History of Tennis:
by Rit Nosotro
(You be the line judge)
Change Over Time essay
Explain how the history of tennis is related to world events.
(Items in this brown font may be over the line.)
The history of tennis begins way back in the Old Testament with Joseph. Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of his tennis skills, they threw him in a pit and sold him to Midianite coaches. They traded him onto Potiphar's team where he triumphed over Potiphar’s wife in an intense match. Because "Love" meant Nothing to her, she got so angry that she had him thrown into prison. In prison, he served time and balls and became famous for his prophesies of matches. He successfully interpreted the outcome of the upcoming matches of Pharaoh’s royal stringer and ball boy, who had both been accused of taking The Pharaoh’s royal Gatorade bottle. Then, when the Pharaoh needed to know the outcome of the upcoming Sphinx Open, he called on Joseph. Joseph warned him that for seven years, Pharaoh would crush his opponents, but for seven years after that, Pharaoh would become weak and double-fault unless he built triple vaults. Pharaoh upgraded Joseph’s position to his royal hitting partner to prepare for the seven hard years in the Sphinx Open. The Bible says that Joseph served in Pharaoh’s court at this time (Genesis ch. 40). Reading this in context, we understand that Joseph helped the Pharaoh prepare for his tennis matches in the years ahead. A young underdog named Benjamin took the Master's Cup (Gen. 44) and catapulted Pharaoh to build the pyramids which were royal tennis domes (not tombs) so the Pharaoh could work on his game even at night or during severe sandstorms. Pharaoh's daughter successfully bet on her dad's winning comeback and was able to draw out a handsome prophet from the Banks of the Nile. As proof of all this, carvings have been found in Egyptian temples with people playing tennis.
Meanwhile, across the big lake, Mayans and Incas played a similar form of tennis. Every year, thousands of American Indians would gather from Central and South America to play in the Andes Open. The level was not as high in the Americas, however, because the winner of each year's tournament was awarded with being sacrificed! Although every player's ultimate dream was to be the best, none of them could stay in that position for very long.
Europe lagged behind a couple thousand years in the tennis world. Finally, in the 8th century AD, European monks began to take an interest in the game. However, the technology of the racket had not yet reached Europe and monks played with their hands or with sticks. Tennis grew popular in so many Monasteries all over Europe, the Roman Catholic Church considered prohibiting the game.
Tennis made it out of monasteries in Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. Players found that they had more control using just their hands, so they developed a hard leather glove to hit the ball with. After a while, people’s hands hurt so bad they had to invented a wooden paddle. Balls were refined too at this time from solid wood to much softer designs made of leather stuffed with brand. The game skyrocketed in popularity, especially in France where Royalty adopted it.
In France, during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, modern-day tennis began to evolve. Players would shout, “tenez”, or “play” when they started, hence the name, tennis. Players could hit off the wall, and the rules were totally different though. This old form of tennis is called, “Real Tennis”. After its initial rise in popularity with the French nobility, tennis spread throughout Europe, becoming particularly popular in England. As in France the game became recognized as the sport of kings. Henry VIII was a very good player and built a court at his palace in Hampton Court, still used today by Real Tennis enthusiasts. Tennis wasn't just confined to France and England though. The game also spread to Spain, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and Germany. All kinds of people including poets, soldiers, aristocrats and peasants across Europe were inspired by tennis. One English poet named Alfred was so inspired by the sport, he changed his name to Alfred Tennison and wrote famous poems about the sport he loved. The tennis town of Wimbledon also developed this time. Each year, Real Tennis players would gather from England to play in the tournament. However, macho rugby players in England who thought that tennis players were wimps came and beat the tennis players up. The rugby players would yell, “Wimp! Bleed on!” in a severe English accent, which is how Wimbledon acquired it’s name. Where ever the rugby players created a racket, there was certain to be a "tennis corpse" -which the local police pronounced as "tennis courts". Judges had so many such cases they acquired the name "courts" for where they judged whether a rugby player had crossed the line.
Meanwhile, in the United States of America, tennis grew in popularity. President Andrew Jackson told the Indians that if the chief of each tribe could not beat him, they would have to move away. The Indians were aces at gill netting salmon and knew how to play close to the net, so they beat old Andy easily, but he made them move anyway. As they exited the annexed territory of Davy Crocket, he name his state Tennisee in honor of the Indians he saw.
In 1914, World War I began. Most people think that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand caused this war. However, the true cause of the war began before the assassination of the duke. In 1912, the Olympics took place in Stockholm, Sweden. That year, in the finals of men’s tennis, a player from Germany played an American. The Austrian line judge called a ball out on the German, who thought it was obviously in. The judge gave him a yellow card and said that if he argued again he would disqualify him. The German submitted, but once again the near-sighted judge called a bad ball. The German got so upset that he asked a new line judge take the blind man’s place. The line judges’ pride was injured and he disqualified the rowdy German, giving the match to the American. This event upset Germans across Europe. They assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand as revenge against the stupid Austrian Judge. This led to a chain reaction and within a few weeks, Europe was entangled in war. When Germany invaded Austria, they served yellow tennis ball-shaped bullets and yellow, fluffy grenades to show the true source of their anger. Finally, the war ended in 1919, but Germany was still upset about the bad call. Hitler came to power in the 1930’s and said he would establish the “Third Reich”, literally meaning, “The Great Revenge” for a thousand years. As events turned out, he was only 988 years off.
Tennis has certainly influenced world history in many ways beyond most people’s knowledge.
[Another sport that greatly impacted world events was Baseball. The story begins "In the big inning" (Gen. 1). Soon thereafter Eve stole first, Adam stole second, and Cain struck out Abel. Even through The Giants and the Angels were rained out (Gen. 9), the Prodigal Son eventually made it home.]
Tennis facts are from http://www.cliffrichardtennis.org/planet_tennis/history.htm
Additional information about <http://hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/cot/t0w32tennisfun.htm>
The above essay was donated to hyperhistory.net.
of inaccuracies or plagiarism.
Post a link to this essay,
a great essay
on your blog or website :
|Comparative Essays||Biographies||Doc. Based Questions||Change Over Time|