Charlotte Cooper (1900-05-14) by Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesThe Olympic Museum
Put simply tennis is a sport that involves hitting a ball over a net. But the reality of tennis is a little more complex. It's a game of angles and athleticism, power and grace...and some strange rules.
How much do you know about the history and development of tennis? Put your knowledge to the test and see if you can answer these questions.
Spo Tennis Main Inc Ping Pong/Badminton (Separate Folder For Wimbledon)LIFE Photo Collection
Tennis is an ancient sport, believed to date back to the 12th century. One of the modern game's predecessors was called Real (or 'Royal) Tennis. The court included a viewing gallery and sloped roofs that were part of the playing surface.
Where is the world's oldest Real Tennis court located?
Answer: Fife, Scotland
Falkland Palace is home to the oldest real tennis court in the world. It has been in existence since 1593!
"The Tournament" (also known as "Tennis at Newport") (1921) by George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) and (printer) Bolton Brown (American, 1864-1936)International Tennis Hall of Fame
Did you know one of the earliest forms of tennis had players using the palm of their hands rather than a racket? The fundamental principles remained the same, but players probably didn't hit the ball as hard as they do today!
But where was this early incarnation of the game first developed?
The game is thought to have originated in French monasteries towards the end of the 12th century. Some of the game's terminology remains in French to this day (deuce!).
Thelma (Coyne) Long (2002) by Tennis AustraliaTennis Australia
There are four Grand Slam tennis tournaments in the world played each year, as well as multiple other smaller ranking events. But which is the oldest tennis tournament still being played?
Also known as The Championships, Wimbledon has been played almost every year at the All England Club since the inaugural event in 1877.
By Gordon ParksLIFE Photo Collection
Tennis is one of the few global sports where the men's and women's game is equally as popular and gains the same media attention. But this was not always reflected in the rewards for players. Which was the first Grand Slam event to offer equal prize money for men and women?
Answer: The US Open
The US Open offered equal prize money in 1973, the Australian Open in 1984, the French Open in 2006 and finally Wimbledon committed to equal pay in 2007.
By Peter StackpoleLIFE Photo Collection
With some tennis matches being played to the best of five sets, games that are evenly matched can last hours. But how long did the longest tennis match ever played officially last?
Answer: 11 hours 5 minutes
John Isner of the United States defeated France's Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010. The match was played over three days, lasting so long it was suspended because of bad light for two nights in a row. Isner won the epic fifth and final set 70-68.
Tennis Racquet; "Arthur Ashe Competition 2" Wimbledon (Arthur Ashe) (ca. 1975) by HeadInternational Tennis Hall of Fame