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The origins of the 15, 30, and 40 scores are believed to be medieval French. The earliest reference is in a ballad by Charles D'Orleans in 1435 which refers to quarante cinque ("forty-five"), which gave rise to modern 40. In 1522 there is a sentence in Latin "we are winning 30, we are winning 45". The first recorded theories about the origin of 15 were published in 1555 and 1579. However, the origins of this convention remain obscure.[3]
A difficult shot in tennis is the return of an attempted lob over the backhand side of a player. When the contact point is higher than the reach of a two-handed backhand, most players will try to execute a high slice (under the ball or sideways). Fewer players attempt the backhand sky-hook or smash. Rarely, a player will go for a high topspin backhand, while themselves in the air. A successful execution of any of these alternatives requires balance and timing, with less margin of error than the lower contact point backhands, since this shot is a break in the regular pattern of play.
The origins of the 15, 30, and 40 scores are believed to be medieval French. The earliest reference is in a ballad by Charles D'Orleans in 1435 which refers to quarante cinque ("forty-five"), which gave rise to modern 40. In 1522 there is a sentence in Latin "we are winning 30, we are winning 45". The first recorded theories about the origin of 15 were published in 1555 and 1579. However, the origins of this convention remain obscure.[3]
A tennis court is the venue where the sport of tennis is played. It is a firm rectangular surface with a low net stretched across the center. The same surface can be used to play both doubles and singles matches. A variety of surfaces can be used to create a tennis court, each with its own characteristics which affect the playing style of the game.
I had learned to run by taking long, extended strides. Now, as a result, and even after hundreds of hours with Kirill, I still cannot roam the baseline and routinely get myself in the proper relation to a tennis ball to strike it at just the right arm’s length. It’s a lesson in why you read about pro tennis players who have been playing since age 6. It’s a lesson, too, in limitations.

Sportswriter John Wertheim of Sports Illustrated stated in an article in July 2010 that Serena Williams is the greatest female tennis player ever with the argument that "Head-to-head, on a neutral surface (i.e. hard courts), everyone at their best, I can't help feeling that she crushes the other legends.".[120] In a reaction to this article Yahoo sports blog Busted Racket published a list of the top-10 women's tennis players of all time placing Martina Navratilova in first spot.[121] This top-10 list was similar to the one published in June 2008 by the Bleacher Report who also ranked Martina Navratilova as the top female player of all time.[122]
Throughout most of lawn tennis' history, most rackets were made of laminated wood, with heads of around 65 square inches (420 cm2). A small number of them were made of metal, such as a 1920s racket by Dayton.[15] Some, rarely, also had metal strings. In the late 1960s, Wilson popularized the T-2000 steel racket with wire wound around the frame to make string loops, after having purchased the design from René Lacoste, who produced the racket first in a more limited run. It was popularized by the top American player Jimmy Connors and was also, prior to Connors using it, by Billie Jean King in her early career. Many players said it lacked control but had more power, when compared with wood frames of the period. Connors used the rarer "firm" model that had additional throat welds to increase its stiffness. In 1968 Spalding launched an aluminum racket, called The Smasher. Aluminum, though lighter and more flexible than steel, was sometimes less accurate than wood. The biggest complaint, however, was that metal rackets caused strong cases of tennis elbow, especially the kind that had holes for the strings directly in the frame, rather than using an external wire wrapper, as in the T-2000. Because of that drawback in particular, most of the top players still preferred to use wooden frames.[16]
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]
Again, begin with the grip. Whether you choose to use a one handed backhand or a two handed backhand, it’s important to grip the racket closer to the top bevel with your dominant hand. For a two handed backhand, the non-dominant hand should grip the racket underneath the handle, and keeping your palm rested firmly on the racket handle. Fingers should be free of tension, and not too close together. The grip for the two hander should have your other hand adjacent to the first. It’s necessary to practice both the forehand and backhand tennis strokes as you learn to play tennis.
As rackets have become lighter, stiffer, and larger-headed, the professional game has moved, basically completely, from softer and more flexible string materials to stiff materials. This is, in large part, to tone down the additional power potential of the "modern" rackets. However, it also is related to the tendency for different string materials to move out of place when subjected to heavy topspin strokes. Polyester is the string of choice today because of that resistance, despite its increased stiffness (harsher feel and more aggravating for the joints) and reduced tension-holding ability (versus a string like natural gut, which excels at that). The top professionals of the 1970s and earlier, despite having access to stiffer materials such as nylon, nearly always chose to use the very flexible natural gut instead. String bed stiffness can be increased by using stiffer materials, such as kevlar and polyester, by increasing the density of the string pattern, and by stringing with a higher tension. Racket makers and players have experimented with very dense string patterns and very "open" patterns, beginning with the Snauwaert Hi Ten, which had a pattern with as few as 12 mains and 13 crosses. Doubles great Mark Woodforde used one of them.[14] More recently, Grigor Dimitrov is known for having played with a very open-patterned racket during part of his career. String choice, both in thickness and material, string tension, string pattern, and string pattern density can have a very large effect on how a racket performs.
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.
This tennis racquet from Head is both affordable and very functional. It is an excellent quality entry level tennis racquet that most beginners will really find to their liking. It has a good grip that fits smaller size hands well and it is constructed out of materials that keep it stiff as you hit the ball to help generate extra power on your shots.
I too began tennis as a retirement activity at age 65. I am now 74 and have found that I can only play with people at my age and level. I get nothing from watching a young, experienced player smash the ball past me and standing in front of every shot I hit, no matter where I aim it. If you would like to correspond and chat and compare notes further, I am at alsal38@me.com. My name is Al Salganick.
Tennis also became popular in France, where the French Championships dates to 1891 although until 1925 it was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs.[24] Thus, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open (dating to 1905) became and have remained the most prestigious events in tennis.[25][26] Together these four events are called the Majors or Slams (a term borrowed from bridge rather than baseball).[27]
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