Tennis balls were originally made of cloth strips stitched together with thread and stuffed with feathers.[44] Modern tennis balls are made of hollow vulcanized rubber with a felt coating. Traditionally white, the predominant colour was gradually changed to optic yellow in the latter part of the 20th century to allow for improved visibility. Tennis balls must conform to certain criteria for size, weight, deformation, and bounce to be approved for regulation play. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) defines the official diameter as 65.41–68.58 mm (2.575–2.700 in). Balls must weigh between 56.0 and 59.4 g (1.98 and 2.10 oz).[45] Tennis balls were traditionally manufactured in the United States and Europe. Although the process of producing the balls has remained virtually unchanged for the past 100 years, the majority of manufacturing now takes place in the Far East. The relocation is due to cheaper labour costs and materials in the region.[46] Tournaments that are played under the ITF Rules of Tennis must use balls that are approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and be named on the official ITF list of approved tennis balls.[47]
Writing for The Washington Post, Bethonie Butler observed a discrepancy between Lorde's statement that "In a perfect world, [she] would never do any interviews, and probably there would be one photo out there of [her]", and the fact that, in the music video, Lorde is "front and center."[73] Butler viewed the video as "a metaphor for celebrity."[73] Writing for Ryan Seacrest's website, Kathleen Perricone complimented the "super simple" clip, which allowed Lorde's "voice and lyrics [to] really shine."[71] Lindsay Zoladz, of Pitchfork Media, compared the video to that for The Replacements' "Bastards of Young" (1985).[74] MTV Buzzworthy blogger Luke O'Neil wrote that the "Tennis Court" video is "a bit unsettling at first, but eventually it starts to make sense. [Lorde is] trying to do things a bit differently, and so far it seems like it's working."[72]
Great question. Thanks for asking it. Gut string really is great for tennis players that know how to use spin and other shot variations to their advantage. It also deadens the ball more than most other strings will so it helps prevent mishits too.We do not feel there is a synthetic string out there that will give you quite as a dramatic effect but that is changing a little. Some of the new synthetic types of tennis racquet strings that are coming out are getting close to the quality of gut string. So if you look in tennis pro shops or in tennis specialty stores you might be able to find a synthetic racquet string that is to your liking.
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Mark Beede is a USPTA, PTR, and ATPCA certified tennis coach, manager, and educator. Born and raised in Maine, USA, Beede received his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and law degree from the University Of Maine School Of Law. After practicing law for sixteen years, Mark changed careers to tennis and moved to Hawaii to work with the USTA–Hawaii Pacific section and the Hawaii Pacific Tennis Foundation. Beede then moved to Istanbul, Turkey, to work as director of coaching education and special projects with Gavin Hopper at his international academy of professional players and elite juniors. Beede has a grown daughter and ... View Profile
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. The umpire has the right to overrule a line judge or a net judge if the umpire is sure that a clear mistake has been made.[59]
A tennis match is intended to be continuous.[65] Because stamina is a relevant factor, arbitrary delays are not permitted. In most cases, service is required to occur no more than 20 seconds after the end of the previous point.[65] This is increased to 90 seconds when the players change ends (after every odd-numbered game), and a 2-minute break is permitted between sets.[65] Other than this, breaks are permitted only when forced by events beyond the players' control, such as rain, damaged footwear, damaged racket, or the need to retrieve an errant ball. Should a player be determined to be stalling repeatedly, the chair umpire may initially give a warning followed by subsequent penalties of "point", "game", and default of the match for the player who is consistently taking longer than the allowed time limit.[66]
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 (tying the set 6–6) 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. A "love" set means that the loser of the set won zero games, colloquially termed a 'jam donut' in the USA.[55] In tournament play, the chair umpire announces the winner of the set and the overall score. The final score in sets is always read with the winning player's score first, e.g. "6–2, 4–6, 6–0, 7–5".
