Tennis is among the most popular sports in the United States. It is played by amateurs and

professionals, children and adults, women and men. It can be played for sheer enjoyment or

in fiercely competitive tournaments, such as the famous Davis Cup, Wightman Cup and the

Wimbledon tournament.  Like badminton, it requires agility, speed and almost continuous

motion on the part of the player. It is often recommended as a good means of aerobic exercise.


The game that we know as tennistoday (officially known as lawn tennis) was created

by a British citizen, Major Walter C. Wingfield, who introduced the game to Britain in 1873.

The following year saw the introduction of the already-popular game to America.  However,

the real history of tennis apparently goes back far beyond Major Wingfields day. A version

of tennis was played in ancient Greece and in France in the 1400s.  The first tennis tournament

was played at Wimbledon in England in 1877. While Wimbledon is still considered the most

famous and prestigious tennis tournament in the world, the Davis Cup and Wightman Cup

tournaments are also important annual events.


A tennis game always starts with the serve. The server stands behind the base line on the right

side of the court. The ball is tossed into the air and hit diagonally across the net into the

opponents court. The opponent then has to hit the ball after the first bounce, and return

it back across the net to the server.A faultis committed when the server hits the net with

the ball or when the ball is hit outside the service court. The second time a server tries to serve

and fails, a doublefaultoccurs. The opponent automatically gains a point after a double fault.

Faults can also occur when the server touches the base line or any other part of the court

with his/her feet while serving. A let ballis a serve that touches the net but lands in the

correct place. This type of ball does not count; the server must serve again.  A ball that

touches the net during play is called a net ball.Net balls are legal and must be played.

Once the first point is made, the server then serves from behind the left base line. The server

continues until the opponent wins the serve or until a fault occurs.  The first point in a tennis

game is 15, the second is 30 and the third is 40. The final score (or fourth point) is the

GAME POINT.  A player must score four points in order to win a game. In a tie game,

both sides or players may score three points, or 40-40 (a DEUCE). If a player or side wins

two more points after a deuce, the game is won.The ADor ADVANTAGE is the first point

scored after the deuce. When both players score a point after a deuce, the game returns to

40-40 again. The score LOVEmeans zero. If a game has the score 30-love, it means the

score is 30 to zero. Nobody knows why the term loveis used in tennis, but it is generally

believed to have originated from the French word louve,which means egg.An egg

is round like a circle, hence its association with a zero.  A SET means that one side or player

has won six games. The winner of the set must win by two games. A MATCH means that

two out of three sets have been won.



There are four types of serves in tennis: the flat serve, the slice serve, the kick serve and the

American twist. While the slice is the most common and effective serve, all four types of serves

demand a controlled toss and good follow-through. To execute the serve properly, the player

raises the racquet back to a point where it reaches over his or her right shoulder. The players

elbow is kept straight in the air. The proper stance is straight, not bent at the waist. The ball

is then tossed up into the air. As the ball comes down, the server moves forward and strikes

the ball with the racquet, driving it over the net toward the other player or players.


This move is one of the two main strokes used for returning the ball after one bounce.

When the ball approaches the players racquet-hand side, the forehand drive is used

basically, as a way of blocking the ball. The wrist maintains a firm position and keeps

the racquet face open. All contact with the ball should take place in front of the player
s body.


This move is the other main stroke used to return a ball after one bounce. In the backhand

drive, the ball goes to the opposite side of the racquet hand. The player moves the arm across

the body and, as with the forehand drive, maintains a firm wrist and elbow. Again, contact

with the ball is made in front of the players body.


The famous Martina Navratilova once offered this advice about the volley: Keep itshort and

simple.The players knees should be bent and legs slightly apart while the weight of the body

is forward. The elbows should be turned in toward the body as the body pivots and the

shoulder turns toward the ball.  The power of the volley comes not from the swing, but

from a firm wrist, good timing and the ability to keep ones body weight forward.


