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Tennis is a vigorous sport, similar to badminton, that is played on an indoor or outdoor court with a ball and racquet. It is believed to have originated with the British in the late 1800’s, from the sports badminton, squash racquets and English court tennis. Tennis can be played by two people, one person on each side of the court, or singles, or four people, two people on each side of the court, or doubles.
The Tennis Court
A tennis court is a flat surface separated by a net. The court can be asphalt, wood, turf, composite, clay, grass or concrete. It is marked with two sets of lines for singles or doubles play. Singles court is 78 feet long and 27 feet wide and doubles is 36 feet apart.
Tennis rackets vary in shapes and sizes, however, maximum tournament measurements are 29 inches long and 12.5 inches wide. The body of the racquet was originally made of wood, but newer racquets are made of lighter, sturdy materials such as carbon fiber, aluminum and graphite. The handle of the racquet contains a leather or rubber grip with vibration dampening design for ease and comfort when hitting the ball. The head of the racquet is comprised of slender, intertwining threads of nylon, gut or other material, and is generally no larger than 11.5 inches wide and 15.5 inches long.
A tennis ball is 2.6 inches round and is made of inflated, hollow rubber material covered in wool. A tennis ball is generally yellow, however, there are various other colors available.
How to Play Tennis
The goal of tennis is to hit the ball back and forth until the opponent fails to hit the ball back into the opposite court.
The game begins with the serve. The initial serve is hit from the right angle of the court diagonally into the opposite side of the court. After the initial point, the serve is made from the left side of the court and then alternates after each serve.
The server’s goal is to toss the ball into the air and hit it into the opposite side of the court before the ball hits the ground, generally in an overhand motion. If the ball fails to enter the other side of the court, hits the net or goes out of court bounds, it is considered a fault. After a fault, the server serves again, however, if the second serve also results in a fault, also known as a double fault, a point is awarded to the opponent. If the racquet misses the ball, it is called and Ace.
How to Keep Tennis Scores
A tennis game is played to four points. The first point is called “15,” the second point is called “30,” the third point is called “40” and the fourth point is called “game.” Zero points is called “love,” and a tie game is called “deuce.”
The winner must win each game by two points. Games are played in sets. The player must win six games, leading by two games. Matches are generally the best two of three sets or the best three out of five.
The history and background of Tennis
There seems to be some controversy as to where the game tennis first originated. A handful of people give credit to the beginnings of the game to the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. Though there is no known documentation of their games, there are Arabic words that suggest that there was such a game.
Most historians credit the monks around the 11th and 12th centuries as developing the primitive game of tennis. The monks would hit a round object off of the walls of the monastery. They would also play in the courtyard and would use a piece of rope as a net.
As the sport continues to grow in popularity, it was moved indoors. Ball type objects were still being hit with bare hands off of walls. Bare hands were soon replaced with gloves. Gloves were eventually replaced by solid paddles and solid paddles were transformed into webbing attached to a solid handle. The first balls were made from objects that were readily available such as hair, wool, and cork and string. Eventually cloth and leather were used and they were replaced with the felt balls that we are familiar with today.
Despite the efforts of Louis IV and the Pope at the time, the game grew in popularity. Roughly 1800 courts were built in France at the time. The game quickly spread to England and was a very popular past time among Henry VII and Henry VII.
It was in the 1500s when the equipment being used started to resemble more like that used in the modern times. Wooden framed racquets were developed with sheep gut being used as strings. Balls that had cork cores were also being used.
1625 was a big year for the tennis game. It was during this time that England’s Hampton court was constructed which is still in use. The game was still being played mostly indoors at this time. The net was of varying heights. It was five feet at both ends but only three feet in the middle.
The popularity of the sport seemed to slow down during the 1700s, but picked back up during the middle of the 1800s with the creation of the rubber ball. This allowed players to move the game back outside onto grassy courts.
The first Wimbledon tournament was in 1877 and was played by only men on rectangular courts. The rules used during this tournament were the predecessors to what is used today. Five years later, a standard was set for the net. The sport is still popular today.
Top Ten Tennis Players for 2014-2015
2014 was an extremely competitive year in men’s and women’s tennis. No one player dominated on the men’s or women’s tour, unlike other years where Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams took home most major grand slam titles.
The top ten tennis players for 2014, going into 2015, are as follows.
Novack Djokovic: Despite only winning one grand slam title this year at Wimbledon, Novak is poised to continue to dominate in 2015. His wicked forehand and his incredible fitness make him the best bet to finish 2015 ranked number one.
Roger Federer: The former number one and all time great ended 2014 ranked number two in the world. Mostly in part due to injuries that kept Rafael Nadal out for part of the season. Look for him to finish in the top ten in 2015 as he moves towards retirement.
