Twenty super interesting Tennis Facts

Roland Garros

The Grand Slam event, Roland Garros is named after Eugène Adrien Roland Georges Garros who was a great French man, amongst many interesting stories about him including war hero and multi sportsman was that he was the first person to fly across the Mediterranean. I love facts about everything, and the Mediterranean translates from its latin origins as sea at the centre of the world, which is what they thought it was in Roman times.

Lawn tennis as we know it

Although tennis has been around for centuries, the first Lawn tennis Court was in Birmingham, England. In 1859 Harry Gem and his friend JBA Perera first experimented with a game recognizably the forerunner of the modern game of lawn tennis, in the garden of Perera’s house.

The longest Tennis point

In 1984, the longest recorded point in tennis history took 29 minutes and featured the ball crossing the net in a match between Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner. The rally wasn’t the most competitive and was mostly both players stood on the baseline lobbing ball back to each other. Eventually, Nelson went for a winner and was successful. At the end of the rally, Nelson collapsed with cramps in her legs. The umpire had no sympathy for her and hit her with a time violation warning!

William Shakespeare refers to tennis in Henry V.


Tennis has 30 rules and the USTA have a 324-page book explaining them. Why use one word when ten will do!

Nadal is right-handed!

Rafael Nadal is actually right-handed but plays tennis left-handed. Uncle Tony taught him that way in order to get an advantage against other right-handers.

Althea Gibson

Tennis great Althea Gibson was the first Black woman to win the French Open in 1956 and in 1957 she won Wimbledon and what would become the US Open. Repeating the feat again in 1958.

No professionals in the Olympics

Tennis was removed from the Olympic programme in 1924 because they couldn’t determine which players were professional or not!

Spectator wins two Olympic Golds

John Boland from Great Britain travelled to the Athens games in 1896 to spectate. His friend, who was also the secretary of the 1896 organising committee, entered him into both the men’s singles and doubles tennis competition. Boland went on to become Olympic Champion in both competitions. His doubles winning partner was Friedrich Traun from Germany.

Age of the Grand Slams

The years in which tennis Grand slam tournaments were first contested: Wimbledon was established in 1877, the US Open in 1881, the French Open in 1891 and the Australian Open in 1905.

Davis Cup

In 1900, Dwight Davis gave his name to a tennis competition between the United States and Great Britain. More than 60 countries now contest the Davis cup annually.

15, 30, 40, Game

There is an opinion that the tennis scoring system came about because of the use of a pair of clocks to keep the score on.


A win streak of 81 is an all-time record (ATOW) of any professional tennis player on a particular surface. The record is held by Rafael Nadal on Clay. He went undefeated for more than two years.

First ever true Grand Slam

In 1969 Rodney George Laver of Australia becomes the first man to win a pure “open” Grand Slam, by taking all four major titles in the same year.

Fewest shots needed by a player to win a set of tennis

Twelve strokes is the minimum needed to win a set of tennis by one player. If they serve aces on all their serves and their opponent double faults every serve, then the set winning player will only have played 12 strokes!

Tennis surfaces

There are principally four different tennis surfaces played on.
• Grass – Wimbledon
• Clay – Roland Garros
• Hard – Australian and US
• Carpet – Indoor competitions


A ‘bagel’ in tennis is losing the set to zero. 6–0.

How many balls used in Wimbledon?

There are about 42,000 tennis balls used in the 650 (ish) matches of the Wimbledon Championship.


The word ‘tennis’ is said come from medieval France. This is where the sport was first developed. Players shouted ‘tenez!’, which translates to ‘take that!’ as they hit the ball.

White Tennis Balls

Tennis balls used to white, it was only really after the introduction of televised Tennis that they were changed to the yellow and much more visible ball we know and love today.

20 Interesting Tennis Facts

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