Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is a widely attended and respected sport, with major tournaments in every continent except Antarctica. Since the inception of tennis through modern times, the equipment used and the style of tennis have evolved in an unprecedented manner. Involvement in tennis was once reserved for the extremely rich and prestigious; now it can be enjoyed either on the court or on the television screen. Although tennis is now a world-renowned sport, the history of tennis dates back a long time.
Tennis had a very humble beginning. The earliest form of tennis can be seen in a game created by 12th century French monks, who were looking for entertainment inside the monastery. At first the monks began by hitting a wooden ball with their hand across a crude net, which was no more than a string hung across a courtyard. They called this new game "Jeu de Paumme"," which was translated from French (Wikipedia). The monks made several advancements as to improve the game's entertaining qualities. One day, they realized that hitting the ball with their hand was quite painful, and they began to use leather gloves, which then gave way to a primitive wooden paddle. After the development of the racquet, "a bouncier, leather ball filled with cellulose material was created"(Wikipedia). .
After several years, this interesting game spread through monasteries all over Europe. Before serving the ball to his or her opponent, the player would shout "Tenez"," which meant "Take this!"" in French. From this word, the players began to call this game royal tennis", and today it is known as real tennis". The game became very popular in France during the 16th and 18th centuries. It was enjoyed by noblemen and kings because only they could afford to construct a court and purchase the playing equipment. .
As noted by the International Tennis Federation, "Henry VIII was a keen player and had the original Real Tennis court built at his Palace at Hampton Court but Charles II later re-modeled the court in the 17th century to the court that exists today which is the oldest in Britain"" (Danzig).