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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 - Men's singles
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Tennis - Men's singles

Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain serves during the Men's Singles Quarterfinal match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Tennis - Men's singles
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Tennis - Men's singles

Evgeny DONSKOY of Russian Federation hits during the men's second round single match against David Ferrer of Spain on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Tennis - Men's singles
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Tennis - Men's singles

Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil serves against Rafael Nadal of Spain in the Men's Singles Quarterfinal on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Tennis - Men's doubles
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Tennis - Men's doubles

Novak DJOKOVIC and Nenad ZIMONJIC of Serbia in action during the Men's Doubles second round match against Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo of Brazil on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Tennis - Men's doubles
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Tennis - Men's doubles

Andy MURRAY and Jamie MURRAY of Great Britain in action against Thomaz BELLUCCI and Andre SA of Brazil in the mens doubles on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Tennis - Women's singles
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Tennis - Women's singles

Serena WILIAMS of the United States serves during the Women's Singles second round match against Alize Cornet of France on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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