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Tennis


Tennis has a long history, but the birth of the game played today is thought to have taken place in England.

11th century beginnings

The earliest recognisable relative to tennis, as we know it, was "jeu de paume", played in 11th century France. Played in a monastery courtyard, the game used the walls and sloping roofs as part of the court and the palm of the hand to hit the ball.

Tennis overtakes croquet

By the late 19th century, the popularity of lawn tennis had overtaken croquet in England. For this reason, the All England Croquet Club embraced the sport and designated certain croquet lawns to be used for tennis. It was this natural supply of venues combined with the already existing framework for a racquet game that resulted in the birth of the modern game in England.

An international sport

In 1913, lawn tennis was becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Therefore it seemed natural that the existing National Tennis Associations should join forces to ensure the game was uniformly structured. An international conference was held between 12 nations in Paris and the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) was created.

Professional dilemma

Tennis has a long Olympic history but withdrew from the programme after 1924. It did not return as a medal sport until 1988. Professionals are now welcome to compete, and the Olympic competition includes men's and women's singles and men's and women's doubles.

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Gallery

Tennis - Singles Women
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Tennis - Singles Women

Monica Puig of Puerto Rico returns a shot against Angelique Kerber of Germany during the Women's Singles Gold Medal Match on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
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https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2016/08/rio/13/tennis-single-double-men-women/tennis-single-double-men-women_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

Tennis Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Highlights of the Tennis - Single / Double - Men / Women on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Olympic Tennis Centre on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
IOC
Tennis - Women's singles
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Tennis - Women's singles

Angelique Kerber of Germany serves during the women's singles semifinal match against Madison Keys of the United States on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Tennis - Men's Doubles
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Tennis - Men's Doubles

Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrate match point during the Men's Doubles Gold medal match against Horia Tecau and Florin Mergea of Romania on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images - on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tennis - Men's Doubles
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Tennis - Men's Doubles

Gold medalists Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal of Spain stand on the podium after the Men's Doubles competition on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images / Clive Brunskill
Tennis - Men's Doubles
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Tennis - Men's Doubles

(L-R) Bronze medalists Steve Johnson and Jack Sock of the United States stand on the podium after the Men's Doubles competition on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images / Clive Brunskill
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