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The drill went like this: He began feeding balls to me, rapidly, 20 or so a minute, to my left, to my right. They arrived close to my body at first, then farther away, then farther and harder. At the moment his racket was about to make contact with the ball, I did my split step, a reaction maneuver that entails hopping in place, spreading my legs shoulderwide and landing on my toes, ready. I stepped toward the net, taking the coming ball out of the air with a volley. Then I backpedaled once more to the T, volleying forehand, then backhand, forehand, backhand, on and on for three, four minutes — an eternity.
A game consists of a sequence of points played with the same player serving. A game is won by the first player to have won at least four points in total and at least two points more than the opponent. The running score of each game is described in a manner peculiar to tennis: scores from zero to three points are described as "love", "15", "30", and "40", respectively. If at least three points have been scored by each player, making the player's scores equal at 40 apiece, the score is not called out as "40–40", but rather as "deuce". If at least three points have been scored by each side and a player has one more point than his opponent, the score of the game is "advantage" for the player in the lead. During informal games, "advantage" can also be called "ad in" or "van in" when the serving player is ahead, and "ad out" or "van out" when the receiving player is ahead.
This is sometimes played instead of a third set. A match tie-break (also called super tie-break) is played like a regular tie-break, but the winner must win ten points instead of seven. Match tie-breaks are used in the Hopman Cup, Grand Slams (excluding Wimbledon) and the Olympic Games for mixed doubles; on the ATP (since 2006), WTA (since 2007) and ITF (excluding four Grand Slam tournaments and the Davis Cup) tours for doubles and as a player's choice in USTA league play.
Jeu de paume, an older version of modern-day tennis, was very popular in the 17th century and played an important part in the education of princes. As a royal sport, it was codified with etiquette and rituals. Although the Louvre Palace and the palaces at Vincennes, Fontainebleau, Compiègne and Saint-Germain all had their own tennis court, the Palace of Versailles had been without one since the room built under Louis XIII was destroyed in 1682 to ease the way for the building of the Grand Commun. Four years after Louis XIV and his Court moved to Versailles (in 1686), a new room was built for Nicolas Creté, Tennis Master to the King, a few hundred metres south-east of the Palace in the Old-Versailles district. Although built with private funds, it was frequented by Parisian tennis masters, the Court, and the royal family. According to the memoirs of Charles Perrault, Louis XIV's physician had recommended "jeu de paume" to him as a salutary hygienic exercise.
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Between 1859 and 1865 Harry Gem, a solicitor and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom. In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club on Avenue Road, Leamington Spa. This is where "lawn tennis" is used as a name of activity by a club for the first time. After Leamington, the second club to take up the game of lawn tennis appears to have been the Edgbaston Archery and Croquet Society, also in Birmingham.