^ Jump up to: a b "Grays of Cambridge: History" Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine - makers of rackets and founded in 1855 by Henry John Gray, the Champion Racquets Player of England. "In those days, the rackets were made from one piece English ash, with a suede leather grip and natural gut. ... The 1980s witnessed a period of re-structuring and consolidation. The Cambridge racquets factory was forced to close in face of the move to graphite rackets, and production was moved to the Far east."
A serve (or, more formally, a "service") in tennis is a shot to start a point. The serve is initiated by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it (usually near the apex of its trajectory) into the diagonally opposite service box without touching the net. The serve may be hit under- or overhand although underhand serving remains a rarity.[73] If the ball hits the net on the first serve and bounces over into the correct diagonal box then it is called a "let" and the server gets two more additional serves to get it in. There can also be a let if the server serves the ball and the receiver isn't prepared.[74] If the server misses his or her first serve and gets a let on the second serve, then they get one more try to get the serve in the box.
The components of a tennis racket include a handle, known as the grip, connected to a neck which joins a roughly elliptical frame that holds a matrix of tightly pulled strings. For the first 100 years of the modern game, rackets were made of wood and of standard size, and strings were of animal gut. Laminated wood construction yielded more strength in rackets 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.
Steffi Graf is considered by some to be the greatest female player. Billie Jean King said in 1999, "Steffi is definitely the greatest women's tennis player of all time."[123] Martina Navratilova has included Graf on her list of great players.[123] In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press.[124] Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, named her as the best female player of the 20th century, directly followed by Martina Navratilova.[125]
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The Royal Tennis Court later came to be revered around the first anniversary of 20 June 1789, a decisive date in the history of France and of democracy. In 1790, a bronze plaque bearing the text of the oath was presented to the National Assembly and then taken in a procession to Versailles and put up facing the entrance to the Real Tennis room. Originally a royal sports and entertainment room, it became home to a temple to the memory of the abolition of the monarchy. It was soon neglected, however, and became a national asset in 1793. In the absence of any maintenance, it was closed to the public five years later.
Thank you very much for this great analysis. I am 46 and started playing Tennis 6 months ago. I am a college lecturer and I have been playing 4 times a week. As you said practising gives me a lot to improve my game. Stressfull matches constricts our strokes definitely. Playing for fun is perfect. Your second point is also true; I can beat young players through my game stragety and tactics although their fitness level is far better than mine. Regards
Then Kirill, to mix things up, lobbed one over my head. Move, think: I turned sideways, began running back using a crossover step, stopped, pointed up with my free right hand toward the descending ball, brought my racket back over my shoulder, contacted the ball with a wrist snap — and watched my overhead smash hook, decidedly, a long yard off the court.

I see also that the coaches in US, try to change the natural shots that the children have, by trying to help them to develop the perfect technique. I have seen children with wonderful one hand backhand, that is then changed to a two hand backhand by their coaches. That does not make sense. Coaches should help the children to improve their natural shots and techniques, instead of changing everything. That, in my oppinion, is one of the biggest mistakes the coaches here in US, are doing with the children.

A tennis match is intended to be continuous.[65] Because stamina is a relevant factor, arbitrary delays are not permitted. In most cases, service is required to occur no more than 20 seconds after the end of the previous point.[65] This is increased to 90 seconds when the players change ends (after every odd-numbered game), and a 2-minute break is permitted between sets.[65] Other than this, breaks are permitted only when forced by events beyond the players' control, such as rain, damaged footwear, damaged racket, or the need to retrieve an errant ball. Should a player be determined to be stalling repeatedly, the chair umpire may initially give a warning followed by subsequent penalties of "point", "game", and default of the match for the player who is consistently taking longer than the allowed time limit.[66]

"Carpet" in tennis means any removable court covering.[7] Indoor arenas store rolls of rubber-backed court surfacing and install it temporarily for tennis events, but they are not in use any more for professional events. A short piled form of artificial turf infilled with sand is used for some outdoor courts, particularly in Asia. Carpet is generally a fast surface, faster than hardcourt, with low bounce.[7]
When shopping for a tennis racquet, decide whether you are looking for a pre-strung racquet or an unstrung racquet. Pre-strung tennis racquets are a good choice for most beginner and intermediate players, as they are highly versatile and allow you to focus on the fundamentals without added complexity. Advanced players often prefer an unstrung racquet, which allows them to tailor the string type and tension to their swing and playing style.
