During most of the 19th century, in fact, the term "tennis" referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis: for example, in Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845), Lord Eugene De Vere announces that he will "go down to Hampton Court and play tennis." The rules of tennis have changed little since the 1890s.
Laminated wood construction yielded more strength in rackets used through most of the 20th century until first metal and then composites of carbon graphite, ceramics, and lighter metals such as titanium were introduced.
These stronger materials enabled the production of oversized rackets that yielded yet more power.
The success of the event was overwhelming and the IOC decided to reintroduce tennis as a full medal sport at Seoul in 1988.
In 1968, commercial pressures and rumors of some amateurs taking money under the table led to the abandonment of this distinction, inaugurating the Open Era, in which all players could compete in all tournaments, and top players were able to make their living from tennis.
The four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the "Majors") are especially popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open played also on hard courts.
Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume ("game of the palm"), which evolved into real tennis, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style.
Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles).
Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court.
The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis".