Tennis is one of the most widely played sports in the world, with millions of people participating in leagues and tournaments worldwide. With that many people playing at such a high level, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of interesting tennis facts that even the biggest fans might not know.
For instance, do you know who grunts and strikes the most and who has the lengthiest grunt in history? If not, no worries, as I am going to share 100 amazing facts in this article.
Tennis originated in France in the 12th century. It has changed a lot over time. It has a very interesting background. Apart from that, the idea of watching a match while sitting on the lawn and holding a cup of coffee never fails to entertain – a good way to end your weekends.
Nevertheless, tennis has some jaw-dropping facts as well. Keep on reading to know about them.
Table of Contents
Tennis has amazing facts that will surprise you. Furthermore, the officials try to make it better and fun at the same time. Therefore, to make a fair game there are specific rules that ITF has made. The variations and the fun facts are below.
Tennis General Facts
- According to history, French monks invented tennis in the 11th or 12th century. They played it with their hands over a string at the center of a courtyard.
- After that, they started wearing gloves with webbing in the middle of their fingers.
- Over time they used to play with webbing attached to a handle which is also known as a racket nowadays.
- The first ball was made with wool hair wrapped in leather. These balls had fur over them.
- It became popular in 1870 in the United States. This game was not very common in the US before that.
- The All England Croquet club arranged a tennis championship in 1877. It was when it became popular all around the world.
- It was introduced to Australia in 1880. The first championship was conducted in 1905.
- The women’s championship was introduced in 1884 at Wimbledon. In addition, the national championship was started in 1887 in the US.
- At the start, the female tennis players wore long dresses at the Wimbledon tournament.
- It became a part of the Olympics in 1900. Lorie Doherty from England won the first championship.
Tennis Fun Facts
Here is the list of fun facts that I have pulled together for you.
- The shortest Grand Slam in history lasted for 34 minutes. It was the only match that took the shortest time ever. This match was between Steffi Graff and Natasha Zvereva. It was a completely one-sided match 6-0, 0-6.
- Martina Hingis was the youngest player who became number 1 in the world.
- The top professional player Maria Sharapova is the only female player who grunts the loudest. Her loudest grunt record is 101 decibels which are only 5 decibels lower than the lion’s roar. Additionally, Michelle Larcher de Brito’s grunt is the loudest at 109 decibels.
- Arthur Ashe was the first player who won the US Open. He represented Africa and won the tournament for the first time in 1968.
- The US Open was introduced in 1881, the French Open in 1981, and the Australian Open in 1905. These four big tournaments are a part of the Grand Slam.
- A player becomes the winner of the Career Grand Slam if he wins all four tournaments in the same year. On the other hand, the title of a Non-calendar-Year Grand Slam is if he wins all four tournaments but not in the same year.
- The longest tennis match in history took 11 hours and 5 minutes which was between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut.
- Last but not least, the tennis elbow is an inflammation of the elbow muscles joining the forearm.
Interesting Facts About Tennis
- Its first version was lawn tennis. It was early known as Sphairistike. It was introduced in 1874.
- Initially, the tennis courts were in an hourglass shape. Later, they got the rectangular shape for Wimbledon in 1875.
- The first winner at Wimbledon was Spencer Gore. He was the first winner who win the official tournament.
- Charles VIII hit his head on the door of a primitive tennis court and died in 1498.
- Tennis players play the match for 2.5 hours and the balls stay in the play for 20 minutes.
- The longest match was played for 3 days. The time it took was 11 hours and 5 minutes.
- Before 1986, tennis balls were in white color. The balls were in yellow after 1986 to make the ball more visible.
- The fastest record of the serve has been recorded is at 205 km per hour for women by Venus Williams.
- Venus Williams and Serena both won the Gold medal at Olympics. They were the only two sisters who got the gold medals.
- Wimbledon is a tournament in which they play on a grass court. However, the Australian Open, and the US Open, play on hard surfaces. While the French Open, they play on the red clay surface.
- At the start times, the women wore long dresses while playing at Wimbledon.
- Tennis is a part of the Paralympic Games since 1992.
- Margaret Smith is the only player with 24 titles in the singles matches in the Grand Slams.
- Tiffany & Co. compose the US Open trophy. They make the trophy for the professional tournaments.
- The maximum length of a racket was 32 inches until 1997. Later, they changed it to 29 inches in 1997.
- A person under the age of 18 can play in the Junior tournaments by filling out the form.
Tennis Ball Facts
Tennis ball facts are very interesting. The changes to the ball are made over time. It has come a long way.
