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To succeed in tennis often means having to begin playing at a young age. To facilitate and nurture a junior's growth in tennis, almost all tennis playing nations have developed a junior development system.
Juniors develop their play through a range of tournaments on all surfaces, accommodating all different standards of play. Talented juniors may also receive sponsorships from governing bodies or private institutions.
A tennis match is intended to be continuous. In most cases, service is required to occur no more than 20 seconds after the end of the previous point.
Should a player be determined to be stalling repeatedly, the chair umpire may initially give a warning followed by subsequent penalties of "point", "game", and default of the match for the player who is consistently taking longer than the allowed time limit.
In the event of a rain delay, darkness or other external conditions halting play, the match is resumed at a later time, with the same score as at the time of the delay, and the players at the same end of the court when rain halted play, or at the same position north or south if play is resumed on a different court.
Balls wear out quickly in serious play and, therefore, in ATP and WTA tournaments, they are changed after every nine games with the first change occurring after only seven games, because the first set of balls is also used for the pre-match warm-up.
Continuity of the balls' condition is considered part of the game, so if a re-warm-up is required after an extended break in play usually due to rain , then the re-warm-up is done using a separate set of balls, and use of the match balls is resumed only when play resumes.
A recent rule change is to allow coaching on court on a limited basis during a match. A competent tennis player has eight basic shots in his or her repertoire: A grip is a way of holding the racket in order to hit shots during a match.
The grip affects the angle of the racket face when it hits the ball and influences the pace, spin, and placement of the shot.
Players use various grips during play, including the Continental The "Handshake Grip" , Eastern Can be either semi-eastern or full eastern.
Usually used for backhands. Most players change grips during a match depending on what shot they are hitting; for example, slice shots and serves call for a Continental grip.
A serve or, more formally, a "service" in tennis is a shot to start a point. The serve is initiated by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it usually near the apex of its trajectory into the diagonally opposite service box without touching the net.
The serve may be hit under- or overhand although underhand serving remains a rarity. There can also be a let if the server serves the ball and the receiver isn't prepared.
Experienced players strive to master the conventional overhand serve to maximize its power and placement. The server may employ different types of serve including flat serve, topspin serve, slice serve, and kick American twist serve.
A reverse type of spin serve is hit in a manner that spins the ball opposite the natural spin of the server, the spin direction depending upon right- or left-handedness.
If the ball is spinning counterclockwise, it will curve right from the hitter's point of view and curve left if spinning clockwise.
Some servers are content to use the serve simply to initiate the point; however, advanced players often try to hit a winning shot with their serve.
A winning serve that is not touched by the opponent is called an "ace". For a right-handed player, the forehand is a stroke that begins on the right side of the body, continues across the body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the left side of the body.
There are various grips for executing the forehand, and their popularity has fluctuated over the years. The most important ones are the continental , the eastern , the semi-western , and the western.
For a number of years, the small, frail s player Bill Johnston was considered by many to have had the best forehand of all time, a stroke that he hit shoulder-high using a western grip.
Few top players used the western grip after the s, but in the latter part of the 20th century, as shot-making techniques and equipment changed radically, the western forehand made a strong comeback and is now used by many modern players.
No matter which grip is used, most forehands are generally executed with one hand holding the racket, but there have been fine players with two-handed forehands.
Players such as Monica Seles or France's Fabrice Santoro and Marion Bartoli are also notable players known for their two-handed forehands.
For right-handed players, the backhand is a stroke that begins on the left side of their body, continues across their body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the right side of their body.
It can be executed with either one hand or with both and is generally considered more difficult to master than the forehand.
For most of the 20th century, the backhand was performed with one hand, using either an eastern or a continental grip.
The first notable players to use two hands were the s Australians Vivian McGrath and John Bromwich , but they were lonely exceptions.
The two-handed grip gained popularity in the s as Björn Borg , Chris Evert , Jimmy Connors , and later Mats Wilander and Marat Safin used it to great effect, and it is now used by a large number of the world's best players, including Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams.
Two hands give the player more control, while one hand can generate a slice shot, applying backspin on the ball to produce a low trajectory bounce.
Reach is also limited with the two-handed shot. The player long considered to have had the best backhand of all time, Don Budge , had a powerful one-handed stroke in the s and s that imparted topspin onto the ball.
Ken Rosewall , another player noted for his one-handed backhand, used a very accurate slice backhand through the s and s.
A small number of players, notably Monica Seles , use two hands on both the backhand and forehand sides.
A volley is a shot returned to the opponent in mid-air before the ball bounces, generally performed near the net, and is usually made with a stiff-wristed punching motion to hit the ball into an open area of the opponent's court.
The half volley is made by hitting the ball on the rise just after it has bounced, also generally in the vicinity of the net, and played with the racket close to the ground.
