No other sport has been changed as much as tennis. Over decades, the rules of tennis have experienced not many alterations. However, if we look back to the 1900s, it will be obvious that the playstyle is absolutely different now.
How it all started
Although something similar to tennis existed in ancient Rome, Egypt, and Greece, tennis in its full understanding was pioneered by French monks in the 11th century. The requests of students such as “pay to write my paper” online keep growing and the topic of the history of tennis is one of the most demanded by them. In the 11th century, the game was called “the game of the hand” (jeu de paume in French). Monks across the country played a primitive form of handball against walls. The original name “tennis” is also coming from French “tenez” meaning something like “take it”.
Courtyard playing grounds were adapted into indoor courts. Players haven’t always used racquets even. At first, they used bare hands, however, since it was too painful, they started to use gloves eventually. The tennis ball also experienced a lot of evolution and only in a few centuries, it came to be made of rubber.
A constantly evolving game
In 1913, tennis became a professional sport and in the very same year, the International Lawn Tennis Federation was founded. In 1924, it was first included in the Olympics, however, for the second time, it happened only in 60 years. Each tennis rule was already quite stable till that time. The modern game is mostly guided by The All England Club’s version of tennis.
In the 1990s, the game was known for medium-paced, fast grass, slow clay, and a wide range of styles. According to the paper writing service review of recent rule change proposals, court players were especially attacking. In the middle of the 1990s, they tried to slow tennis down. The composition of the grass was changed by Wimbledon. The Australian Open was played on a slow rebound ace. The balls used in the 1990s were much heavier than nowadays. Attacking players could hardly make it for the semi-final at the French Open at that time. For Wimbledon, it was quite the opposite. Three baseliners over the course appeared in the final.
Tennis scoring rules and systems are well-known for their speed. The first two points are worth 15 each. However, the third score is not. In most matches, it is necessary to win two sets to triumph. In the men’s singles though, the four “grand slams” are required as the best-of-five.
Initially, it was created by the marking figures on the clock face, i.e. 15, 30, 45, and 60. 60 was called the “game”. Then, 45 was shortened to 40 which was deuce. The match “John Isner – Nicolas Mahut” lasted more than 11 hours and in total 3 days. It happened just several years ago.
Some matches could theoretically last forever. Both Mahut and Isner were literally exhausted. The tiebreaker was first mentioned only in 1970 thanks to J. Van Alen. Right now, it is used when a set reaches 6-6. There are 10, 7, 5-point, and Coleman tiebreakers.
So, how long is a tennis match? Unlike in many other sports, matches in tennis can last different amounts of time. On average, the best-of-3 matches last around 90 minutes. The best-of-5 ones last 2 hours and 45 minutes. The fastest of the professional matches lasted only around 20 minutes while the longest one is a tennis record of 11 hours and 5 minutes.
The future of tennis
The average tennis fan’s age is over 50 currently. Younger fans didn’t stay because of too lengthy matches. Tennis is losing its fans, thus, Chris Kermode proposed a range of changes to be done in the future.
- Shorten sets. The first player who wins 4 games should win the set. A tiebreak happens when the score is tied at 3 games.
- Shot clock. Players start points within 25 seconds thanks to a countdown. The warm-up should be 5 minutes before the match starts.
- Player coaching. Players should be able to communicate with their coaches during the breaks. They also would be able to watch match details on iPads.
- No-let. Umpires will not call let when the ball touches the net while served.
These rules changes are very simple. They will make shorter sets possible, so the players would need only one point to win when the score is 40-40. Traditionally, two points are required. Players must serve the ball within 25 seconds only. Only one medical timeout per game is allowed now. An instant Hawk-Eye version will substitute line judges. It will detect at once when the ball is in or out.
However, Kermode faced negative feedback when he suggested the changes. More conservative fans do not want to change the rules of tennis, although he didn’t suggest drastic changes. The only goal Kermode is pursuing is the convenience of the beloved game.