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Tennis is a sport

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Tennis is a sport

مُساهمة من طرف Admin في الأربعاء مايو 04, 2011 4:10 pm

Tennis is a sport usually played between two players (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic
sport and is played at all levels of society at all ages. The sport can
be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including people in wheelchairs.
The modern game of tennis originated in the United Kingdom in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis" which has close connections to various field/lawn games as well as to the ancient game of real tennis. Up to then, "tennis" referred to the latter sport: for example, in Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845), Lord Eugene De Vere announces that he will "go down to Hampton Court and play tennis. As it is the Derby
[classic horse race], nobody will be there". After its creation, lawn
tennis spread throughout the upper-class English-speaking population
before spreading around the world.
The rules of tennis have not changed much since the 1890s. Two
exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on
the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tie-break
in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the
adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point challenge
system, which allows a player to challenge the line (or chair) umpire's
call of a point. Players have unlimited opportunity to challenge, but
once three incorrect challenges are made in a set, they cannot challenge
again until the next set. If the set goes to a tie break, players are
given one additional opportunity to challenge the call. This electronic
review, currently called Hawk-Eye, is available at a limited number of high-level ATP and WTA tournaments.
Tennis is enjoyed by millions of recreational players and is also a
hugely popular worldwide spectator sport, especially the four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the "Majors"): the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open played also on hard courts.



Main article: History of tennis

Most historians believe that tennis originated in France in the 12th century, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand. It was not until the 16th century that rackets
came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis." It was popular
in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where
the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, which historians now refer to as real tennis.
Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of rackets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, United Kingdom. In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club in Leamington Spa.
In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield designed and patented a similar game — which he called sphairistike (Greek: σφάίρίστική,
from ancient Greek meaning "skill at playing at ball"), and was soon
known simply as "sticky" — for the amusement of his guests at a garden
party on his estate of Nantclwyd, in Llanelidan, Wales. He likely based
his game on the evolving sport of outdoor tennis including real tennis.
According to some tennis historians, modern tennis terminology also
derives from this period, as Wingfield borrowed both the name and much
of the French vocabulary of real tennis and applied them to his new
game.[citation needed]

Lawn tennis in the U.S., 1887

The first championships at Wimbledon in London were played in 1877. The first Championships culminated a significant debate on how to standardize the rules.
In America in 1874 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda where she met Major Wingfield. She laid out a tennis court at the Staten Island Cricket Club
in New Brighton Staten Island, New York. The exact location of the club
was under what is now the Staten Island Ferry terminal. The first
American National tournament in 1880 was played there. An Englishman
named O.E Woodhouse won the singles match. There was also a doubles
match which was won by a local pair. There were different rules at each
club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one normally used in NY. On
May 21, 1881, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (now
the United States Tennis Association) was formed to standardize the rules and organize competitions. The U.S. National Men's Singles Championship, now the US Open, was first held in 1881 at Newport, Rhode Island. The U.S. National Women's Singles Championships were first held in 1887. Tennis was also popular in France, where the French Open dates to 1891. Thus, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open
(dating to 1905) became and have remained the most prestigious events
in tennis. Together these four events are called the Majors or Slams (a term borrowed from bridge rather than baseball).
The comprehensive rules promulgated in 1924 by the International Lawn Tennis Federation, now known as the International Tennis Federation, have remained remarkably stable in the ensuing eighty years, the one major change being the addition of the tie-break system designed by James Van Alen.
That same year, tennis withdrew from the Olympics after the 1924 Games
but returned 60 years later as a 21-and-under demonstration event in
1984. This reinstatement was credited by the efforts by the then ITF
President Philippe Chatrier, ITF General Secretary David Gray and ITF
Vice President Pablo Llorens, and support from IOC President Juan
Antonio Samaranch. The success of the event was overwhelming and the IOC
decided to reintroduce tennis as a full medal sport at Seoul in 1988.
The Davis Cup, an annual competition between men's national teams, dates to 1900. The analogous competition for women's national teams, the Fed Cup,
was founded as the Federation Cup in 1963 to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of the founding of the ITF also known as International
Tennis Federation.
In 1926, promoter C.C. Pyle established the first professional tennis
tour with a group of American and French tennis players playing
exhibition matches to paying audiences. The most notable of these early
professionals were the American Vinnie Richards and the Frenchwoman Suzanne Lenglen. Once a player turned pro he or she could not compete in the major (amateur) tournaments.
In 1968, commercial pressures and rumors of some amateurs taking
money under the table led to the abandonment of this distinction,
inaugurating the open era,
in which all players could compete in all tournaments, and top players
were able to make their living from tennis. With the beginning of the
open era, the establishment of an international professional tennis
circuit, and revenues from the sale of television rights, tennis's
popularity has spread worldwide, and the sport has shed its
upper/middle-class English-speaking image (although it is acknowledged
that this stereotype still exists).
In 1954, Van Alen founded the International Tennis Hall of Fame,
a non-profit museum in Newport, Rhode Island. The building contains a
large collection of tennis memorabilia as well as a hall of fame
honoring prominent members and tennis players from all over the world.
Each year, a grass-court tournament and an induction ceremony honoring new Hall of Fame members are hosted on its grounds.

