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 manoeuvre 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. (Full article...)
In tennis, "Battle of the Sexes" describes various exhibition matches played between a man and a woman, or a doubles match between two men and two women in one case. The term is most famously used for an internationally televised match in 1973 held at the Houston Astrodome between 55 year-old Bobby Riggs and 29 year-old Billie Jean King, which King won in three sets. The match was viewed by an estimated fifty million people in the United States and ninety million worldwide. King's win is considered a milestone in public acceptance of women's tennis.
Two other matches commonly referred to as a "battle of the sexes" include one held four months earlier in 1973 between Riggs and Margaret Court over the best of three sets, and one in 1992 between Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova over the best of three sets, with hybrid rules favoring the female player dubbed "The Battle of Champions". These matches were won by Riggs and Connors, respectively. (Full article...)
Sloane Stephens (born March 20, 1993) is an American professional tennis player. She achieved a career-best ranking of No. 3 in the world after Wimbledon in 2018. Stephens was the 2017 US Open champion, and has won six WTA singles titles in total.
Born to athletic parents with backgrounds in collegiate swimming and professional American football, Stephens was first introduced to tennis at the club across the street from her house in Fresno, California. Her stepfather was a competitive recreational tennis player and served as her primary inspiration for beginning to play the sport. Stephens moved to Florida to train at a tennis academy, ultimately working with Nick Saviano for many years. She developed into a promising junior player, reaching a career-high ITF junior ranking of world No. 5 and winning three out of four Grand Slam girls' doubles titles in 2010 alongside her partner Tímea Babos. (Full article...)
In my opinion, we had Vines, who for one year was the best player ever, and we have Budge, who for the best three years of his life, nobody could hold a candle to. For the best five-year period I give it to Jack Kramer. The best ten-year period I give it to Laver. The best twenty-year period, I give to Gonzales. The best twenty-five to thirty-year period I give it to Rosewall.
— Bobby Riggs, ranking the all-time greats of the game.