The Growing Popularity Of Tennis
The game of tennis involves two or more people who use rackets to hit a tennis ball over a net set up in tennis court. As simple as this may sound, it is really an intense and physical game that requires running back and forth to reach the ball in order to serve it back to the opponent player.
Tennis dates back to the 14th century when it was played purely as an entertainment for European monks. It soon gained ground when the French royalty caught up to it in the 16th century and the game was played to amuse them as well. It was during this period onward that the name tennis evolved. The French royalties would usually shout the word “tenez” translated “play” in English at the beginning of the game. Over time, this French word was coined to tennis that became accepted all over the world.
In 1877, England held its first men’s only championship game in the town of Wimbledon. This game which drew a lot of audience was very successful and so the championship games were organized to be played once a year by men only until 1884 when women were allowed to participate. Tennis soon began to spread to other parts of the world. In 1891, the France held its first championship game known as the French Open which has become the second Grand Slam tournament in modern day.
Today, tennis is played by people of all races and ages. Some play it as a hobby, others partake in it as a form of exercise, yet others also play it as career. The beauty and perhaps what makes this game so popular is that people of all ages from four years to eighty years can play the game. The game that started for the affluent only has caught on and become very popular. Tournaments played at Wimbledon draws more than 30,000 spectators every year. Past famous players like Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova, McEnroe and Steffi Graff have all won Wimbledon championships. Currently, famous players like Serena Williams and Roger Federer reign in Wimbledon championships
Some say the game of tennis is popular only in England because of the Wimbledon tournament. This might be true, simply because Wimbledon probably gets a lot of coverage more than the other Grand Slam tournaments held in New York, France and Australia. However, tennis is popular all over the world because it is a fun game that can be played with friends as a means of socializing. It is also beneficial to physical and mental health, and above all, spectators enjoy the thrill when their favorite players win in a competitive game.