The International Tennis Federation has tested the typical ball speed for various court surfaces, and classifies them as slow, medium, or fast. Generally, a hard concrete surface—with no surfacing system applied—provides a fast speed of play. If that's not your preference or you want a more resilient surface to reduce the impact on your joints, an abundance of acrylic color coatings and cushioning systems are on the market that allow you to adapt the court surface to your style of play.
The ITF's Play and Stay campaign promotes playing on smaller courts with slower red, orange and green balls for younger children. This gives children more time and control so they can serve, rally, and score from the first lesson on courts that are sized to fit their bodies. The ITF has mandated that official competition for children under 10 years of age should be played on "Orange" courts 18 m (59 ft) long by 6.4 m (21 ft) wide. Competition for children under 8 years is played on "Red" courts that are 11 m (36 ft) long and 5.5 m (18 ft) wide. The net is always 0.8 m high in the center.
Van Alen called his innovation a "tiebreaker", and he actually proposed two different kinds or versions of it: best-five-of-nine-points tiebreaker and best-seven-of-12-points tiebreaker. The first lasts a maximum of 9 points, and awards victory in the set to whichever player or team first reaches 5 points – even if the other player or team already has 4; the margin of victory can be a single point. Because this "9-point" tiebreaker must end after a maximum of 9 points, even if neither player or team has a 2-point (or greater) margin, Van Alen also called it a "sudden-death tiebreaker" (If and when the score reached four points all, both players faced simultaneous set point and/or match point.). This type of tiebreaker had its Grand Slam debut at 1970 US Open and was employed there until 1974. Apart from being used for 5 years at US Open it was also used 1 year at Wimbledon and for a while on the Virginia Slims circuit and in American Colleges.
If the score is tied at 40 ("40-all"), that is "deuce," which is essentially another word for tie. To break the tie, someone must win two points in a row. If you are serving at deuce and you win the next point, then you say "my ad," which means "my advantage." If your opponent wins, it goes back to deuce, and someone again must win by two points in a row. Yes, this could go on forever.
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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 middle-class English-speaking image (although it is acknowledged that this stereotype still exists).
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David Foster Wallace, an amateur tennis player himself at Urbana High School in Illinois, included tennis in many of his works of nonfiction and fiction including "Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness," the autobiographical piece "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley," and Infinite Jest, which is partially set at the fictional "Enfield Tennis Academy" in Massachusetts.
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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”. 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. 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." 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." The world's oldest annual tennis tournament took place at Leamington Lawn Tennis Club in Birmingham in 1874. 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.