Main article: Tennis technology

Part of the appeal of tennis stems from the simplicity of equipment required for play. Beginners need only a racquet and balls.

A Dunlop Sport tennis racket.

The components of a tennis racquet are a handle and neck joining a
roughly elliptical frame that holds a matrix of tightly pulled strings.
For the first 100 years of the modern game, racquets were of wood and of
standard size, and strings were of animal gut. Laminated wood
construction yielded more strength in racquets used through most of the
20th century until first metal and then composites of carbon graphite,
ceramics, and lighter metals such as titanium were introduced. These
stronger materials enabled the production of oversized rackets that
yielded yet more power. Meanwhile technology led to the use of synthetic
strings that match the feel of gut yet with added durability.
Under modern rules of tennis, the racquet must adhere to the following guidelines;

  • The hitting area, composed of the strings, must be flat and generally uniform.
  • The frame of the hitting area may not be more than 29 inches in length and 12.5 inches in width.
  • The entire racquet must be of a fixed shape, size, weight, and
    weight distribution. There may not be any energy source built into the
  • The racquet must not provide any kind of communication, instruction or advice to the player during the match.

The rules regarding racquets have changed over time, as material and
engineering advances have been made. For example, the maximum length of
the frame had been 32 inches until 1997, when it was shortened to
29 inches.

A Penn tennis ball.

Main article: Tennis ball

Tennis balls are of hollow rubber with a felt coating. Traditionally
white, the predominant color was gradually changed to Optic Yellow in
the latter part of the 20th century to allow for improved visibility.

Advanced players improve their performance through a number of
accoutrements. Vibration dampers may be interlaced in the proximal part
of the string array for improved feel. Racket handles may be customized
with absorbent materials to improve the players' grip. Players often use
sweat bands on their wrists to keep their hands dry as well. Finally,
although the game can be played in a variety of shoes, specialized
tennis shoes have wide, flat soles for stability and a built-up front
structure to avoid excess wear.
Manner of play

The dimensions of a tennis court

Two players before a serve

For individual terms see: Glossary of tennis

Main article: Tennis court

Tennis is played on a rectangular, flat surface, usually grass, clay, a hardcourt of concrete and/or asphalt and occasionally carpet (indoor). The court is 78 feet
(23.77 m) long, and 27 feet (8.23 m) wide for singles matches and 36 ft
(10.97 m) for doubles matches. Additional clear space around the court
is required in order for players to reach overrun balls. A net is
stretched across the full width of the court, parallel with the
baselines, dividing it into two equal ends. The net is 3 feet 6 inches
(1.07 m) high at the posts and 3 feet (91.4 cm) high in the center.
The modern tennis court owes its design to Major Walter Clopton Wingfield who, in 1873, patented a court much the same as the current one for his stické tennis
(sphairistike). This template was modified in 1875 to the court design
that exists today, with markings similar to Wingfield's version, but
with the hourglass shape of his court changed to a rectangle.

The lines that delineate the width of the court are called the
baseline (farthest back) and the service line (middle of the court). The
short mark in the center of each baseline is referred to as either the
hash mark or the center mark. The outermost lines that make up the
length are called the doubles sidelines. These are the boundaries used
when doubles is being played. The lines to the inside of the doubles
sidelines are the singles sidelines and are used as boundaries in
singles play. The area between a doubles sideline and the nearest
singles sideline is called the doubles alley, which is considered
playable in doubles play. The line that runs across the center of a
player's side of the court is called the service line because the serve
must be delivered into the area between the service line and the net on
the receiving side. Despite its name, this is not where a player legally
stands when making a serve. The line dividing the service line in two
is called the center line or center service line. The boxes this center
line creates are called the service boxes; depending on a player's
position, he or she will have to hit the ball into one of these when
serving. A ball is out only if none of it has hit the line or the area
inside the lines upon its first bounce. All the lines are required to be
between 1 and 2 inches (51 mm) in width. The baseline can be up to
4 inches (100 mm) wide if so desired.
Play of a single point

Main article: Point (tennis)

