How much do you know about the sport, tennis? Have you heard the names Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal? If so, then you would know that they are the top ranking tennis players in the world. However, how much do you know about tennis rules, scoring, and the courts? Tennis is more than just a game that plays with a racquet and a ball. Tennis is more than that. Once you know all about tennis, it would be hard for everyone not to fall into tennis’s charm. Let’s find out all about tennis and what is special about tennis!
1. Let’s Jump into Tennis!
A tennis court is rectangular and has a flat surface. The court is 78 feet (23.77m) long in total. However, the size of the court varies depending on whether it is a single match or a doubles match. For the singles matches, the court is 27 feet (8.2m) wide whereas the court is 36ft (11m) wide for the doubles matches. The first person who designed the modern tennis court is named Walter Clopton Wingfield. In 1873, Wingfield patented his version of the tennis court. However two years later, the first template of the court was revised into a rectangle shape from an hourglass shape. Tennis is certainly an unusual sport because it is played on a variety of surfaces: hardcourts of concrete, clay, grass or asphalt. These are the four courts are most commonly used on the outside and carpet is occasionally used for the indoors.
Let’s find out the confusing white lines that are on the courts. First of all, the line that is farthest back and delineates the width of the court is called the baseline. Then, there is a service line that is located in the middle of the court. There is a short mark called the center mark, which is in the center of each baseline. Since there are doubles play and single play, different boundary lines are used as well. For the double play, the doubles sidelines are used which are the outermost lines that make up the length of the tennis court; there is an area between the doubles sidelines that is called the double alley. Then for the singles play, single sidelines are used as boundaries, which are the lines that are inside of the doubles sidelines. Lastly, there is a center line or center service line that divides the service line in two. The boxes that are created are called service boxes. For the serving, based on the player’s position, he or she has to hit the ball into one of two boxes to earn a point.
The players or teams start on opposite sides of the net. One player is designated as a server and, the opposing player is the receiver. (The service alternates game by game). Now, let’s find out how the sport of tennis is scored. To begin with, the scoring basically has three steps: game, set, and match. The game consists of a sequence of points played during the same player serving. The points are described as “love (0)”, “15”, “30”, “40”, and “advantage”. Then why is 0 (zero) called “love” and why is it “40” instead of “45”? It is known that the word “love” arose from a French word. The French expression for “the egg” is “l’oeuf”. Because a number zero looks like an egg, people decided to use the similar word “love” for scoring zero in tennis. Moreover, the reason why people use the score “40” instead of “45” is that it takes more time to say the forty-five. To keep it simple, people decided to say “40” instead of calling it “45”.
The game is won by the first player who has won at least four points in total. In another way, a player wins if he or she has at least two points more than the opponent. Next, set consists of a sequence of games with service alternating between games. Finally, a match consists of a sequence of sets.
d. All the Confusing Terms
1) Ground Stroke: hitting the ball after it has bounced from the ground
2) Double Fault: happens when the player misses two serves
3) Break Point: says when the game is one point away from breaking the serve
4) Rally: when players hit the ball back and forth to each other
5) Lob: when the ball is lifted high above the net
6) Let: occurs whenever a serve touches the net and also lands in the service box.
When let happens, the serve is replayed.
7) Volley: happens when the player hits the ball before the ball hits the ground
2. What is Grand Slam?
In tennis, there are four Grand Slam tournaments. The four major Grand Slam tournaments are considered as the most prominent tennis events in the world. They are held annually but all in different seasons. Also, each tournament has different surfaces of the courts as well. One other thing that is special about the Grand Slam is that they are the only tournaments that are regulated by the International Tennis Federation (ITS). The four tournaments are in chronological order: Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. First, the Australian Open starts from January and last until February. It is held in Melbourne and the surface of the court is Plexicushion hard court which is an acrylic-based material. Then, right before the hot summer, there is the French Open in Paris. This open starts in May and lasts until June. This time, the surface of the court is clay. Right after the French Open, there is Wimbledon, which is held in London. This open runs from June until July. For the Wimbledon, the surface court is grass. The last open for the year is the US Open. The US Open happens from August to September and the location of the game is New York City. The US Open’s surface court is DecoTurf hard courts, which are constructed from layers of acrylic, rubber and silica on top of the asphalt or concrete base. Since all four events are played during a different season of the year and involves different types of courts, each tournaments possesses unique aspects that entertain the viewers.
3. Chung Hyeon: the Hero!
If you watched this year’s Australian Open for the Grand Slam, you would definitely know the South Korean professional tennis player, Chung Hyeon. Chung Hyeon, the highest ranked South Korean tennis player, became the first South Korean player to advance past the fourth round of a Grand Slam ever. Let’s look at his astonishing achievements! First, to reach the third round, he defeated Mischa Zverev and Daniil Medvedev. Then at the third round, he achieved his first victory over a top ten ranked player by winning against Alexander Zverev in five sets, who is the world number four player. Next, in the fourth round, Chung Hyeon beat six-time Australian Open champion and the former world number one player, Novak Djokovic in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, Chung defeated American Tennys Sandgren in straight sets as well. Through these games he finally reached his first Grand Slam semi-finals. Then at the semi-final, Chung withdrew from the game with Roger Federer due to huge foot blister. It was amazing how the 21-year-old has already made history. Chung Hyeon is also loved by people for his humor during the interviews after each game. Chung also has the nickname “professor” from always wearing his white-rimmed glasses on the courts. At the 2018 Australian Open, Chung Hyeon made a record and a new history that all South Koreans and even people around the world were startled. CAH will always cheer Chung Hyeon for his future success and his career!!!
Tennis was a sport that was not so popular in Korea. However, due to the appearance of a new rising star, Chung Hyeon, the newfound love for tennis is spreading like wildfire in South Korea. Especially now in South Korea, it is not only fascinating to watch but also a competitive sport to play that determines the winner in the blink of an eye. From now on, let’s cheer and be proud now of the tennis champion, Chung Hyeon!< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >