Volume 93, Issue 53

Thursday, December 2, 1999


Swimming in Crystal clear Western waters

Throw your clubs in the lake

Books, sports and drugs don't mix

The grand slam called tennis

The grand slam called tennis

It's the grand slam of sports. It's the game which made Martina Hingis, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe household names.

Tennis is a game with a very long history, beginning between the 12-13th centuries. This sport found its earliest beginnings in France, through a French game called the jeu de paume (game of the palm). The sport itself would remain popular and practically unchanged for centuries.

In 1873, Major Walter Wingfield invented a game which he called Sphairistik. It was from this new evolution of the French game, that modern day outdoor tennis would evolve. From the start, the game was predominantly played in Britain. Like many other sports to come out of the area, it quickly spread through the British Empire and to all corners of the world.

The game spread so quickly, that by 1877 the first world championships were held and sponsored by the All-England Croquet Club at Wimbledon, which would eventually evolve into today's Wimbledon championships.

By 1927 the game had made its way to the United States and by 1968, the first international body was formed to sanction open tennis. Presently, the major competitions of tennis are called the Grand Slam tournaments which include the national championships of Britain (Wimbledon), United States, Australia and France.

–Sean Maraj

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Copyright The Gazette 1999