Are you a tennis fan? If you are, do you know, for instance, how many grand slam titles your favorite player has won? Or perhaps, when was the first match of Wimbledon played? Never mind, it is hardly a problem if you do not. There are so many facts and interesting things related to each player of the sport, that it is almost impossible to remember them, even if you are a huge fan. But right now, the text coming up will quench your thirst on some amazing facts about tennis.
Interesting Tennis Facts
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.
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 2004 French Open, 2 French opponents Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement played one of the longest match since the Open era of professional tennis started in the year 1968. The match began on Monday, May 24 but play was stopped in the 5th set after it was eventually dark. The game continued the next day and Santoro finally beat Clement 16-14 to win the fifth set. The 71 game marathon was played for a total of 6 hours and 33 minutes on court. This was enough to beat the former record of 6 hours 22 minutes, of a match played by John McEnroe and Mats Wilander at the 1982 Davis Cup.
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 American player Andy Roddick, at 155 mph, or 249.4 kph. He achieved this feat on September 27, 2004 in a Davis Cup match against Vladimir Voltchkov. It set him up with three match points. It was an ace, undoubtedly!
The fastest serve in women's tennis was recorded by Venus Williams. The serve clocked 127.4 mph, or 205 km/h and it was in European Indoor Championships.
The first player in the Open era to win back-to-back US Opens (1971-1972) was Billie Jean King.
Ace of Base
Croatian Goran Ivanisevic is credited for most served aces in one year, a mind-boggling 1,477 during the season of 1996.
Losing, Ain't 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. Do you still pity Roger Federer for losing to Rafael Nadal in 3 consecutive French Open finals?
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 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.
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 20 grass courts available for play at the Wimbledon complex. The Number 1 Court is replete with large fans at either end for the court to dry in case of rain. In addition to this, it has 5 red shale courts, 4 clay courts, and 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?
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.