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Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.
Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis. It had close connections both to various field (lawn) games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older racket sport today called real tennis. During most of the 19th century, in fact, the term tennis referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis.
The rules of modern tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tiebreak in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point-challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a point, a system known as Hawk-Eye.
Since 1987, the US Open has been chronologically the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the year. The other three, in chronological order, are the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon. The US Open starts on the last Monday of August and continues for two weeks, with the middle weekend coinciding with the U.S. Labor Day holiday. Read more...
John Donald ("Don" or "Donnie") Budge (June 13, 1915 - January 26, 2000) was an Americantennis player. He is most famous as the first player -- of any nationality, male or female, and still only American male -- to win the four tournaments that comprise the Grand Slam of tennis in a single year. Budge was the second male player to win all four Grand Slam events in his career after Fred Perry, and is still the youngest to achieve that feat. He won ten majors, of which six were Grand Slam events (consecutively, male record) and four Pro Slams, the latter achieved on three different surfaces. Budge was considered to have the best backhand in the history of tennis, at least until the emergence of Ken Rosewall in the 1950s and 1960s, although most observers rated Budge's backhand the stronger of the two. He is also the only male player to have achieved the triple crown (winning singles, doubles and mixed at the same tournament) on three separate occasions, and the only one to have achieved it twice in one year. Read more...