Test Your Tennis History Knowledge

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

When did rackets come into use in tennis?

What are the four biggest competitions on the tennis circuit collectively known as?

Which competition was designed by Dwight F. Davis in 1898 as a tennis showdown between the US and Great Britain?

When was the International Tennis Federation (ITF) formed?

When did the Open Era begin in tennis?

When was the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) formed?

Which tournament offered equal prize money to men and women in 1973?

When did the ATP Tour package the nine most prestigious events as the 'Championship Series – Single Tournament Week'?

When was the first professional tennis tour created by promoter C. C. Pyle?


A Brief History of Tennis

  • Tennis is the direct descendant of real tennis, also known as royal tennis, which is still played today as a separate sport with more complex rules.

  • Most historians believe that tennis originated in the monastic cloisters in northern France in the 12th century, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand.

  • It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis."

  • The Marylebone Cricket Club's Rules of Lawn Tennis have been official since 1875 and were adopted by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the first Lawn Tennis Championship, Wimbledon in 1877.

  • The Davis Cup, an annual competition between men's national teams, dates to 1900, and the Fed Cup, an analogous competition for women's national teams, was founded as the Federation Cup in 1963.

  • Promoter C. C. Pyle created the first professional tennis tour in 1926, with a group of American and French tennis players playing exhibition matches to paying audiences.

  • In 1968, commercial pressures and rumors of some amateurs taking money under the table led to the abandonment of the distinction between amateur and professional players, inaugurating the Open Era.

  • The word "tennis" came into use in English in the mid-14th century from Old French via the Anglo-Norman term Tenez, which can be translated as "hold!," "receive!," or "take!," a call from the server to his opponent indicating that he is about to serve.

  • The Medieval form of tennis is termed as real tennis, a game that evolved over three centuries, from an earlier ball game played around the 12th century in France.

  • The modern sport of tennis is tied to two separate inventions: field tennis, which was played in 1767 in the summer in Battersea fields, and lawn tennis, which was developed by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield in 1873.

  • The four biggest competitions on the tennis circuit are Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open, collectively known as the four majors or Grand Slam tournaments.

  • The first Championships, Wimbledon, were contested by 22 men in 1877, and the winner received a Silver Gilt Cup proclaiming the winner to be "The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Champion of the World."

  • Tennis terminology derives from both the evolving sport of outdoor tennis and from real tennis, and much of modern tennis terminology also derives from this period.The History of Tennis

  • Tennis was played in the UK since the 19th century, and the first Championships were held in 1877, which later became the Wimbledon Championships.

  • The US Open was first held in 1881, and the United States National Lawn Tennis Association was formed in the same year.

  • The French Open was first held in 1891 as the Championat de France International de Tennis, but it was not recognized as a major or Grand Slam tournament until 1925.

  • The Australian Open was first played in 1905 as The Australasian Championships. It became one of the major tennis tournaments starting in 1924.

  • The Davis Cup was designed by Dwight F. Davis in 1898 as a tennis showdown between the US and Great Britain. It was renamed the Davis Cup in 1945 and has expanded to include 130 nations.

  • The International Tennis Federation (ITF) was formed in 1913 by 12 national tennis associations at a Paris conference. It has remained remarkably stable in the ensuing century.

  • Tennis withdrew from the Olympics after the 1924 Games but returned 60 years later as a 21-and-under demonstration event in 1984.

  • The Fed Cup was first proposed by Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman in 1919 and was played in 1963 as part of the ITF's 50th anniversary celebrations. It evolved from the Wightman Cup and became the Fed Cup with a new Davis Cup-style format in 1995.

  • The Open Era began in 1968 when Grand Slam tournaments agreed to allow professional players to compete with amateurs. Before 1968, only amateurs were allowed to compete in Grand Slam tournaments.

  • In the first years of the Open Era, power struggles between the ILTF and the commercial promoters led to boycotts of Grand Slam events.

  • The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was created in 1972 after all the players attended the 1972 US Open and agreed to form a player syndicate to protect themselves from the promoters and associations.

  • In 1978, the ILTF Grand Prix and WCT circuits merged, and the Grand Prix became the primary circuit. The Men's International Professional Tennis Council governed the Grand Prix circuit.

  • The WCT Finals in Dallas continued being held until the end of the 1980s, and then disbanded with the creation of the ATP Tour for 1990.History of Professional Tennis

  • Tennis became more accessible to the general public with the introduction of courts in public recreational facilities in America since the 1970s.

  • The United States Lawn Tennis Association changed its name to the United States Tennis Association in the 1970s.

  • The Association of Tennis Professionals replaced the Men's Tennis Council in 1990.

  • The ATP Tour was established in 1990 and packaged the nine most prestigious events as the "Championship Series – Single Tournament Week".

  • The Super Nine was renamed the Masters Series in 2000 occupying the rank below the Grand Slams.

  • Women's professional tennis began in 1926 when Suzanne Lenglen accepted $50,000 for a series of matches against Mary K. Browne.

  • There was virtually no further women's professional tennis until 1967 when Billie Jean King, Ann Jones, Françoise Dürr, and Rosie Casals joined a promoter's tour of eight men.

  • The Women's Tennis Association, formed in 1973, is the principal organizing body of women's professional tennis.

  • In 1973, the U.S. Open offered equal prize money to men and women.

  • The Women's Tennis Association organizes the worldwide professional WTA Tour.

  • The International Tennis Hall of Fame was founded in 1954 by James Van Alen in Newport, Rhode Island.

  • Each year, a grass-court tournament takes place on its grounds, as well as an induction ceremony honoring new members.


Think you know everything about the history of tennis? Test your knowledge with our quiz! From the origins of the sport in France to the establishment of the Grand Slam tournaments and the rise of professional tennis, this quiz covers it all. See how much you know about the players, events, and terminology that have shaped the sport we love today. Whether you're a die-hard fan or just starting to learn about tennis, this quiz is a fun way to learn more about the fascinating history of the game.

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