First developed in England in the mid 1800's the game of tennis quickly became popular among the aristocratic classes. By 1872 the first tennis club was created at Leamington Spa and the first official tournament was played at Wimbletom in 1877. By 1881 the sport had crossed the Atlantic and the United States Lawn Tennis Association set down specific rules and guidelines to codify the game for competition play.

Played by either two or four players, the game involves hitting the small hollow felt covered ball in such a manner that while staying within the play area you manage to make your opponent miss returning it. The court itself can be of several specific surfaces, each being favored by different tennis organizations. Clay is a primary surface substance and is referred to as a "hard court". Concrete or coated asphalt is popular in both Australia and the United States and the English still use the traditional grass court.

In tournament play there is a "chair umpire" who sits in a raised chair beside the midcourt three foot high net. Depending on the specific tournament there are additional officials who perform the function of line judges to determine out of bounds balls or feet.

Tennis is a fast paced game. A new serve is required within 20 to 25 seconds of making the last point. Only 90 seconds are allowed when players trade ends of the court and only 2 minutes break is allowed between sets. Intentional delays will quickly get a slow player a warning and continual delay will have the judge call a forfeit of the match.

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