Standard squash rackets are governed by the rules of the game. Traditionally they were made of laminated timber (typically Ash), with a small strung area using natural gut strings.[8] After a rule change in the mid-1980s, they are now almost always made of composite materials such as carbon fiber or metals (graphite, Kevlar, titanium, and/or boron) with synthetic strings.[8] Modern rackets are 70 cm long, with a maximum strung area of 500 square centimetres (approximately 75 square inches) and a mass between 90 and 200 grams (4–7 ounces).
Balls wear out quickly in serious play and, therefore, in ATP and WTA tournaments, they are changed after every nine games with the first change occurring after only seven games, because the first set of balls is also used for the pre-match warm-up.[45] As a courtesy to the receiver, the server will often signal to the receiver before the first serve of the game in which new balls are used as a reminder that they are using new balls. However, in ITF tournaments like Fed Cup, the balls are changed in a 9–11 style. Continuity of the balls' condition is considered part of the game, so if a re-warm-up is required after an extended break in play (usually due to rain), then the re-warm-up is done using a separate set of balls, and use of the match balls is resumed only when play resumes.
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Not all tennis racquets are meant to be used on all different kinds of court surfaces. You will have to pay attention to this when shopping for a new tennis racquet. It will probably not matter what tennis racquet you use on any surface if you are a novice tennis player but that is hardly the case if you are an intermediate or above tennis player.Some racquets are of such high quality that you can use them on any type of surface but others work best on specific types of tennis court surfaces. This will usually be noted either on the packaging description of the tennis racquet or you can most likely look it up on the manufacturer’s website too.

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This is Kirill’s twice-a-week way of reminding me, however inadvertently, that I started playing tennis too late. Footwork is key to tennis, and taking short strides as you are approaching the ball sets in place the underpinnings of everything that might lead to a good shot. Short steps allow one to be neither too close to nor too far astride the ball. But short steps are not what you learn when you spend your childhood playing football and baseball and basketball.
"The biggest drawback of asphalt courts is not that they crack, for even a post-tensioned slab may crack from shrinkage or even develop minor structural cracking, but that the cracks continue to widen year after year," says Kolkmann. "I have seen asphalt courts with cracks as wide as 2 to 3 inches, making them a hazard to the players. The advantage with a post-tensioned slab is that it will not allow the crack to widen, but will keep it compressed to a very thin line."
A tie-break set is played with the same rules as the advantage set, except that when the score is tied at 6–6, a tie-break game (or tiebreaker) is played. Typically, the tie-break game continues until one side has won seven points with a margin of two or more points. However, many tie-break games are played with different tiebreak point requirements, such as 8 or 10 points. Often, a 7-point tie-breaker is played when the set score is tied at 6–6 to determine who wins the set. If the tiebreak score gets to 6-6, then whichever player to win the best of two points wins the set. [19]

Then Kirill, to mix things up, lobbed one over my head. Move, think: I turned sideways, began running back using a crossover step, stopped, pointed up with my free right hand toward the descending ball, brought my racket back over my shoulder, contacted the ball with a wrist snap — and watched my overhead smash hook, decidedly, a long yard off the court.


Now that you know the basics about the game, it is time you start practicing with your tennis buddy. There is nothing like whacking a ball after a hard day at work to relieve stress. However, as a tennis coach, I do not encourage you to whack the ball because you will end up picking balls rather than rallying with your buddy. I strongly encourage that you start slow. You can start from the service line and then gradually progress to the baseline. So plan regular meetings with your tennis buddy.
A few heavy hitters like their tennis racquets to be a little top heavy so they generate more power when hitting a ball but that is usually the exception as opposed to the rule. In general, it is usually best to start out with a tennis racquet that is balanced; this is especially true if you are a novice player. A balanced racquet will give you a little more control as you swing at and strike a tennis ball.Things that can throw a tennis racquet’s balance off are such things as an oversized racquet head, extra padding on a handle and innovative racquet designs that purposely redistribute weight to a specific area. So be aware of this when you are shopping for your new tennis racquet.
