Tennis is a “Game of Gentlemen” given to us by the French people. Not everyone understands and likes this beautiful game but those who does are forever and ever bounded to it. Tennis has some of the most die-hard fans. Even greats from the other sports can be seen showering love for Tennis every once a while.
Hardcore fans knows everything related to their sports- facts, history everything. But do you guys know any weird facts about Tennis? Maybe you do, maybe not. But the Best Sports Website in India is certainly here to enlighten you with these top 10 weird facts about tennis.
1. Killer Tennis Balls
Tennis Balls can kill. Sounds a bit cringeworthy but evidently it is true in case of Scotland’s King James 1 who used to play earlier version of lawn tennis without ball boys. He used to regularly loses the balls in the sewage drain right next to the Blackfriars Monastery. So, the furious king one day ordered to immediately seal the drain.
Some days later, some people broke into the palace to assassinate him. He tried to deceive them by going beneath the floor and then towards the drainage system and then exiting from there through the tennis court. A perfect lifesaving plan, don’t you think? But guess what, what he found at the sewage instead of bunch of tennis balls pile? He found a newly sealed gate. So the plan didn’t worked out. He was caught and brutally murdered.
Only if there were any Ball boys at that time, and the sewer was never shut off!!
2. Pineapples and Cream?
Wimbledon is one of the most prestigious tennis tournament and a Grand Slam. And every tennis player wanna touch the Wimbledon trophy atleast once. And yes, there is a pineapple stuffed on top of the Wimbledon trophy. Apparently, the English sailors traditionally after coming back from a long voyage put pineapples on their gateposts. Nobody is sure how they connected tennis to the long journeys. Atleast, we know it prevents sailors from Vitamin C deficiency.
3. The original color of Tennis Balls – White
Yes, the original color of Tennis Balls was white. balls were either black or white in color, depending on the background color of the courts. The first yellow tennis ball was first used in Wimbledon in 1986. Incidentally, Wimbledon is the place where all the rules are stripped aside. The yellow balls are actually introduced as a research said that these balls are more visible to TV-viewers.
4. Easy-Peasy Olympic Medals
How easy do you think it is to win a Tennis gold medal in Olympics? It must be extremely hard, right. But the first person to ever win a Tennis gold at the olympics just showed up and won. Just like that.
John Pius Boland was an Irish tennis player and won the first tennis Olympic medal in 1896. During the event, he was on vaccations in Athens, Greece. One of his friend who was in the organizing committee, signed him up for the singles event, he showed up and won the gold. Then Boland went onto entering the doubles event with a German guy he beat at the first round of singles, Friedrich Traun, and yes they won that too.
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5. The Longest Match- 3 Days
Yes, this game was the longest in history and it was played in the recent times. Actually, in Wimbledon 2010 between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. The match was so freaking intense and no one was showing any sign of weakness untill Isner finally went for the win in a ridiculously amazing scorecard of 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68. The game took 3 days to complete and was played for 11 hours, 5 minutes. Unreal right?
6. Better late than never
There is always a differences between the wages and prize money for male and female players even in the competitive sports. For decades, the Wimbledon prize money for male tennis players was more comparing to female players. But in 2007, prize money for Wimbledon winners became equal for men and women. Good gesture by the Wimbledon authorities, better late than never.
7. The shortest Grand slam success
Well, we told you about the longest wimbledon match between Isner-Mahut. But do you know the shortest time a grand slam completed in is 34 minutes. Steffi Graff was so dominant in her prime, that in 1988 French Open Final, she destroyed Natasha Zvereva of Russia 6-0, 6-0 in a completely one-sided match that took all of 34 minutes to complete! Well, it takes me more than 34 minutes to decide what to wear, but yeah, Good work, Steffi!!
8. No rackets? No problem.
Before lawn tennis became the thing of proffesional players, Tennis was played with bare hands. It was called ‘Jeu de paume’ (game of the palm) was played in France in 12th century. The modern day tennis game is presumably evolved from the Jeu de paume.
9. Uncertianity about love
Nobody knows the reason for sure why is a zero called “love” in tennis. Many people claims that if came from the French expression “l’oeuf” as in “egg” meaning zero. the Oxford English Dictionary suggests that love really does mean “love”. The only thing keeping a scoreless player on the court is the love of the game.
10. Clock based scoring system
Do you ever think about why tennis scoring system is like the other games and why is it 15,30,40. The answer must have winded up with time now but the basic explanation behind this is they were based on a clock face at one end of the court. On each score the pointer moved round a quarter from 0 to 15, 30, 45 and a win on 60. Somehow, the 45 point was shortened to 40 probably because 45 took too long to say. What an innovative way to score, Kudos to the creators!!