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Sofija Zecevic: “Tennis Then and Now”

It is thought that tennis had its beginnings in France around the 12th century, but at that time the ball was smacked with the palm of the hand and was named the "jeu de paume"(“game of the palm”). The ball was likely made of wool, flax, leather, etc. The game was first created by European monks for entertainment. Gradually "jeu de paume" became the entertainment of the wealthiest people who had lots of free time.

Written by: Sofija Zecevic

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***As part of her high-school home study project ACE player Sofija Zecevic has been researching the history and evolution of the game of tennis. This stretches from the 12th Century up until the present day. Today we’ll look at parts one and two of her project. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more.***

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In the beginning…

It is thought that tennis had its beginnings in France around the 12th century, but at that time the ball was smacked with the palm of the hand and was named the “jeu de paume”(“game of the palm”). The ball was likely made of wool, flax, leather, etc. The game was first created by European monks for entertainment. Gradually “jeu de paume” became the entertainment of the wealthiest people who had lots of free time. So tennis became known as the sport of the kings or “real tennis” – “real” stands for “royal”.

The first official tennis court was build in Hampton Court Palace, England, by King Henry VIII in the early 16th Century. At the same time the game was developing in other European countries e.g. Scotland and France. By that time the game was developing from using leather gloves into using wooden rackets.

Origin of the Scoring System

The scoring system is likely based on the numbers on the clock face – 0, 15, 30, 45, 60. Because 60 is a nice round number, and represents the number of minutes in an hour it may have been chosen as the last point of the game. The evolution of the scoring system began several hundred years ago, so no one can be positively sure. Later, “forty-five” was probably abbreviated to “forty”, which made it simpler. History speculates that the word “love”, meaning zero, comes from the French word “l’oeuf”, meaning “egg”, which looks like a zero, and over time gradually became “love”. Who knows for sure!?

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.