It is a racket sport that is practiced between two players or two couples in a rectangular court separated by a net. It consists in striking a ball with the racket over the net, trying to make it bounce on the opposite court, and that the rival is not able to strike it back. Matches are played to the best of three or five sets.

A set is won when a player/couple reaches six games won, with a minimum difference of two games. In case players/couples tie at 5 games won, it can be extended until one reaches seven to five. If they tie at six games, a tie break game is played, which consists in scoring seven points, with a difference of two. In case none of the players reach that difference upon reaching seven points, the game continues indefinitely until one of the competitors reaches said difference. Tennis is a sport that demands from the players a complete mastery of different strike and spin techniques. It also requires great physical and mental stamina, to execute the quick body movements we see. The typical strokes known are: the serve, forehand, backhand, lob, volley, slice and smash, among others. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the maximum ruling body that aims to regulate, expand and promote this sport around the world. Likewise, the Professional Tennis Association (ATP) is the body that organizes the professional male tennis circuits aiming to oversee and protect the interest of the players. With this same objective, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) was born. Tennis at #Santiago2023 will offer quota places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In the picture, a female tennis player making a serve.

History of this sport

It is believed that Tennis arose in the 12th century in France. In those first versions of the game, the ball was hit with bare hands. From the 16th century, rackets were included in the game.

It was born in Europe by the end of the 19th century and expanded initially between the English-speaking countries, especially among their upper classes. It was invented by the British commander Clopton Wingfield. Although Winfield claims to have designed the game, to which he named sphairisrtiké (from Greek ‘playing with ball’), based on an ancient Greek game, several authorities believe that actually he adapted the principles of the jeu de paume, squash and badminton to play outdoors. The first players preferred to call Wingfield’s game ‘grass tennis’ or simply ‘tennis’.

The first rules were published in 1888.

Tennis was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, but it was eliminated from the program after the Paris 1924 Games. It returned to the program 64 years later, with Miloslav Mečíř (Czechoslovakia) and Steffi Graf (Western Germany) as winners of the gold in the two individual tournaments in Seoul 1988.

Tennis has been played since Buenos Aires 1951, the first edition of the Pan American Games. The historical medal count is led by the United States, a delegation that has won 27 gold medals.

In the picture, a female tennis player making a serve.

How do you practive it?

It is played on a rectangular court and its measurements vary depending on the mode you play (singles or doubles). For singles, the measures are 23,77 meters long and 8,23 meters wide. For doubles, the length is the same, but the width is 10,97 meters.

The ball is a rubber chamber covered by felt (wool + cotton) and has a size of 66mm and a weight of 58 g. It must have a bounce higher than 135 cm and lower than 147 cm upon being thrown from a 254 cm high over a hard surface.

The scoring in tennis is divided in points, games and sets. Upon scoring four points, a game is won. Said points are counted in succession as follows: 15, 30, 40 and game. In case the competitors tie in 40, they must score two consecutive points to win the game. Then, when a player wins six games, they score a set. The winner of the match is the player who scores two or three sets, depending on the characteristics of the tournament.

If the score of the game is tied to five, there are two possible ways to end the set: if a player wins seven games with a difference of two; and if the game is tied at six, a tie-break decides the winner (a player must win seven points, with two points difference).


Which of the 4 Grand Slams is played on clay courts?

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Information for the community

The Metropolitan Tennis Association brings together most of the clubs in Santiago. It organizes tournaments and its main objective is to bring together different people linked to tennis, promote its practice, protect the interests of the affiliated clubs and train new talents.

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