The history of tennis goes all the way back to ancient Egypt and Persia where pictures indicate a type of game in which a ball was stroked1) over a net was played. The history of modern tennis officially began in 19th century Britain with a man named Major Walter Wingfield.易胜博怎么样
所幸的是，这项运动延续了下来，但这个名称却没有。1874年，温菲尔德要这项运动申请专利，当时他选定的名字为 “sphairistike”。这个词来自希腊语，意思是 “球类游戏”。温菲尔德的“发明”灵感主要来源于13世纪法国的一种游戏，名叫“jeu de paume”，字面意思为“手掌游戏”。这一游戏在室内进行，游戏时，人们徒手将球击打过网。这项休闲运动颇受修道院的僧侣们的喜爱。
后来，“jeu de paume”逐渐演变为室内网球或皇家网球运动，得到了法国皇室的青睐。16世纪初期，法国国王弗朗西斯一世甚至在他的个人战舰上建造了一个皇家网球场。
What a Name for a Game
“Hey, how about a game of sphairistike?”
Fortunately the game survived but the name did not. Major Wingfield chose sphairistike, a Greek word meaning “ball game,” for the game he sought to patent in 1874. Much of Wingfield’s “invention” was based on a game played in 13th Century France called jeu de paume—literally “game of the palm.” This game was played indoors by hitting a ball over a net with a bare hand. The game was a popular recreation among monks in their monasteries.
Jeu de Paume evolved into a game called real tennis or royal tennis that became popular among French royalty. In the early 1500s, the French monarch, Francis I even had a royal tennis court built on his personal battleship.
“网球”这个名称显然也与“jeu de paume”颇有渊源。法国人在击球前会喊“Tenetz!”(编者注：该词与网球的英文写法“tennis”十分相近)，意思是“小心！”
By the time Major Wingfield introduced his friends to sphairistike at a Christmas party, there is evidence that similar games were already being played in England. Major T.H. Gem of Britain and J.B. Perera of Spain had marked out a tennis court on a lawn as early as 1858. But they were not the one’s who wrote down what they had done and sought a patent, so today it is Wingfield who is considered the father of the game.
The name “tennis” apparently also goes back to jeu de paume. The French would yell, “Tenetz!” before they hit the ball. The word means, “Take heed.”
You’d Recognize It If You Saw It
Major Wingfield’s game looked much like the tennis we know today. Two or four players with rackets played on a court that was shaped like an hourglass2)—narrower in the middle at the net and wider along the baselines3). Historians report the height of the net as being from five to seven feet in Wingfield’s version of the game. Today, the top of the net is three feet high in the center of the court. Courts now are rectangular and measure 78 feet long and 27 feet wide for singles play and 36 feet wide for doubles.
Lawn tennis, as it soon came to be called (the name sphairistike was quickly ditched4) even after it was shortened to “sticky”) spread quickly through the upper and middle class of Britain. It was a popular party game. British army officers began to take the game to other parts of the world. Mary Outerbridge learned tennis from a British officer in Bermuda5). In 1874, she brought the game, including the equipment, back to the New York where her brother set up a court at the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club. Tennis had come to America.(责任编辑：admin)