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Sports Recommendation
 
Tennis
 
Tennis has a several hundred years of history. As one of the most popular ball games in the world, the peculiar elegance and thrill of this sport has attracted people from various countries.
 
 
Origin
 
Tennis originated from a recreational game called Handball that came into vogue in the French palaces during the 14th century. The game was played by striking a clothed ball made of hair, grass and leaves with oneˇ¦s palm over a rope to an opponent. The English word "tennis" came from the French name of this game, "Tennez", at the time. This rope was later replaced with a net, and a wooden racket was used to strike the ball instead of oneˇ¦s palm. This racket has now evolved into a light-weight and resilient stringed racket. After its introduction into England, the sport soon became a game for the upper-crust and was prevalent in Europe in the 19th century.
 
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Development
 

The origin of modern tennis can be traced back to 1873, when the Englishman Walter Clopton Wingfield refined the earliest form of tennis and furthermore, practiced it on a lawn, making it "Lawn Tennis". In 1877, Wimbledon Championship, the oldest tournament in modern tennis history, was held for the first time in Wimbledon, London. In 1913, the International Tennis Federation was established to promote the sport and enact international tennis rules, which popularised the game all around the world. Wimbledon, the French Open, US Open and the Australian Open are famous international tennis events that are known as grand slams and are annual highlights in the circle. In addition, tennis has been an Olympic sport of the Olympic Games since 1896.

Formerly known as the Hong Kong Lawn Tennis Association, the Hong Kong Tennis Association (HKTA) was founded by local tennis enthusiasts in 1909 and renamed with its current name in 1984. The Association is committed to promoting tennis to the public and cultivating promising new talent to increase the overall level of tennis in Hong Kong.

 
 
Gear and tennis court
 

The basic equipment for playing tennis is the racket and the tennis ball. The racket (including the handle) is no longer than 73.7 centimetres in length and 31.7 centimetres in width. The exterior of the tennis ball is composed of fabric materials in the colour of white or yellow. The ball is seamless, weighing between 56 and 59.4 grams, and the height of its bounce is also regulated. The rules of the game vary on different ground surfaces.

A standardised tennis court is rectangular with a length of 23.77 metres; the width is 8.23 metres for singles matches and 10.97 metres for doubles matches. White lines are delineated on both sides of the court for singles matches and doubles matches, while the white lines on both ends are called the baseline. The net is stretched adequately across the full width of the court by two 1.07 metre high poles. In addition, there are four main types of tennis court surfaces, namely grass, clay, hard and carpet. The Wimbledon Championship is held on grass, the French Open on clay, and the US Open and Australian Open are held on hard courts. The carpet surface is usually used in indoor courts.

 

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Rules and scoring
 

A tennis match consists of games and sets, and is usually played to the best of five sets or the best of three sets. A player wins a set by winning six games. When both players have won six games, a tie-breaker is played. Whoever wins the specified number of sets first is the winner of the match. Only one player serves in each game, and the right of service is alternated each game until the match is over.

A game is won by getting at least four points in total where the player must have two points more than the opponent. The scoring in tennis is rather peculiar: from zero to three, the score is described as "love", "15", "30" and "40" respectively. The score of the playing match is always read with the serverˇ¦s score first, so "30-0" means the server is ahead by two points. When the scoring is "40-40" (also called "deuce"), a player who gets the next point is said to have the "advantage", but the score will come back to deuce if the same player then loses the next point. Therefore, to win a game in a deuce one has to take two points consecutively.

 
 
Training courses and competitions
 
Tennis is good for health and also helps to relieve stress. The HKTA organises training courses and competitions regularly. Please visit their website (www.tennishk.org) for more details or call 2504 8266 to make an enquiry.
 
Sources :
International Tennis Federation
Hong Kong Tennis Association
Wikipedia
Chinese Encyclopedia Online
 
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