hall, 1971) * King, Billie Jean and Starr, Cynthia. ''We Have Come a Long Way'' (
McGraw-Hill McGraw Hill is an American educational publishing company and one of the "big three" educational publishers that publishes educational content, software, and services for Pre-kindergarten, pre-K through postgraduate education. The company also ...
, 1998) * Whitman, Malcolm D. ''Tennis – Origins and Mysteries'' (Dover Publications, 2004)


External links


International Tennis Federation (ITF)

Association of Tennis Players (ATP)
– men's professional tennis organization
Women's Tennis Association (WTA)
– women's professional tennis organization
International Tennis Hall of Fame

Grand Slam history
(Reference book) * {{Authority control Ball games Summer Olympic sports Racket sports Sports originating in England Athletic sports Turf sports