The Early History of Tennis

Tennis

Tennis
Image: britannica.com

After 20 years as the dean of The University of Alabama School of Law, Kenneth Randall went on to be the president and CEO of iLaw and iLawGlobal located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2012. In his spare time, Kenneth Randall enjoys playing tennis.

While some historians believe the ancient Egyptians played a form of tennis, and there are records of Tuscan villagers playing a version of it with their hands in the fifth century, a more recognizable game was played in an enclosed area by monks in Italy and France in the 12th century.

The French aristocracy adopted the sport, and they named it Real Tennis while developing a unified system of rules and equipment by the 16th century. The French monarch, Francis I (1515-1547), was passionate about the game and oversaw the construction of numerous courts and encouraged other social classes in his kingdom to engage in the sport.

Meanwhile, England’s Henry VIII was an expert player himself during his reign between 1509-1547, and he had a court built at the Royal Palace of Hampton Court that is still in use today.

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