The origins of this game date back to the twelfth century in France where even kings enjoyed it. At the beginning however, the ball was struck by the bare hand and it was not until sixteenth century when the first racket was introduced. The birth of the modern tennis fell on the second half of the eighteenth century and one man is believed to play a major role in it. Major Walter Clopton Wingfield created the game called sticky, which later evolved into tennis. He established some major rules, produced equipment and what is most important he contributed to its popularization. Thanks to it today’s most important tennis tournament – the Wimbledon, was first played in 1877 in London. Just three years later the first national championships took place in the USA. Because of the existence of many different rules in each club Americans created the United States National Lawn Tennis Association. The association created one binding set of rules and was responsible for organization of competitions in tennis. In 1924 the International Tennis Federation established rules which with very small changes, exist nowadays.
Now tennis can be played almost by everyone thanks to it popularization. Amateurs can use courts in every town, and what is very important most of the outdoor courts are available for free. There are also a lot of tennis schools where kids and adults can learn how to play this sport. During lessons in such a school professional trainers can teach us the main rules of the game and eight basic shots every player should know. Tennis is also extremely popular on professional level and has many fans. The most important tournaments every year attracts attention of millions of viewers around the world. There are four major tournaments which are also the most prestigious, and they are called the Grand Slam. It includes the Australian Open held in January, the French Open in May – June, the Wimbledon in June – July and the US Open in August – September. Each of these tournaments is a great event in which participate the best players in the world.