The players (or teams) start on opposite sides of the net. One player is designated the server, and the opposing player is the receiver.
Service alternates game by game between the two players (or teams.) For
each point, the server starts behind their baseline, between the center
mark and the sideline. The receiver may start anywhere on their side of
the net. When the receiver is ready, the server will serve, although the receiver must play to the pace of the server.
In a legal service, the ball travels past the net (without touching
it) and into the diagonally opposite service box. If the ball hits the
net but lands in the service box, this is a let or net service,
which is void, and the server gets to retake that serve. The player can
serve any number of let services in a point and they are always treated
as voids and not as faults. A fault is a serve that falls long or wide
of the service box, or does not clear the net. There is also a "foot
fault", which occurs when a player's foot touches the baseline or an
extension of the center mark before the ball is hit. If the second
service is also a fault, the server double faults, and the receiver wins the point. However, if the serve is in, it is considered a legal service.
A legal service starts a rally, in which the players alternate
hitting the ball across the net. A legal return consists of the player
or team hitting the ball before it has bounced twice or hit any fixtures
except the net, provided that it still falls in the server's court. A
player or team cannot hit the ball twice in a row. The ball must travel
past the net and bounce in the other players court. A ball that hits the
net during a rally is still considered a legal return. The first player
or team to fail to make a legal return loses the point.

Main article: Tennis score

A tennis match is determined through the best of 3 or 5 sets.
Typically for both men's and women's matches, the first player to win
two sets wins the match. At certain important tennis tournaments for
men, including all four Grand Slam tournaments, Davis Cup and the final of the Olympic Games, the first player to win three sets wins the match. A set consists of games, and games, in turn, consist of points.
A game consists of a sequence of points
played with the same player serving. A game is won by the first player
to have won at least four points in total and at least two points more
than the opponent. The running score of each game is described in a
manner peculiar to tennis: scores from zero to three points are
described as "love", "fifteen", "thirty", and "forty" respectively. (See the main article Tennis score
for the origin of these words as used in tennis.) If at least three
points have been scored by each player, and the scores are equal, the
score is "deuce". If at least three points have been scored by
each side and a player has one more point than his opponent, the score
of the game is "advantage" for the player in the lead. During
informal games, "advantage" can also be called "ad in" or "ad out",
depending on whether the serving player or receiving player is ahead,

The scoreboard of a match between Roddick and Saulnier.

In tournament play, the chair umpire calls the point count (e.g., "fifteen-love")
after each point. The score of a tennis match during play is always
read with the serving player's score first. After a match, the score is
always read with the winning player's score first. At the end of a game,
the chair umpire also announces the winner of the game and the overall
A game point
occurs in tennis whenever the player who is in the lead in the game
needs only one more point to win the game. The terminology is extended
to sets (set point), matches (match point), and even championships
(championship point). For example, if the player who is serving has a
score of 40-love, the player has a triple game point (triple set point,
etc.) as the player has three consecutive chances to win the game. Game
points, set points, and match points are not part of official scoring
and are not announced by the chair umpire in tournament play.
A break point occurs if the receiver, not the server, has a chance to win the game in the next rally. Break points are of particular importance because serving
is generally advantageous. A receiver who has two (score of 15-40) or
three (score of love-40) consecutive chances to win the game has double break point or triple break point, respectively. If the receiver does, in fact, win their break point, the receiver is said to have converted their break point, but if the receiver fails to win their break point it is called a failure to convert.
A set
consists of a sequence of games played with service alternating between
games, ending when the count of games won meets certain criteria.
Typically, a player wins a set by winning at least six games and at
least two games more than the opponent. If one player has won six games
and the opponent five, an additional game is played. If the leading
player wins that game, the player wins the set 7–5. If the trailing
player wins the game, a tie-break
is played. A tie-break, played under a separate set of rules, allows
one player to win one more game and thus the set, to give a final set
score of 7–6. Only in the final sets of matches at the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympic Games, Davis Cup, and Fed Cup
are tie-breaks not played. In these cases, sets are played indefinitely
until one player has a two-game lead. A "love" set means that the loser
of the set won zero games. In tournament play, the chair umpire
announces the winner of the set and the overall score.
In tournament play, the chair umpire announces the end of the match with the well-known phrase "Game, set, match" followed by the winning person's or team's name.
Rule variations

