lawn tennis

lawn tennis

lawn tennis: see tennis.

A professional tennis court. The person serving stands behind the baseline, alternately to the elipsis

Game played with rackets and a light, elastic ball by two players or pairs of players on a rectangular court divided by a low net. Tennis is played indoors and outdoors, on hard-surface, clay, and grass courts. The object is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponent's half of the court in such a way as to defeat the opponent's attempt to reach and return it. Each player serves for an entire game. Points are scored as 15, 30, 40, and game (the term “love” is used for 0). A tied score (“deuce”) requires continued play until a two-point margin is achieved. The first player to win six games, with a lead of two games, takes the set. A match consists of the best two out of three (or three out of five) sets. Since the early 1970s, tiebreakers have been employed to eliminate marathon sets. Tennis developed in the 1870s in Britain from earlier racket-and-ball games. The first world lawn-tennis championship was held in 1877 at Wimbledon; clay- and hard-court competitions emerged later. Current international team tournaments include the Davis Cup for men and the Federation Cup (since 1963) for women's teams. The major tournaments for individual players constitute the “Grand Slam” of tennis: the national championships of Britain (Wimbledon), the U.S., Australia, and France.

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or (trademark) Ping-Pong

Game similar to lawn tennis that is played on a tabletop with wooden paddles and a small, hollow, plastic ball. The object is to hit the ball so that it goes over the net and bounces on the opponent's half of the table in such a way as to defeat the opponent's attempt to reach and return it. Both singles and doubles games are played. A match consists of the best of any odd number of games, each game being won by the player or team who first reaches 11 points or who, after 10 points each, gains a two-point lead. Invented in England in the early 20th century, it soon spread throughout the world. Since the mid-1950s, East Asian countries have dominated the sport. It has been an Olympic sport for both men and women since 1988.

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Singles racket game resembling squash rackets, played with an inflated ball the size of a tennis ball. Played in virtually the same court as squash rackets, squash tennis makes fewer demands on the legs in pursuing the ball but puts a greater premium on agility and quickness of foot and reflexes in turning and spinning.

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Variation of paddle tennis, played on a platform enclosed by a wire fence. It was devised in 1928 in Scarsdale, N.Y., U.S. The short-handled oval paddles are made of perforated plywood; the balls are made of sponge rubber. The rules are the same as for tennis, except that balls may be played off back or side walls after first striking inside the court.

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Game like tennis that is played with a rectangular paddle and a slow-bouncing rubber ball on a small court. Frank P. Beal introduced it on New York playgrounds in the early 1920s. National championship tournaments are still held in the U.S. Seealso platform tennis.

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