Rafael Nadal: Rafa, as he is called on the tour will finish 2014 ranked number three in the world. At 28, he still has a lot of life left in him. If he can stay healthy, anything is possible in 2015 for one of the only lifetime career grand slam winners.
Stan Wawrinka: The Swedish Davis Cup teammate of Roger Federer, currently ranked number four in the world, is set to take over his countryman’s spot near the top of the rankings in 2015.
Kei Nishikori: Kei catapulted himself up in the rankings in 2014 by winning four tournaments. Look for Kei to fall in the rankings in 2015, but continue to produce credible results.
Serena Williams: Most people will tell you that Serena had a horrible year in 2014. Yet she played well enough to remain number one in the rankings. With Serena anything is possible. The best women’s tennis player to have ever played the game has fallen prey to injuries and family issues in the past. More than likely she will continue to dominate in 2015.
Maria Sharapova: The Russian beauty, and women’s top paid athlete, will finish the year at number two. Not bad, considering she had fallen way outside of the top ten a few years ago. As long as she stays focused on her tennis she will play strong in 2015.
Simona Halep: The aggressive baseline player with a powerful serve won two tournaments in 2014. She plays well on all surfaces, but she is more of a wildcard to finish top-ranked in 2015.
Petra Kvitova: The left-handed, Czech Republic star, won three of her 14 career titles in 2014. Her powerful, two-handed backhand should make her extremely competitive next year.
Ana Ivanovic: This Serbian beauty has won a total of 15 career titles. She won four of those this year. Her consistent play and experience on the tour shows that she is a top ten contender most any year she plays.
Betting Tips for Tennis
When you are betting on tennis, you need think carefully about the bets you are placing. You are only betting on one person against another, but you need think about many factors. Tennis players are affected by the surface they play on, their opponents style and the tournament they are in.
The tournaments that players play in are often more important than anything else. There are many players who play well only in the grand slam tournaments. They have good seasons otherwise, but they step up their game for the grand slams. This is not a guarantee that they will win, but there is a reason that the same people tend to make the quarterfinals of all the grand slams.
When you are betting on players, you need to make sure that they are going to do well on the surface they are playing on. Rafael Nadal is a lock on clay as he is the best clay court player of all time. You could bet on him on clay court and be happy. Federer is a cinch on grass, and Dvokovic will crush anyone on hard courts. Of course, these players will do well on all surface, but players have surface specialties.
There are certain times when opponents have an edge against even the best players. You need to see how one player matches up against another before you place a bet. You may think that Rafael Nadal is a cinch on clay courts, but you need to remember that Dvokovic is almost as good on clay courts. You may think that Nadal is on a hot streak, but he could have problems with a grass specialist like Federer. Knowing more information about the players is going to help you make safer bets.
When you are trying to bet on tennis, you need to make sure you understand all the information listed above. This information helps you decide who to bet on, but this information also helps you choose the tournament that you should bet on when you are placing each new bet.
Best betting sites for Tennis
Are you looking to put down a few wagers on some tennis matches coming up? There are all sorts of different ways you can bet on tennis, and there are several different websites available for you to pet on these games as well. You just need to know what websites are good for you. Out of all the mess and different betting websites, you need to check out Bet365, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Betfair.
Here, you are going to find a nice selection of options. It does not have as many tennis based betting variations, but it not only has a wide selection of other sports but you can pet in over a dozen different languages. this way, no matter where you are or what your primary language is, this is an exceptional option. Plus, you can watch live sports from around the world that you probably would not have access to without the website. This way, you can bet on games that you wouldn’t typically have access to. This is one of the best features of the website.
Unibet has different special betting options available to you each day. In fact, the website usually offers a 50 percent risk free bet when you first sign up, so if you are not sure about a sporting betting website, this is a nice way to break yourself in. It also has different casino games as well, should you want to spread around your money into different areas. It is a great way to get into tennis betting though.
Paddy Power is an exceptional online tanning betting website. You can select the match you want to bet on, check out the draw, different stats and use different betting methods. You can even bet on virtual tennis, should you desire. Beyond this, there is so much you can bet on with this website, ranging from regular lotteries to horse racing, handball and even politics. It really keeps it open to allow you to bet on just about anything you’d like.
Ladbrokes might be the best know international sports betting website out there. It has probably the most number of betting options as well, plus you can read up on sports betting news to see how everything is working for other individuals and what the latest statistics are.
Betfair allows you to place some tennis betting, and while not as large as Ladbrokes or PaddyPower, it does give you a free $10 instant bonus a day to bet, which is nice when starting out.