See also: Types of tennis match

No adThe first player or doubles team to win four points wins the game,
regardless of whether the player or team is ahead by two points. When
the game score reaches three points each, the receiver chooses which
side of the court (advantage court or deuce court) the service is to be
delivered on the seventh and game-deciding point.
Pro setInstead of playing multiple sets, players may play one "pro set". A
pro set is first to 8 (or 10) games by a margin of two games, instead of
first to 6 games. A 12-point tie-break is usually played when the score
is 8-8 (or 10-10). These are often played with no-ad scoring.
Match tiebreakThis is sometimes played instead of a third set. This is played like
a regular tiebreak, but the winner must win ten points instead of
seven. Match tiebreaks are used in the Hopman Cup for mixed doubles, on the ATP and WTA tours for doubles and as a player's choice in USTA league play.
Another, however informal, tennis format is called Canadian doubles.
This involves three players, with one person playing a doubles team.
The single player gets to utilize the alleys normally reserved only for a
doubles team. Conversely, the doubles team does not use the alleys when
executing a shot. The scoring is the same as a regular game. This
format is not sanctioned by any official body.
"Australian doubles", another informal and unsanctioned form of
tennis, is played with similar rules to the "Canuk" style, only in this
version, players rotate court position after each game. As such, each
player plays doubles and singles over the course of a match, with the
singles player always serving. Scoring styles vary, but one popular
method is to assign a value of 2 points to each game, with the server
taking both points if he or she holds serve and the doubles team each
taking one if they break serve.
Wheelchair tennis
can be played by able-bodied players as well as people who require a
wheelchair for mobility. An extra bounce is permitted. This rule makes
it possible to have mixed wheelchair and able-bodied matches. It is
possible for a doubles team to consist of a wheelchair player and an
able-bodied player (referred to as "one-up, one-down"), or for a
wheelchair player to play against an able-bodied player. In such cases,
the extra bounce is permitted for the wheelchair users only.

Main article: Tennis court#Types of tennis courts

There are five types of court surface used in professional play. Each
surface is different in the speed and height of the bounce of the ball.
The same surface plays faster indoors than outdoors.
ClayExamples are red clay (used at the French Open and many other tournaments, especially in Europe and Latin America) and green clay (an example of which is Har-Tru and used mainly in the U.S.). Clay courts normally have a slower paced ball and a fairly true bounce with more spin.
HardExamples are acrylic (e.g. Plexicushion used at the Australian Open, DecoTurf used at the US Open), asphalt, and concrete. Hardcourts typically have a faster-paced ball with a very true bounce.
GrassUsed at Wimbledon. Grass courts usually have a faster-paced ball, and a more erratic bounce. Wimbledon has slowed its courts over the years.
CarpetAny form of removable court covering, including carpeting and artificial turf. The bounce can be higher or lower than a hard court. There are no longer any professional tournaments held on carpet.
WoodPopular from the 1880's through the first half of the 20th century,
there are no longer any professional tournaments held on wood.

An umpire informing two players of the rules

Main article: Official (tennis)

In most professional play and some amateur competition, there is an
officiating head judge or chair umpire (usually referred to as the
umpire), who sits in a raised chair to one side of the court. The umpire
has absolute authority to make factual determinations. The umpire may
be assisted by line judges, who determine whether the ball has landed
within the required part of the court and who also call foot faults.
There also may be a net judge who determines whether the ball has
touched the net during service. In some tournaments, certain line
judges, usually those who would be calling the serve, are replaced by
electronic sensors that beep when an out call would have been made. In
some tournaments, electric line calls are not made, but rather are used
to assist the linespeople. When a ball lands in a spot where the
linesperson is not sure if the ball was in or out, a noise is made that
only linespeople can hear (because they are wearing headsets), and helps
them to make the call. In some open-tournament matches, players are
allowed to challenge a limited number of close calls by means of electronic review. The US Open, the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, the US Open Series, and World Team Tennis started using a "challenge" system in 2006 and the Australian Open and Wimbledon introduced the system in 2007. This used the Hawk-Eye system and the rules were similar to those used in the NFL,
where a player gets a limited number of opportunities to challenge per
match/set. More recently, a player may use unlimited challenges in a
set, provided that he or she is not incorrect more than three times. In
clay-court matches, such as at the French Open, a call may be questioned by reference to the mark left by the ball's impact on the court surface.
The referee, who is usually located off the court, is the final
authority about tennis rules. When called to the court by a player or
team captain, the referee may overrule the umpire's decision if the
tennis rules were violated (question of law) but may not change the
umpire's decision on a question of fact. If, however, the referee is on
the court during play, the referee may overrule the umpire's decision.
Ball boys and girls may be employed to retrieve balls, pass them to the players, and hand players their towels. They have no adjudicative
role. In rare events (e.g., if they are hurt or if they have caused a
hindrance), the umpire may ask them for a statement of what actually
happened. The umpire may consider their statements when making a
decision. In some leagues, especially junior leagues, players make their
own calls, trusting each other to be honest. This is the case for many
school and university level matches. The referee or referee's assistant,
however, can be called on court at a player's request, and the referee
or assistant may change a player's call. In unofficiated matches, a ball
is out only if the player entitled to make the call is sure that the
ball is out.

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