The modern game of tennis originated in the late 19th century as “lawn tennis”, which has roots in an ancient game called real tennis. The game was extremely popular among the upper class throughout the English-speaking world.
In these early days of tennis, professionals were banned from playing in the major tournaments, which were only open to amateur players. When it was discovered that amateurs were accepting money under the table this rule was thrown out thus starting the open era of tennis. All players were allowed to compete in all tournaments. These new open rules along with the establishment of an international professional circuit and the selling of television rights across the world led to an increase in popularity for the sport. It shed its upper/middle class English speaking image and opened up to all ages and classes across the world.
As you may know, tennis is played on a court that can be either grass (Wimbledon), clay (French Open) or a hardcourt (Australian or US Open) made of either concrete or asphalt. Players, both men and women, can play as Singles or Doubles.
There are four major tournaments in tennis, collectively known as the Grand Slam tournaments. They are the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. These four tournaments are the most prestigious events in the sport and have roots that date back to 1877. Players strive to achieve success in these four tournaments as they are so highly regarded in the tennis world.
On the men’s side of things, Rod Laver is the only player that has won all four titles in one year. He did it twice, once in 1962 and again in 1969. Three women have won all four titles in one year. They are Maureen Connolly Bringer in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988. Graf also won the Olympic gold medal in 1988, giving her a “Golden” Grand Slam title.
The top five men’s singles Grand Slam performers at the time of writing this article are:
- Roger Federer – 15 wins
- Pete Sampras – 14 wins
- Roy Emerson – 12 wins
- Rod Laver – 11 wins
- Bjorn Borg – 11 wins
The top five women’s singles performers at the time of writing this article are:
- Margaret Smith Court – 24 wins
- Steffi Graf – 22 wins
- Helen Wills Moody – 19 wins
- Chris Evert – 18 wins
- Martina Navratilova – 18 wins
Because of its increased popularity, tennis has seen some action among online sportsbooks. There are a couple of different options when it comes to betting on tennis, the most popular include matchups and betting on sets or handicaps.
If you’d like to learn more about betting on tennis, check out our Australian Open,French Open, Wimbledon and/or US Open pages. Or, if you’d rather just get right into the action, visit one of our many recommended sportsbooks.