Tennis is a popular racket sport which can be played in twos or fours. The game plays out in a rectangular court and the basic components of the sport, apart from the players, are a ball, a net, and rackets. No matter if tennis is being played between friends or in a professional setting, the goal remains the same: to hit the ball in such a way that it lands into the allowed opponent area, but the opponent cannot return it in time. Tennis games can get quite exciting and it is not unusual for audience members in at the court to get a stiff neck. A safer bet would be to get in on all the action and watch tennis on tv.
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As with most sport, the exact origins of tennis are shrouded in mystery, but the modern version can be safely said to have been born in the late 1850s. Harry Gem and Augurio Perera took the games of racquets and pelota and created a new sport. By 1872 they went on to create the first tennis club in the world, which was based in Birmingham, UK.
As the sport began to be played by more Englishmen, it spread through the colonies and into the United States. Towards the end of the 19th century, championships and competitions of tennis were organized all over the world, including France, the US, and Australia.
In 1913, the International Lawn Tennis Federation was founded. Apart from setting up several championships, the Federation quickly began working on standardizing the rules of lawn tennis. Most of these rules continue to be used in today's tennis games.
The Association of Tennis Professionals is an international governing body for professional male tennis players. It was formed in 1972 and has is headquartered in London, UK. The ATP is best known for organizing one of the most popular tennis tournaments, known as the ATP Tour. These events were first organized in 1990, and they combined previous competitions, including the Grand Prix tennis tournaments and the World Championship Tennis.
Audiences who enjoy watching the thrilling tennis games on tv have a bounty of events to choose from. The ATP Tour includes well-known competitions, such as the Grand Slam and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000. These events attract millions of worldwide viewers, eager to catch Wimbledon and the US Open on tv.
The Women's Tennis Association is the female counterpart of the ATP and similarly is the main organizing body for women's professional tennis. It was set up in 1973 and is headquartered in Florida, USA. One of the most anticipated annual tournaments organized by the WTA is the WTA Tour, which welcomes the top female tennis talent from around the world.
At first, the WTA did not get as much attention as the ATP, however, this changed when in 1975 it signed a broadcasting deal with CBS. This did not only help the financial standing of the organization, but it also introduced women tennis to a global audience who enjoy watching live sport on tv.
The WTA was partly responsible for getting tournaments to award the same prize money to women as they did to men. Advocates of equal pay who watch the US open on tv would be happy to know that this was the first tournament to award the same prizes, back in 1973. Very few other sporting events can boast this accomplishment.
Key male and female players
Tennis is a thrilling sport which has, over the years spawned some amazing players. A favorite amongst those watching tennis on tv is Roger Federer. The Swiss player made headlines when in 2001, at the age of just 19, he beat Pete Sampras, and eventually went on to break his record of Grand Slam wins.
Other very popular players include Steffi Graf and Serena Williams who, between the two of them have 43 Gram Slam titles. Bjorn Borg is another tennis legend who played his first Davis Cup at 15 and won his first French Open at 18.
Memorable Tournaments/TV Moments
Naturally, in a sport which is so full of talent, there are plenty of memorable tv moments. Those watching tennis on tv during the 2008 Wimbledon Men's final were treated to a dramatic comeback by Rafael Nadal, who beat Roger Federer during a match interrupted by rain.
Another spectacular match occurred in 1992 during the Female French Open. Steffi Graf and Monica Seles battled it out during 90 minutes of pure adrenaline, which ended with Seles overcoming the incumbent and winning the title.
The biggest moment outside of the court took place in 2006, when Andre Agassi, a controversial tennis player, announced his retirement, to the surprise of those watching live sports news on tv.
In its 150 year history, tennis quickly became a major sport which attracts fantastic talent, lucrative sponsors and millions of eager fans who watch practically all matches live on tv. With most of its legends either recently retired or still playing, the future is looking very exciting for fans of the sport. To get the latest on all the latest events, keep checking out this space for the most up-to-date tennis game schedule!