Most people think they "get" tennis and know what it is all about. However, when you scratch under the surface of this interesting sport, there are some "nuggets" of information and fun facts that most people have never heard. 

If your interest is piqued, keep reading. Below you can find some fun and interesting facts about the game.

The Tennis Ball Can Be a Deadly Weapon

While many people are familiar with modern tennis players, such as Prabir Purohit, this is an age-old sport, which means it has a pretty impressive history.

For example, tennis dates back all the way to the time of King James I of Scotland. In fact, he was once engaged in an early version of the game that included racquets and balls, but no ball boys. This is something that wound up being deadly.

James continues to lose his tennis balls because they would go in the sewage drain located in the court’s corner, where he played at Blackfriars Monastery. This made the King mad, which resulted in having the sewage drain sealed – immediately. Unfortunately, this ultimately led to his demise.

Several days after the drainage ditch was sealed, assassins broke into the location, and the King tried to escape by going beneath the floorboards, into the drainage system. The goal was to escape through the tennis court; however, he was ultimately caught and murdered since the area was sealed.

Cream and Pineapples

Did you know that at the top of the Wimbledon trophy, there is a pineapple? This is used to signify the tradition that English sailors had of placing pineapples on their fence posts after they returned home from some type of a long voyage. 

While there is no clear information about how long trips at sea and tennis coincide – it does serve as a reminder to ward off scurvy.

Tennis Balls Started White

In the original game of tennis, the tennis balls were white. The yellow balls that everyone is used to today were not introduced until 1986 in Wimbledon.

No Racquet Were Used in Early Versions of Tennis

Originally, tennis was a game that was played with the hands. At this point, it was called "jeu de paume," which translates to the game of the palm. 

For this version, you did just as the name implied – you used your hands to hit the ball. Racquets were not introduced to this game until around the 16th century.

The Origin of "Love" Is Unknown

There is no set or known reason why people say "love" for zero points in tennis. Some people believe that it is derived from the French word "l'oeuf," which translates to "egg" and means zero. 

However, it may also be derived from "iets voor lof doen," which is a Dutch expression that means something along the lines of "there is no stake in the game."

Prize Money Equality in Wimbledon 

Wimbledon is considered the creme de la creme when it comes to tennis. However, it was not until 2007 that the tournament's monetary winnings became equal for men and women tennis players. 

While a good expression may be "better late than never," let's be honest – it should have always been equal.

The Shortest Game Ever

In 1988, Steffi Graff played Natalia Zvereva in the shortest match ever, which only lasted for 34 minutes. Graf defended her title with a 6-0 win in just over a half of an hour. That's pretty impressive, considering most tennis games last an hour – at least.

Tennis Fun Facts 

As you can see, there are more than a few fun tidbits of information about tennis to know. Who knows, the information here may come in handy one day when you are in a trivia tournament. 

Regardless of if you ever use the information, there is no question that it is quite interesting. Who knew that the game of tennis had such an interesting history! 

Go ahead and see what you can find out about other sports and games.


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