Kirill is no longer a club pro full time. He has begun working in commercial real estate at an office in Manhattan, limiting his coaching to the weekends and a few nights a week. I meet him once in a while for lunch or dinner, and one night last month at the Oyster Bar, he was explaining to me how the cold calls he made to potential customers as he tried to get their business was a lot like tennis — how, when you are playing a new opponent, you have to feel him out, and how ultimately it is up to you to control the exchange as best you can and come away a winner. Most of all, he emphasized, you can never lose confidence.
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In the early 1980s, "graphite" (carbon fibre) composites were introduced, and other materials were added to the composite, including ceramics, glass fibre, boron, and titanium. Some of the earliest models typically had 20% or more fiberglass, to make them more flexible. Stiff rackets were typically not preferred by most players because of their familiarity with the comfortable softness of wood. These early models tended to be very flexible and not very powerful, although they were a power upgrade over wood and metal rackets. Wilson created the Jack Kramer Pro Staff, the graphite version of the wood racket of the same name extremely popular in the late 70's and early 80's. This was the origin of the extremely influential Wilson Pro Staff 85. Chris Evert's first graphite racket was this Jack Kramer version, which had 20% fiberglass. It was not a market success and she, along with everyone else, quickly replaced it with the stiffer Pro Staff 85, which had 20% kevlar. It used the same mold and had the same braided graphite, but offered a very noticeable improvement in power. The very popular Prince original graphite, an oversize in its most popular form, was also quite influential and used by many pros, especially as juniors. Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles, for instance, used the Prince graphite to contest their influential Wimbledon match in 1991 that has often been hailed as the beginning of the power baselining game in the WTA, although that claim is somewhat hyperbolic and is, in large part, due to the mistaken impression that the players were hitting much harder when, in fact, the rackets were more powerful. However, the very large head size, when compared with the midsize and, especially, the old "standard" size, made it easier to produce power. The racket also had an open string pattern. The Prince "original" graphite name is rather a misnomer, as it went through some significant design adjustments over its lifetime. For instance, the truly original model had a reverse teardrop head shape, something no subsequent versions had. Stiffer composite rackets, when compared with the first and second generations of graphite composites, are the contemporary standard. The last wooden racket appearing at Wimbledon appeared in 1987, long after they were abandoned by practically all professionals.[17] Borg tried to stage a comeback with his standard wood racket, after his premature retirement, but it quickly ended in failure, as the standard wood was no match when placed against a stiff midplus graphite. It is also commonly argued that Chris Evert would have been able to beat Martina Navratilova during the latter's most dominant period if she had switched from her wood racket years sooner. Additionally, the last influential wooden racket, the Prince Woodie, had layers of graphite to increase its stiffness and was an oversize. It was used by Tommy Haas, Gabriela Sabatini, and quite a few others. It offered very little power but did offer much more surface area than a standard-size wooden frame. Sabatini found it helpful, as compared with smaller rackets, due to her production of heavy topspin. The only woman to beat Martina Navratilova in 1984, Kathleen Horvath, used the Prince Woodie, one of only six losses Navratilova suffered in a three-year stretch involving 260 matches.[18]
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.
This is a pretty serious level of tennis. The NCAA colleges have a very high skill ceiling for their tennis programs. They are looking for players who preferably have an ITF ranking and pretty proficient at their craft. To achieve this level of tennis you have to get your child in training from a very young age, like at 7-9 years old. They should have a dedicated plan for what they are going to do in their formative years because you have to maintain a balance of study and great tennis to get accepted into NCAA colleges on a sports scholarship. If your kid shows the talent then they can learn all the fundamentals in less than two years and they can keep practicing to perfect them.
