It is said that tennis has its origins in the French medieval game "jeu de paume" which literally means "palm game" in English. And that a British major named W.C. Wingfield brought the game to Britain in the late 19th century.

He developed the game and called it lawn tennis. The first social matches were played in 1873, but they were nothing like what we're used to today. Among other things, underhand serves were used. You didn't serve - you "served" the ball to your opponent.

Four years later, the basic rules were set, which, with some changes, are still the rules that apply today. The first official tennis competition was held at Wimbledon on 9 July 1877 in a men's singles championship, which was won by Spencer Gore. In 1884 competitions for women followed and the first tournament was won by Maud Watson. In the same year, Wimbledon doubles competition also began.

In 1881, the American Tennis Championships began and the sport developed rapidly.

If you are thinking of the Italian brand Cerruti 1881, which became famous for its tennis clothing in the 1980s through Jimmy Connors and Mats Wilander, among others, their 1881 has nothing to do with tennis. No, the Cerruti 1881 brand was founded in 1967 in Paris by Italian Nino Cerruti. The year 1881 refers to when his grandfather founded the family's wool mill in Italy.

In Sweden, it was our King Gustaf V, who became enamoured with the sport after a visit to England when he was Crown Prince. As Crown Prince, he then helped found the Royal Lawn Tennis Club in Stockholm in 1896 and contributed to the creation of the Royal Tennis Hall in 1943.

Sweden has enjoyed great international tennis success. Mainly through Björn Borg, Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander , who laid the foundations for the expression "The Swedish Tennis Wonder". But we have of course had other talented and renowned players. For example, Ove Bengtsson, Anders Järryd, Janne Gunnarsson, Mikael Pernfors, Jonas Björkman, Thomas Enqvist, Magnus Norman, Robin Söderling, Helena Anliot, Ingrid Bentzer, Cecilia Dahlman, Catarina Lindqvist, Åsa Svensson, Sofia Arvidsson to name a few.

The four biggest tournaments in the world are called Grand Slams and they are Wimbledon on grass, the French Open on clay, the US Open and the Australian Open which are both played on hardcourt.

There are two global team tennis competitions. The men's Davis Cup and the women's Federation Cup or Fed Cup as it is now called.

Tennis was included in the Olympic Games as early as 1896. The winner was John Boland, an Englishman who had travelled to Athens as a spectator. He was entered for the tournament on the spot by his Greek friend. In 1924, tennis disappeared from the Olympic programme after a dispute over the boundary between professionals and amateurs. 64 years later, in 1988, the issue was resolved and tennis has been back in the Olympics ever since.

Today, tennis is a global sport with millions of players worldwide. In Sweden, up to 400,000 play regularly. You can imagine how much training it takes to establish yourself at the top of the world. So get started. Run 100 strokes on your TopspinPro before you go to bed tonight.

Source: Wikipedia, Swedish Tennis Federation and Tennis Stockholm

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