THE ORIGINS OF TENNIS
Some believe that tennis was practiced all the way back in the times of Homer and Ovid. There are also accounts of a similar game played by the Toltec Indians of Mexico. Frescos in Egypt, Spain, and Renaissance Italy depict a game much like that of tennis. In addition, several books in the 16th century were written about games akin to tennis. But of all the educated guesses, one of the more popular belieft is that tennis has its origins in the late 19th century in Great Britain.
Present day tennis most likely has its origins in the "Jeu de Paume", which was practiced at the King's Court in the 13th century. Tennis spread throughout Europe, finding great support in Great Britain. At the foot of the Windsor Castle ramparts, and in the majority of royal British residences, a "tennys courte" could always be found. This trend was credited to Henry VII, who had four courts built on the land surrounding Whitahall Palace. The word "tenetz", which was cried out by the player upon serving the ball to his opponent, eventually gained acceptance throughout Europe and became the deciding factor in the unification of the "Jeu de Paume".
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