Is your kid an ardent tennis fan? Are you thinking of enrolling him in a tennis club? If you find yourself nodding along in agreement, you should consider reading this post.
Tennis is one of the most popular individual sports in the world. The players use racquets to hit the ball into the opponent’s court. People play individually against a single opponent (singles) or with two teams of two players on each side (doubles). Let’s have a look at some interesting tennis facts for kids that you can share.
Before getting into the fun facts about tennis for kids, first know its history. The game of tennis has been around for more than 140 years. An early version of the sport started out in France in the 16th century. The players would yell ‘tenez’ before the start of the game, which gave the game its name. Later, the game was refined as Lawn Tennis to resemble the sport that it is now. Tennis is an Olympic sport with more than 75 million players worldwide.
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2. Tennis Court:
The tennis courts were originally hourglass shaped. The rectangular courts came into being in 1875 for the Wimbledon tournament. A standard tennis court measures 27 feet wide and 78 feet long. For double matches, the width of the courts is 36 feet. The net is 3 feet 6 inches high, and it divides the court in half.
3. Tennis Court Surface:
Initially, tennis players would play on carefully groomed lawns. It was a wealthy man’s sport, played on estates or private clubs. Today, major Grand Slam tennis tournaments feature different court surfaces. The U.S. Open and the Australian Open feature courts made of synthetic surfaces. The French Open has clay courts.
Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament asks players to wear white clothing when on the grass courts. You must wear tennis shoes or sneakers to prevent slipping and injuring yourself. Earlier, women tennis players had to wear full-length dresses. It wasn’t until 1932 that women began wearing shorts.
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The different shots used in tennis are forehand, backhand, lob, drop shot and backhand. Most of the players hold the racket with just one hand to hit a forehand stroke, but you can use two hands for a backhand stroke. You have to hit the ball only with the tennis racket, ideally from the middle of the racket head. You win points every time you are the last team or player to hit the ball into the opponent’s court. The player must score 4 points to win the game.
The original tennis ball was made of leather and stuffed with wool or hair. Today, tennis balls are usually of bright colors like green or neon yellow to help players keep a track of them. The balls have felt-like finish. Before 1986, the tennis balls used at Wimbledon were white in color. The colored balls only made their appearance after the advent of television. The Wimbledon tennis tournament uses around 42,000 balls.
Before racquets, players would use their palms to hit the ball back and forth. With the introduction of racquets, the palm method became obsolete. The first tennis racquets were wooden, yet provided no power. For hundreds of years, tennis racquet strings were made using animal guts.
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The four most important tennis events are the Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open and the Australian Open.
Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tournament of tennis. It has hosted some of the longest and most intense matches in the history. Tompkinsville, Staten Island first hosted the Wimbledon Championship in 1880. The first winner of the Wimbledon Tournament was Spencer Gore. The longest Wimbledon tennis match was 11 hours and five minutes long. It spanned over a period of three days.
The Olympics introduced tennis in 1896 but removed it in 1924. It was re-added as a real event in 1988. It has been a part of the Paralympic Games since 1992.
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11. Tennis Stars:
The tennis scene has emerged rapidly in the last century. The game has produced some excellent tennis stars, which include:
- Roger Federer:
Roger Federer is currently the most popular tennis player in the world. Even at over 30, Roger is still achieving great success. The Swiss Tennis Official rewarded Roger Federer with a cow when he first won the grand slam.
- Althea Gibson:
Althea Gibson was the first African-American to play in the U.S. Open Championship in 1950.
- Tim Henman:
Tim Henman is a former British tennis player. He won 15 ATP titles and an Olympic gold medal in the men’s double event in Atlanta in 1996.
- Fred Perry:
Fred Perry was the first tennis player to achieve a career grand slam. He is also the only player to have won major tournaments in table tennis and tennis.
- Steffi Graf:
Steffi Graf is the only female tennis player to have won the Golden Slam. She won all four grand slams, including an Olympic gold medal for tennis. She also holds the record for being the number 1 for the longest time.
- Serena and Venus Williams:
Venus and Serena Williams were the first sisters to have won Olympic gold medals in tennis.
- Margaret Smith:
Margaret Smith holds the record for winning the most Grand Slam single titles. She has won 24 Grand Slam titles.
- Mita Klima:
Mita Klima is the youngest player to compete in the tennis tournament at the age of 13. The record stood for 106 years.
Other famous tennis players include Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jean King and Billie.
So this was little tennis information for kids. Playing tennis matches helps better coordination and spatial awareness in your children. It will also encourage good sportsmanship. So, this weekend, take out some time from your busy schedule to play tennis with your kids.
Do you know of any amazing tennis facts for kids that we missed? Leave your comment below.
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