Once a simple medieval pastime called jeu de paume, involving a ball and the palm of one's hand, tennis has evolved into one of the most physically challenging sports, not to mention an immensely popular event for spectators around the world. Whether you are a parent looking to help your child start playing, a sofa spectator looking to learn more about your favorite professional players, or a college student looking to test your game in some stiffer competition, the Web provides a multitude of sites catering to every breed of tennis enthusiast.
Below we'll introduce a few sites that will get the beginner familiarized with the basics of tennis, and some that fill in the blanks for the more experienced tennis fan, player, or instructor.
- General sports resources, as well as journalistic publications, are a great place to learn about tennis, whether you want to become more familiar with the rules and terms or understand the sport's long history.
- One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the rules of tennis is to play, or to watch professional tennis either live or on TV. Most TV commentators do a thorough job of explaining the course of a game in a way that is friendly to viewers less knowledgeable about the sport.
- Even the best tennis retailers have informative sections of their site that explain rules and equipment, but fan and player forums (listed in this guide's final section) are also a great way of talking to other players and becoming more familiar with rules and playing strategies.
For a basic overview ...
Do It Tennis
, an online retailer of tennis equipment, has a glossary of tennis terms that leaves you knowledgeable without being overwhelmed with too much fancy lingo. Figure out what "love" means, when "sudden death" happens in a match, the more obscure names of racket parts, and more.
Sport page on tennis teaches you the rules of singles and doubles tennis, wheelchair tennis, and the difference between the surfaces on which the professionals play. It also provides videos of well-known players showing off their skills, and you'll find helpful tips that explain particularities such as line calls and the rules behind tie-breaks.
For the history of tennis ...
's three-page history of tennis is an excellent explanation of how tennis began and how it has evolved to the fast-paced, power-heavy game it is today. This article explains its birth in France in the 13th century and notes early trends and culture, the evolution of the women's game, and the technical innovations that have modernized the sport.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame
guides you through a list of memorable and successful tennis players from around the world, and gives an online tour through the International Tennis Hall of Fame Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. The site also has information about affiliated championships and tournaments.
is the official site of the Olympic movement and has a sports history resource with a quick overview of Olympic tennis. This page won't win any design awards but it explains the sport's storied role in the Games quite well.
The world of professional tennis is more than just popular spectator events around the world; it's ... read more »
The WTA and ATP tours participate in dozens of tournaments a year, many of which serve as ... read more »
Whether you're looking for lessons, injury advice, or simply want to take advantage of the ... read more »
There are plenty of tennis-specific online retailers carrying thousands of products, frequent price ... read more »
In this section are sites and suggestions that can help you connect with players and fans, whether ... read more »
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