It is an offensive shot used to take preparation time away from the opponent, as it returns the ball into the opponent's court much faster than a standard volley.
From a poor defensive position on the baseline, the lob can be used as either an offensive or defensive weapon, hitting the ball high and deep into the opponent's court to either enable the lobber to get into better defensive position or to win the point outright by hitting it over the opponent's head.
If the lob is not hit deeply enough into the other court, however, an opponent near the net may then hit an overhead smash , a hard, serve-like shot, to try to end the point.
A difficult shot in tennis is the return of an attempted lob over the backhand side of a player. When the contact point is higher than the reach of a two-handed backhand, most players will try to execute a high slice under the ball or sideways.
Fewer players attempt the backhand sky-hook or smash. Rarely, a player will go for a high topspin backhand, while themselves in the air.
A successful execution of any of these alternatives requires balance and timing, with less margin of error than the lower contact point backhands, since this shot is a break in the regular pattern of play.
If an opponent is deep in his court, a player may suddenly employ an unexpected drop shot , by softly tapping the ball just over the net so that the opponent is unable to run in fast enough to retrieve it.
Advanced players will often apply back spin to a drop shot, causing the ball to "skid" upon landing and bounce sideways, with less forward momentum toward their opponent, or even backwards towards the net, thus making it even more difficult to return.
Muscle strain is one of the most common injuries in tennis. Muscle , cartilage , nerves , bursae , ligaments and tendons may be damaged from overuse.
The repetitive use of a particular muscle without time for repair and recovery is the most common cause of injury. Tournaments are often organized by gender and number of players.
Common tournament configurations include men's singles, women's singles, and doubles, where two players play on each side of the net.
Tournaments may be organized for specific age groups, with upper age limits for youth and lower age limits for senior players.
There are also tournaments for players with disabilities, such as wheelchair tennis and deaf tennis. Most large tournaments seed players, but players may also be matched by their skill level.
According to how well a person does in sanctioned play, a player is given a rating that is adjusted periodically to maintain competitive matches.
Average club players under this system would rate 3. The four Grand Slam tournaments are considered to be the most prestigious tennis events in the world.
Aside from the historical significance of these events, they also carry larger prize funds than any other tour event and are worth double the number of ranking points to the champion than in the next echelon of tournaments, the Masters men and Premier events women.
There are , more than any other professional tennis tournament. This draw is composed of 32 seeded players, other players ranked in the world's top , qualifiers, and players who receive invitations through wild cards.
Grand Slam men's tournaments have best-of-five set matches while the women play best-of-three. Grand Slam tournaments are among the small number of events that last two weeks, the others being the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Masters.
Currently, the Grand Slam tournaments are the only tour events that have mixed doubles contests. Grand Slam tournaments are held in conjunction with wheelchair tennis tournaments and junior tennis competitions.
These tournaments also contain their own idiosyncrasies. For example, players at Wimbledon are required to wear predominantly white. Andre Agassi chose to skip Wimbledon from through citing the event's traditionalism, particularly its "predominantly white" dress code.
Each event is held annually, and a win at one of these events is worth ranking points. When the ATP , led by Hamilton Jordan , began running the men's tour in , the directors designated the top nine tournaments, outside of the Grand Slam events, as "Super 9" events.
In November at the end of the tennis year, the world's top eight players compete in the ATP World Tour Finals , a tournament with a rotating locale.
It is currently held in London, England. In August the ATP announced major changes to the tour that were introduced in The Masters Series was renamed to the "Masters ", the addition of the number referring to the number of ranking points earned by the winner of each tournament.
Contrary to earlier plans, the number of tournaments was not reduced from nine to eight and the Monte Carlo Masters remains part of the series although, unlike the other events, it does not have a mandatory player commitment.
The Hamburg Masters has been downgraded to a point event. The Madrid Masters moved to May and onto clay courts, and a new tournament in Shanghai took over Madrid's former indoor October slot.
It is mandatory for leading players to enter at least four events, including at least one after the US Open.
It is composed of about events and, as a result, features a more diverse range of countries hosting events. These tournaments also contribute towards a player's ATP rankings points.
Premier events for women form the most prestigious level of events on the Women's Tennis Association Tour after the Grand Slam tournaments.
These events offer the largest rewards in terms of points and prize money. The Premier events were introduced in replacing the previous Tier I and II tournament categories.
Currently four tournaments are Premier Mandatory, five tournaments are Premier 5, and twelve tournaments are Premier.
The first tiering system in women's tennis was introduced in International tournaments are the second main tier of the WTA tour and consist of 31 tournaments, with a prize money for every event at U.
Professional tennis players enjoy the same relative perks as most top sports personalities: Like players of other individual sports such as golf, they are not salaried, but must play and finish highly in tournaments to obtain money.
In recent years, some controversy has surrounded the involuntary or deliberate noise caused by players' grunting. The following players have won at least five singles titles at Grand Slam tournaments:.