- The interesting part is that the ball stays in action for 20 minutes in a 2.5 hours match.
- According to ITF, the weight of the tennis ball should be 56.0 and 58.4 grams.
- In 1972, Mike Davies introduced yellow balls. This color was more visible on television. Before that white balls were in use.
- Scottish Craftsmen dyed the balls with a rope tied around the stomach of a goat to make them resemble the standard tennis ball.
Tennis History Facts
Tennis has a proper interesting background and history. It has come a long way and many changes have been made over time. Let’s take a look back at history.
- Tennis started in France in the 12th century. The players used to play with their hands with a string hanging at the center of the courtyard.
- The name tennis was introduced by the monks who called it “tenez” every single time they hit the ball.
- Initially, the balls were made of wood, and later it was replaced with material cellulose that makes the ball bouncier.
- The scoring method is very unique for tennis. The scoring systems 15, 30, and 45 came from medieval France. In addition, this method of scoring was a bit difficult therefore the scoring goes like 15, 30, and 40 now.
- King Henry VIII built a tennis court at Hampton Court Palace which is still in use. It still exists and is largely used for the royal families to play. Moreover, the Wimbledon district built the All England Court Club.
- Outdoor lawn tennis was invented in 1873 by Major Walter Wingfield. He named the game “Sphairistike” which is a Greek word meaning “playing ball”. In 1874 the first lawn tennis match was held in the USA.
- The very first US Open was played after America founded The United States National Lawn Tennis Association in 1881.
- It became a part of the Olympics in 1896.
- Female tennis started in the French championship in 1897.
How Tennis was Invented? Facts You Must Know
It was a complex game in the past years and was mostly played indoors. It has gone through many transformations regarding the rules and regulations. Here I have mentioned its historic value, who made tennis, and its deep information.
- It was first introduced by the French people and it had the name “Paume”. Tennis was introduced in the 12th century.
- In the olden times back in the 12th century, they named it “jeu de paume” which means “game of the palm”.
- Some historians say that tennis originated in northern France.
- This game was made by the European monks and they used to play it with their hands. It was very common to play on ceremonial occasions.
- Tennis originated in France therefore, its origin is in France and it was introduced in England in the 1870s.
- Modern tennis started in Birmingham England in the late 19th century.
- Furthermore, players used to play with rackets and on various surfaces.
- In the early times, it was a game that was only played indoors. Later on, it became popular and played on different court types.
- Modern tennis was invented by Major Walton Clopton Wingfield in 1873.
Tennis Olympics Facts
It is a game that has a large fan following and it also became a part of the Olympics games. Therefore, it is a dream of a player to win the championship at the Olympics.
- Tennis has been a part of the Olympic games for a long time. It was played 16 times in Olympics.
- There are 71 tennis events that are organized at the Olympics. These games are arranged every year.
- Serena and Venus Williams have won 4 gold medals. The 3 medals them are from the doubles matches of the women’s tennis.
- The Wimbledon championship was held at two different Olympic Games in London in 1908 and 2012.
- The Olympic Games at Rio included 200 athletes from 50 plus countries competing for winning the championship. The St. Louis games were a bit different in 1904, there were 36 participants from 2 different countries.
- Leander Paes in 1996 was the first Indian to win an individual medal at the Olympic games.
- Steffi Graf won her first and only gold medal in the ladies’ singles in 1988. She became famous because of winning this gold medal and the Grand Slam.
Tennis Elbow Facts
It is the inflammation of the muscles joining the elbow and the forearm. A player with having tennis elbow suffers a lot of pain. This injury is caused due to the overuse of the arm.
- This injury happens when you overuse your arm or lift heavy weights.
- The reason for tennis elbow is not just tennis itself. Therefore, orthopedic specialists also describe the reasons such as improper healing, poor blood circulation, or small tears in the tendons.
- Another reason for having a tennis elbow is your low strength, appearance, range of motion, and capacity.
- Doing exercises can help you get better with time.
- Surgery is not the only solution in all cases.
- Thinking positively about your healing process can make recovery faster.
Tennis Racket Facts
The rackets have a standard size. There are specific rules for the composition of the rackets. Therefore, there are some rackets facts that you should know.
- The length of the racket is specified by the officials which is 29 inches.
- There was a palm method for playing which was swapped with the rackets in the 1500s.
- Tennis players started using rackets in the 16th century. Before that, they played with their hands.
Tennis Court Facts
There are so many courts of ancient times that are still in use. They have a remarkable history and represent traditional history.