The lob features a short backswing, an open racquet face and an upward motion. The

follow-through on this shot is shorter than on other shots. The goal of the lob is to hit the

ball over the opponents head in order to drive him/her back in the court.


The forehand and backhand slices are used to make the ball spin and bounce crookedly.

In the forehand slice, the players shoulders should turn as the racquet is brought back

above the level of the ball. The racquet head is tilted upward at this point, while the players

weight is kept forward. Ideally, the follow-through on this shot is kept short.  In the backhand

slice, the player turns as the racquet is brought back above the level of the ball. The wrist

is kept stiff as contact with the ball occurs in front of the player
s body.


Tennis is usually played in loose-fitting shorts for men or short skirts for women. Athletic

shoes are needed to brace the feet and ankles during violent maneuvers. Light polo shirts or

blouses are worn to provide freedom of movement.


Venus Williams of the United States repeated as Wimbeldon champion by downing Belgium

tennis star, Justine Henin 6-1, 3-6, 6-0. The win marked Williamsthird Grand Slam singles

title. She dominated the
 court, only losing one set in seven matches. Venus has denied reports

that her father had said that she was considering early retirement. Im too young to be thinking

about retiring,she said.  For the men, popular Croat, Goran Ivanisevic, became the king of

Wimbledon recently by outlasting Patrick Rafter of Australia, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, and 9-7 for

the crown. The match, which was delayed a day because of rain, made Ivanisevic the first

wild-card invitee to capture a Grand Slam. During the Wimbledon he saw his world ranking

rise from 125 to 16. He had been a three-time runner-up before finally winning the Wimbledon.

Ivanisevic, who has been hampered by a shoulder problem, now plans to have surgery. Rafter,

who is now 28 years old, is looking forward to a six-month break at the end of this year and

may retire soon.  Lindsay Davenport, recently extended her winning steak to 13 matches

at the Sanex Championships in Munich Germany. Davenport could end up in the top spot

at this year end tournament. This tournament, which shifted from New York to Munich

features the best 16 players. But this year Venus Williams pulled out with injuries.  The 2000

Sydney Olympic results were:

Women doubles: Gold: USA, Silver: Netherlands, Bronze: Belgium.

Women Singles: Gold: Venus Williams, USA, Silver: ElenaDementieva,

Russia, Bronze: Monica Seles, USA.

Men Singles: Gold: Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Russia, Silver: Tommy Hass, Germany,

and Bronze: Arnaud Di Pasquale,France.

Men’s Doubles: Gold: Canada, Silver: Australia, and Bronze: Spain.



The following questions will help you to have a greater appreciation and understanding

of tennis. Write your answers in the spaces below the questions. If there is not enough

room, write on the backs of these sheets. Be neat, spell correctly, and write in complete


1. What are the physical benefits of playing tennis?

2. What is
a faultin tennis?

3. What is a let ball?a net ball?

4. When and where was tennis first played?

5. Name the four types of serves in tennis.

6. What is the tennis volley and how is it executed?

7. What does the score
lovemean in tennis?
8. What does a setin tennis mean?

9. What is the first point in a tennis score?

10. What comprises a matchin tennis?

Short Answer Questions:

1. Martina says keep it short and simple

2. A popular tennis tournament

3. Most famous tennis tournament

4. One must win at least six of these to win the set

5. Love in tennis means this for a score

6. When the server hits the net with the ball

7. The direction of the player
s weight when hitting a slice

8. A score of 40-40

9. It is in the middle of the court and the ball must be hit over it

10. Comes from the French word for egg

11. Tennis was originally played on this

12. This major introduced tennis to England in 1873

13. There are this many types of serves in tennis

14. One type of drive

15. Short backswing and upward motion

16. A tennis game starts with one of these

17. Makes the ball bounce and spin

18. Another type of drive

19. The first point scored after deuce

20. The server hits the net with the ball and the ball lands in the right place