25 Fun Facts About Tennis You Didn’t Know

pic of tennis

25 Fun Facts About Tennis You Didn’t Know

  1. Tennis originated in the 12th century in France and was initially played with the palm.
  2. The modern version of tennis emerged in England during the 19th century.
  3. The game is named after an old French word that means “to hold” or “holding a racket.”
  4. The Davis Cup is the oldest international team tennis event and dates back to 1900.
  5. The first-ever Grand Slam tournament was held in 1877 at Wimbledon, England.
  6. The rules of tennis were founded in 1873 by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield.
  7. Rufus, a Harris Hawk, is used at Wimbledon to deter pigeons.
  1. The Wimbledon Championships are the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournaments.
  2. Novak Djokovic has the most Grand Slam titles, with 18 singles titles overall.
  3. Jimmy Connors is the only player to win the US Open on three different surfaces.
  4. Tennis balls were originally made of leather and stuffed with feathers.
  5. The highest-paid male tennis player of all time is Roger Federer with career earnings of over $129 million.
  6. There is a tournament for players under 18 years old called the Junior Grand Slam.
  7. The oldest tennis player to ever win a Grand Slam tournament was Martina Navratilova.
  8. A player achieves a Career Grand Slam in tennis by winning all four major tournaments at any point in their career.

Table of Contents

1. Tennis has been around for centuries, dating back to the 12th century in France.

Tennis has been enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. Today, tennis is widespread, with many competitions and events held annually.

Originally, French monks played tennis using their hands, later transitioning to gloves with webbing, and eventually using rackets.

2. The oldest tennis tournament is Wimbledon, which began in 1877.

It is now the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Wimbledon is a significant event on the tennis calendar, drawing in fans from all over the globe.

3. The Davis Cup, a men’s international team competition, was founded in 1900.

It was named after its founder, Dwight Davis.

The cup is a silver trophy that is given to the winning team. The tournament is held annually, and groups from all over the world compete to lift the cup.

4. The modern game of tennis was developed in England in the 1870s.

Fun Facts About Tennis highlight the person holding the racket as the center of the action.
Tracing the Origins: The Modern Game of Tennis Developed in 1870s England.

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It was a less strenuous and more friendly version of the game that Filet-de-Boeuf, or real tennis, had played in royal courts since medieval times.

Soldiers returning from wars in India brought back a game called “Sphairistike,” which quickly spread throughout England.

It wasn’t until after Major Walter Wingfield patented his version of the game, calling it “Stické,” that it became known as tennis.

5. Tennis requires a lot of skill and stamina, as matches can last up to five hours or more.

Tennis is a sport that takes immense dedication and discipline, and players must be willing to put in the hard work required to become successful.

6. Tennis has Four Grand Slam Tournaments.

The Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

Each tournament is held in a different country: Australia, France, England, and the United States.

7. Sam Groth recorded the fastest tennis serve at 263.4 km/h (163.7 mph) in 2012.

2012 Sam Groth hit the fastest recorded tennis serve at 263.4 km/h (163.7 mph) at an ATP Challenger in Busan. Despite this record-breaking serve, he lost the match.

Groth, who retired in 2018, reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of World No. 53 in 2015 and is also known for his post-retirement work in tennis broadcasting.

8. The Wimbledon Championships are the only Grand Slams still played on grass courts.

open field stadium
Wimbledon, the sole Grand Slam on lush grass courts.

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This presents a unique challenge for athletes, who must adapt their game to different playing surfaces.

For many players, competing on these various surfaces, such as grass and clay, is a highlight of their year as they vie for the prestigious Wimbledon title.

9. The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, are two of the most successful female tennis players.

The super awesome tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams are like tennis world champions. They win lots of big prizes called Grand Slams and even Olympic gold.

Serena Williams is like a superhero on the tennis court, showing everyone how amazing she is. Together, they’re not just tennis players. They’re like heroes who make people want to play tennis, too.

10. The Isner-Mahut 2010 Wimbledon match, lasting 11 hours and 5 minutes, is the longest in tennis history.

The 2010 Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, lasting 11 hours and 5 minutes over three days, is the longest in tennis history. The final score was 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68, with Isner winning.

This match set records for the most games in a set and the most aces by a player, leading to Wimbledon rule changes for match length.

Endurance at Its Peak: John Isner and Nicolas Mahut’s Epic Tennis Battle.

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11. Tennis rackets have evolved significantly since they were first invented.

The first tennis racket was created in 1874 and was made of wood. In 1889, strings were added to the racket, which made it more powerful. In the 1930s, aluminum rackets were invented, which made the game faster-paced.

In 1977, graphite rackets were introduced, which gave players more control.

