Anyone for tennis?

Hello there,

As I was in the middle of a successful serve and volley this morning I realised that we here at The Gentleman have not addressed the very sport that I was occupying myself with.  That sport was of course, tennis.

An early form of tennis whereby players stood around holding racquets. Nowadays this is called 'standing around holding racquets'

Tennis was invented by the French in the 12th century, however, instead of racquets, the French would use loaves of bread (the opponents bread was the spoils for the victor).

A team of tennis players finalising the rules to tennis. They decided it shouldn't have chairs by a vote of 4 to 2.

By the 16th century, during the great “French Loaf Famine”, the French decided to use non-wheat based foodstuffs and instead invented a rudimentary racquet.  Also at the time tennis was played indoors since the game originated in bakeries whereby bakers would smack balls of dough at each other out of frustration of being struggling painters.

Bill Tilden, an America tennis great, prances about the court in his athletic leather shoes. This move he demonstrates is called the 'reverse backhand pirouette'.

Henry the VIII of England was a big fan of this ‘real tennis’ as it was called (and by big, I mean he was very fat).

This tennis lady models a modest female tennis dress along with matching 'sports bonnet'.

In the 1870s the game of tennis had evolved into using racquets and being played on a croquet lawn. This quickly became the tennis we know and love today.

During this match between Hunt and Riggs, Riggs demonstrates how to start a fire with his racquet. This move was deemed as illegal by the International Tennis Association thereafter.

The aim of tennis is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponents half of the court.  They will then return the favour and this is called a “rally”.  Whoever fails to keep the rally going loses the point.

Chevy Chase demonstrates how to play mixed doubles and be the most tanned person in the world all at once.

The scoring was invented by the French and is therefore convoluted and non-sequential.  If you win 1 point you get 15 points, win another and you get another 15, the third point you get only earns you 10 points and then you win.  If your opponent gets to 40 points like your good self, then we enter a phase called “deuce” where each player must take advantage of their opponent in order to win.  If you are on zero it is called ‘love’ since the French are known for their “zero making”.

Errol Flynn and his trainer take a break from a grueling tennis match to have mint juleps.

Other forms of tennis include doubles tennis, American doubles (one versus two, the American’s don’t know what double of 1 is) and table tennis where each player must stand on large tables whilst playing.

After a refreshing alcoholic beverage it's back to it for Errol Flynn.

So there you have it.

G.O. Brixley

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