A frequent topic of discussion among tennis fans and commentators is who was the greatest male singles player of all time. By a large margin, an Associated Press poll in named Bill Tilden as the greatest player of the first half of the 20th century.
In , however, Donald Budge became the first person to win all four major singles titles during the same calendar year, the Grand Slam , and won six consecutive major titles in and Tilden called Budge "the finest player days a year that ever lived.
Kramer was among the few who dominated amateur and professional tennis during the late s and early s. Tony Trabert has said that of the players he saw before the start of the open era , Kramer was the best male champion.
Budge reportedly believed that Gonzales was the greatest player ever. I think his game was the best game ever. He was capable of making more shots than anybody.
His two volleys were great. His overhead was enormous. He had the most natural tennis mind with the most natural tennis physique.
Before and during the open era, Rod Laver remains the only male player in history to have won the calendar year Grand Slam twice in and  and also the calendar year Professional Grand Slam in Andre Agassi , the first of two male players in history to have achieved a Career Golden Slam in singles tennis followed by Rafael Nadal , has been called the best service returner in the history of the game.
More recently, Roger Federer is considered by many observers to have the most "complete" game in modern tennis.
He has won 20 grand slam titles and 6 World Tour Finals, the most for any male player. Many experts of tennis, former tennis players and his own tennis peers believe Federer is the greatest player in the history of the game.
As with the men there are frequent discussions about who is the greatest female singles player of all time with Steffi Graf , Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams being the three players most often nominated.
In March the TennisChannel published a combined list of the greatest men and women tennis players of all time. The rankings were determined by an international panel.
Sportswriter John Wertheim of Sports Illustrated stated in an article in July that Serena Williams is the greatest female tennis player ever with the argument that "Head-to-head, on a neutral surface i.
Steffi Graf is considered by some to be the greatest female player. Billie Jean King said in , "Steffi is definitely the greatest women's tennis player of all time.
Tennis magazine selected Martina Navratilova as the greatest female tennis player for the years through From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the sport. For other uses, see Tennis disambiguation. A tennis match at Wimbledon 's Centre Court For individual terms, see Glossary of tennis.
For software term, see Breakpoint. Types of tennis match. List of tennis tournaments. Tennis male players statistics and World number one male tennis player rankings.
World number 1 women tennis players and List of WTA number 1 ranked players. New York University Press.
Daily life in the Middle Ages. A Cultural History Repr. Retrieved 15 May Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries , page Perris Grass tennis courts: Retrieved 2 May Retrieved 18 March From birth of lawn tennis to modern marvels".
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Archived from the original on 5 May Archived from the original on 11 May Historical Dictionary of Tennis. British Journal of Sports Medicine.
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The Los Angeles Times. Federer might be greatest ever". Retrieved 2 March Archived from the original on 13 March Retrieved 9 April Retrieved 6 January Archived from the original on 28 May The original centre court roof from , which partly covers the stands, has been modified several times.
In , it was raised by one metre to allow the capacity to be increased by 1, A full retractable roof see below was completed in , and capacity increased to 15, by adding six rows of seats to the upper tier on the east, north, and west sides.
New media facilities, scoreboards including video, and commentary boxes were built to replace those currently in the upper tier. New wider seats were installed and new additional stairs and lifts were added.
After many years of debate by players, fans, media and officials that often occurred during rain delays, the All England Club finally decided to build a retractable roof to cover the entire court.
Building work began with the removal of the existing roof over the stands at the end of the championships. The completed retractable roof structure was ready for the Championships , being unveiled in April and tested with a capacity audience during an exhibition match on 17 May , featuring Andre Agassi , Steffi Graf , Tim Henman , and Kim Clijsters subsequently returning from retirement.
The roof takes up to 10 minutes to close, during which time play is suspended. However, the time to transfer from outside to inside play can be up to 45 minutes while the air-conditioning system acclimatises the nearly 15,seat stadium for indoor-grass competition.
The roof was closed for the first time during a competitive Championships match at about 4: The first full match to be played with the roof closed was a men's singles fourth round match between British player Andy Murray and Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.
Play on Centre Court had never gone past 9. All companies undertake all the planned preventative maintenance. The roof's ten trusses each weigh tonnes, and the total weight, including non-moving parts, is 3, tonnes.
The Scoreboard on centre court is one of the more recognisable parts of Centre Court. In , dot matrix scoreboards on the same layout were installed on Wimbledon courts.
These were replaced in by full colour LED screens intended to provide full Hawk-Eye replays to the crowd in the stadium.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Centre Court Centre Court at Wimbledon, Archived from the original on 1 June Retrieved 30 March Wimbledon Compendium 21st ed.
Retrieved 12 November Retrieved 22 April Retrieved 29 June Archived from the original on 24 September Andy Murray beats Marcos Baghdatis in thriller".