12. Tennis balls have to be replaced every 7 to 9 games in professional matches.

This is because, as International Tennis Federation rules require, balls must be replaced when they show visible signs of wear.

Tennis ball facts include that Once a ball has been used for over eight games, it is deemed too worn and must be replaced.

13. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament played on clay courts.

The French Open, celebrated on the iconic clay courts, stands alone as the sole Grand Slam tournament embracing the unique surface.

This distinctive choice of terrain adds an intriguing layer to the competition, challenging players with its slower pace and unpredictable bounces.

The red clay of Roland Garros has witnessed legendary battles and surprising upsets, contributing to the tournament’s rich history.

14. Tennis has several different types of strokes.

woman holding tennis ball and racket
Tennis Fun: Discover Shot Types.

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The most common type of shot is the forehand. This is when the player hits the ball with their dominant hand, usually from across their body. Another popular type of shot is the backhand.

This is when the ball is hit with the non-dominant hand, usually from behind the body.

15. Professional tennis players can reach speeds of up to 70 mph when hitting the ball.

That’s pretty fast, But how do they do it? The answer lies in their technique. By perfecting their swings, they can generate incredible speed and power.

So the next time you watch a professional tennis match, look closely at their technique.

16. Tennis is played in over 200 countries across the world.

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, there’s a place for you to enjoy tennis. With so many different countries, you will surely find the perfect destination for your next tennis vacation.

17. The term love in tennis refers to a score of zero.

In tennis, the term “love” signifies a score of zero and has been part of the sport’s lexicon since the late 1800s.

While its exact origin is unclear, the prevailing theory suggests that “love” represents the idea of playing for the “love of the game,” rather than for points or monetary gain, especially when a player’s score is zero.

18. The first all-professional tennis tournament was held in England in 1968.

four men playing double tennis during daytime
England, 1968: First all-pro tennis tournament.

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This was a monumental event in the tennis world, as it signified the importance of the sport and the professionalization of its athletes.

The tournament was met with great excitement from both players and fans alike, and it set the stage for many more professional tournaments to come.

19. Tennis elbow is a common injury among amateur and professional players.

The condition is caused by overuse of the elbow’s tendons and muscles, leading to inflammation. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and weakness in the affected arm.

Treatment typically involves rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

20. The highest-ranked player in the world is Novak Djokovic.

In tennis, Novak Djokovic is the top-ranked player. He’s really, really good at tennis, and he’s also the richest tennis player with a whopping $38.4 million in earnings.

Djokovic’s journey to the highest rank in tennis has made him a legend in the sport. People all over admire him because he’s incredibly skilled and successful.

21. Venus Williams is the only female player to have won Wimbledon singles titles.

She has won seven Wimbledon singles titles in her career. Williams has also won 14 Grand Slam singles titles overall.

22. Maria Sharapova is renowned for her loud grunt.

Maria Sharapova hitting the ball.
Sharapova’s trademark: a loud grunt on the court.

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A prominent female tennis player, Maria Sharapova is famous for her powerful on-court presence. One distinct feature of her game is her loudest grunt, which astonishingly reaches up to 101 decibels.

To put that into perspective, it’s almost as loud as a lion’s roar, missing by just 5 decibels. This unique aspect has made her stand out in the tennis scene.

23. Before 1986, tennis balls were white; they turned yellow afterward for better visibility.

In the tennis scene before 1986, white tennis balls were the standard. However, a significant change was introduced to improve the game’s visibility, especially for television viewers.

From that year onward, the white balls transitioned to a bright yellow color, often referred to as yellow balls.

This shift ensured that players and tennis fans could track the ball more easily during matches, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

24. Margaret Smith is the sole player with 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

Margaret Smith stands out as a legendary figure in the tennis scene. She holds a remarkable record, being the only player to secure 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

This achievement underscores her dominance and exceptional skill in the world of professional tennis. Her legacy remains unmatched, making her a true icon in the sport’s history.

25. The US Open trophy is crafted by Tiffany & Co.

The US Open, one of tennis’s most prestigious tournaments, awards a trophy symbolizing excellence and achievement. The renowned jeweler Tiffany & Co. meticulously crafted this coveted prize.

Their involvement adds an extra touch of elegance and prestige to the award, highlighting the tournament’s significance in the tennis scene.


Tennis is a sport that is typically played on a rectangular court. The game aims to hit a ball over a net and into your opponent’s court so they cannot return it.

The best player in the men’s singles rankings is Carlos Alcaraz.

Tennis’s full name is “lawn tennis.”

Tennis is believed to have originated in France in the 12th century.

The player who has won the most Grand Slam tournaments is Rafael Nadal. He has won a total of 22 Grand Slam tournaments.

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