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Interesting Facts About Tennis

Medha Godbole Nov 4, 2018
There are a number of facts related to tennis, apart from the oft mentioned records and unbelievable feats on the grass or clay. Here is a volley of facts about tennis.

Interesting Tennis Facts

Early Days

In the 15th century the bare hand was protected by a glove. Then the ball became harder and heavier to increase the speed of play and eventually in 1500 the game began to be played with a racquet made from ash and animal gut.

Racket Science

Today's obsession with regards to "racket science", notwithstanding, did you know that ancient Greeks and Romans used their bare hands to play a precursor of lawn tennis, called 'jeu de paume', (game of the palm) by the French.

Long Volley, Indeed

At the Wimbledon 2010, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played the longest match since the Open era of professional tennis started in the year 1968. The match began on Tuesday, June 22 but the play was stopped before the 5th set after it was eventually dark.
The game continued the next day and Isner finally beat Mahut 70-68 to win the fifth set. The 183 game marathon was played for a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes on court.

Long Story Short

On the contrary to the first fact, the shortest ever grand slam final happened, thanks to ace player Steffi Graf. It was in the 1988 French Open when Steffi Graf beat Natasha Zvereva 6-0, 6-0 in a mere 32 minutes.

Serve it, Man

The credit to the fastest serve officially recorded goes to Australian player Sam Groth, at 163.7 mph. He achieved this feat at the ATP Challenger in Busan in 2012 against Uladzimir Ignatik. Although he lost the match, it was an ace, undoubtedly!


The first player in the Open era to win back-to-back US Opens (1971-1972) was Billie Jean King.

Ace of Base

Goran Ivanišević is credited for most served aces in one year, a mind-boggling 1,477 during the season of 1996.

Losing, is Not That Bad

Poor Chris Evert, she holds the record for the most Wimbledon final defeats. And, six of the seven defeats were against Martina Navratilova.

Score It All

The exact origins of the 15, 30, 40 scoring system are now behind curtains of time. The supposed explanation given for this is that they were based on a clock face at one end of the court. It was shortened to 40, as 45 took too long to say.

Facts about Wimbledon

The Beginnings

The first Wimbledon took place in 1877 merely as an amateur competition. Only a Men's singles event took place then. It had 22 competitors and the championship winner was Spencer Gore. A few hundred spectators attended the championship.

War Game

A bomb ripped through Center Court at the All England Club, and 1,200 seats were lost during World War 2. Thankfully, they weren't filled at the time. Play began again in 1946, but it was till 1949 that the area was not in impeccable shape.

The Fairer Sex Entry

Women's singles and men's doubles events began in 1884, seven years after the first Wimbledon.


There are right now 18 Championships grass courts at the Wimbledon complex. In addition to this, it has 8 clay courts, 2 acrylic courts, 5 indoor courts for club members.

Believe it or Not

In the first Wimbledon tournament, the tickets were sold for one shilling each for the final match. Can you believe this?

Unbeatable Martina

The legendary Martina Navratilova has won the Wimbledon Women Singles maximum number of times, that is 9. She shares a record of winning 20 Wimbledon titles, an all-time record, along with Billie Jean King.

Paint it Yellow

In the year 1986, yellow tennis balls were first used at Wimbledon.