WikiNow lets you discover the news you care about, follow the topics that matter to you and share your favourite stories with your friends.

© WikiNow

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to play the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.

Tennis
Centre Court.jpg
A tennis match at Wimbledon's Centre Court (2007)
Highest governing body International Tennis Federation
First played Between 1859 and 1865, Birmingham, England
Characteristics
Contact No
Team members Single or doubles
Mixed gender Yes, separate tours & mixed doubles
Type Outdoor
Equipment Tennis ball, tennis racket
Venue Indoor or outdoor tennis court
Presence
Country or region Worldwide
Olympic Yes, Part of Summer Olympic programme from 1896 to 1924
Demonstration sport in the 1968 and 1984 Summer Olympics
Part of Summer Olympic programme since 1988
Paralympic Yes, Part of Summer Paralympic programme since 1992

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to play the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.

Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis". It had close connections both to various field ("lawn") games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older racket sport of real tennis. During most of the 19th century, in fact, the term "tennis" referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis: for example, in Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845), Lord Eugene De Vere announces that he will "go down to Hampton Court and play tennis."

The rules of tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tiebreak in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a point, a system known as Hawk-Eye.

Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is also a popular worldwide spectator sport. The four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the "Majors") are especially popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open played also on hard courts.