Weights of a racket also vary between 7 ounces (200 g) unstrung and 12.6 ounces (360 g) strung. Until the 1980s, rackets weighted at "medium" were produced. "Heavy" rackets were produced during the height of the wood era (e.g. the 1960s), very sparingly. The "medium" weight is heavier than any of the rackets produced since it was discontinued by companies. Many professionals added weight to their rackets to improve stability. Many continue to do so. Pete Sampras added lead tape to make his racket have a 14 ounces (400 g) weight and Venus Williams is known for using a frame modified to be quite heavy, in terms of the recent times average. By contrast, Andy Roddick surprised many when he said he used a stock Pro Drive series model, series of racket which was light when compared with the rackets used by most top professionals. In both recreational and professional tennis, the trend has been away from heavy rackets and toward lighter rackets, despite the drawbacks from light rackets, such as increased twisting. Lawn tennis rackets originally flared outward at the bottom of the handle to prevent slippage. The rounded bottom was called a bark bottom after its inventor Matthew Barker. But by 1947, this style became superfluous.[clarification needed] More mass gives rackets "plow through", momentum that continues once the player has managed to get the racket into motion and which is more resistant to stoppage from the ball's momentum. This can give the perception that the racket produces shots with more power, although this is complicated by the typically slower stroke production. Higher mass typically involves a slower swing but more energy to execute the swing. More mass also provides more cushioning against ball impact shock, a source of injuries such as tennis elbow. However, high racket mass can cause fatigue in the shoulder area. Typically, it is safer for the body to have higher mass. More mass, additionally, provides more stability. It makes the racket more resistant to twisting forces and pushback. The drawbacks are that heavier rackets have lower maneuverability (reducing reaction time) and require more energy to move. As a racket gets heavier, the player finds it increasingly difficult to do fast reaction shots such as quick volleys and returns of serve. However, the additional mass can help with return of serve, in particular, by making the racket much more resistant to twist from a high-powered service. Light rackets have the additional drawback of making it easier for beginning players to use inappropriate wrist-dominant strokes, which often leads to injury. This is because poor stroke mechanics can be much easier to produce with a lightweight racket, such as in using one's wrist to mostly swing the racket. An extremely typical mistake beginning players make is to choke up heavily on the racket (to try to compensate for twist from a light racket, as well as too high racket angle upon impact) and use the wrist too much. The only professional well-known player to have had success with a strongly choked-up grip is Zina Garrison.

Leading juniors are allowed to participate for their nation in the Junior Fed Cup and Davis Cup competitions. To succeed in tennis often means having to begin playing at a young age. To facilitate and nurture a junior's growth in tennis, almost all tennis playing nations have developed a junior development system. Juniors develop their play through a range of tournaments on all surfaces, accommodating all different standards of play. Talented juniors may also receive sponsorships from governing bodies or private institutions.
Advantage sets sometimes continue much longer than tie-break sets. The 2010 Wimbledon first-round match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, which is the longest professional tennis match in history, notably ended with Isner winning the fifth set by 70–68. The match lasted in total 11 hours and five minutes, with the fifth set alone lasting eight hours, 11 minutes. Whoever wins by a margin of two wins the set, but this could take a very long time to finish.
In Tennis: A Cultural History, Heiner Gillmeister reveals that on December 8, 1874, British army officer Walter Clopton Wingfield wrote to Harry Gem, commenting that he (Wingfield) had been experimenting with his version of lawn tennis “for a year and a half”.[13] In December 1873, Wingfield designed and patented a game which he called sphairistikè (Greek: σφαιριστική, meaning "ball-playing"), and was soon known simply as "sticky" – for the amusement of guests at a garden party on his friend's estate of Nantclwyd Hall, in Llanelidan, Wales.[14] According to R. D. C. Evans, turfgrass agronomist, "Sports historians all agree that [Wingfield] deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis."[8][15] According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, poles, rackets, balls for playing the game – and most importantly you had his rules. He was absolutely terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had very good connections with the clergy, the law profession, and the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874."[16] The world's oldest annual tennis tournament took place at Leamington Lawn Tennis Club in Birmingham in 1874.[17] This was three years before the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club would hold its first championships at Wimbledon, in 1877. The first Championships culminated a significant debate on how to standardize the rules.[16]
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