- The Royal tennis court in London is the oldest. It was built in 1526 and 1529 and is still in use.
- A court consists of a length of 78 by 27 feet for singles and 78 by 36 for doubles matches.
- The origin of the scoring in tennis is according to the clock. The scoring was 15, 30, and 45 and later it was replaced with 15, 30, and 40.
- There are indoor and outdoor courts for tennis. They have different types of surfaces such as grass, hard, and clay.
- Further, the first lawn tennis match at Wimbledon was held in 1877. This first championship is a part of Wimbledon history.
- The tiebreakers were introduced in the early 1970s. This concept was introduced for choosing a winner for the game.
Court Oath Facts
The tennis court oath is a significant part of this sport. This oath has historic background facts. It was taken long ago on the tennis court.
- The French people built took the oath on 20th June 1789. The purpose of this oath was not to disband even under the King’s command.
- They took this oath on the tennis court in 1686 which was in the use of Versailles palace.
- The purpose of this oath was to never separate until a new constitution is established in France.
Tennis Facts For Kids
It is, no doubt, a fun game and it is more interesting for the kids. Therefore, it is a great fun activity for kids to keep them busy and active. Let’s see the tennis facts for kids.
- Kids can play this game in a pair or four can become a part of the game.
- There are different surfaces on the tennis court such as concrete, clay, and grass.
- The baselines are at the end of the court while the sidelines are on the sides of it.
- There is a net at the center for the separation. Each player stands on either side.
- The service lines are 21 feet away from the net on each side.
- A player has to score at least four points to win the game. He can also score more than his opponent.
- A score of zero is called “love” in tennis. Additionally, the scoring is unique such as 15, 30, and 40.
- There is a net at the center that is 6 feet high and 3 inches high at the center.
Wimbledon History Facts
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam in which they play on the grass surface only. The rest of the tournaments keep switching the court surfaces. Some of the facts and the changes that have been made to this official tournament are as follows.
- The Wimbledon championship is the oldest championship.
- Ladies’ singles and men’s doubles came into sight in 1884.
- In 1913, women’s doubles and mixed came on the scene. These matches also became a part of this tournament.
- The Wimbledon rules state that a player must be in completely white attire. The umpire has the authority to ask for a change if a player is wearing anything other than white.
- During this tournament, they use new balls after every seven to nine games. Moreover, 54,240 tennis balls come into use during this tournament.
- There are about 250 boys and girls who keep the track of the tennis balls. These boys and girls have proper training months before the tournament starts. They are also known as BBGs.
- Czech and Martina Navratilova have nine victories in the Wimbledon tournament. In men’s singles, William Renshaw, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer won most of the titles.
- The men’s and ladies’ singles championships got prizes of $3 million in 2014. They also got the trophies along with the cash.
- In Wimbledon, the longest match was for 11 hours and 5 minutes. This match took place in 2010.
- The fastest ball serve player was Taylor Dent. The record of the ball speed was 238 kph.
- Maria Sharapova made the loudest grunt during the Wimbledon tournament. Her voice reached up to 105 decibels.
Tennis is a vast game that came a long way. It went through many variations that now is open to all ages and genders. Not only the youngster can become a part of tennis but disabled people also play.
The 100 tennis facts that I just shared above tell a lot about the transformations and variations that tennis has to go through. Moreover, from its scoring system to its gaming rules, and historic background, it is the most interesting sport to watch and play as well.
Do you know any tennis facts that we have not covered in our article? If yes, do share it with us.
Q) Who started tennis?
There are different opinions from historians but the one that they mostly agree upon is that Major Walter Clopton Wingfield started tennis in 1873.
Q) Why do they call it tennis?
As the origin of tennis is French and in French tennis was called Tenez which means to “hold”, “take” or “receive”. But now it is known as tennis.
Q) Who shrieks the loudest in tennis?
The one and only Maria Sharapova has the loudest shriek and grunt at around 101 decibels which is nearly the roar of a lion.
Q) Where does tennis have the most popularity?
Tennis is the most famous and widely played in Australia.
Q) Who is the richest tennis player?
Ion Tiriac, a businessman and a former tennis player is the richest tennis player with a net worth of $2 billion. While in women, Serena Williams is the richest female tennis player with a net worth of $250 million.
Hey, it’s 32 years old Robert Dexter here, a huge fan of Roger Federer. I love tennis since the age of 12. I write about tennis whenever possible. I have keen interest in equipment and the technicalities of tennis. Other than tennis, I love to post new stories on Instagram, read books and cooking.