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History of Tennis and Tennis Equipment

History of Tennis and Tennis Equipment

History of the Tennis Game

Tennis got its start as far back as the 8th century as a game called 'La Soule' played by Christian Monks. The Monks would hit a ball back and forth indoors and against courtyard walls using their hands or a stick. History shows the predecessor to today's lawn tennis spread out of the monasteries by the 13th century. The game became very popular, particularly in France where players would begin a game by shouting 'tenez' meaning something to the effect of 'take this' or 'play!'

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History of Lawn Tennis

The history of tennis took a critical turn in the 19th century with the development of vulcanized rubber, which allowed for the production of balls that would bounce. This allowed the game of tennis to be taken outdoors to any flat, grassy area. Here begins the history of lawn tennis. In 1874, Englishman Major Walter C. Wingfield patented in London the equipment and rules for the game that would later develop into modern-day tennis. He called the game, derived from court tennis, squash and badminton, "Sphairistiké" which is German for ball playing. Lawn tennis courts soon became commonplace across Europe and the US.

Get the best selection of hard court and extra duty tennis balls at great prices.

Women in Tennis History

Throughout history, tennis has been considered both a man's and woman's game. It was a woman, Mary Ewing Outerbridge, who brought the game of lawn tennis to the US in 1874. Outerbridge learned the game while on vacation in Bermuda and shared the concept with her friends and family. Her brother, director of the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club, soon added a lawn tennis court to the club's lineup.

By 1884, women were competing alongside men at Wimbledon. Maud Watson won the first women's singles tennis title in 1884 and again in 1885.

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History of the US Open

The history of the US Open began in August 1881 as an amateur event known as the US National Singles Championship for Men, held at the Newport Casino in Newport, R.I. Only United States National Lawn Tennis Association members were permitted to enter. Women made their mark in tennis history six years later at the first US Open's Women's National Singles Championship held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Today, the US Open is the world's richest tennis event, open to amateurs and professionals.

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The History of Tennis Equipment

History of the Tennis Court

The earliest games of tennis where played in the courtyards of monasteries in Europe. As the game evolved into Real Tennis, popular among European nobility, the game was played on rectangular indoor courts with hard floors of wood or stone. Tennis progressed into an outdoor sport played on grass fields. These field courts shared much of the same markings as today's tennis courts, but had an hourglass shape, wide at the ends and narrow at the net. The rectangular design of today's modern tennis court began in 1875.

It was not until the 1940's that hard courts were used in official lawn tennis tournaments. In 1956 the Gallia Tennis Club in Cannes, France made history with the first clay tennis court. Today, many indoor courts utilize synthetic mats or carpets over concrete or other hard surfaces.

Find the tennis court equipment you need - from nets to ballhoppers to water coolers - it's all here.

History of the Tennis Racquet

In early tennis, played by monks, the ball was hit with the hand, similar to handball today. As hitting the ball became uncomfortable, players began using webbed gloves and paddles.

The history of the modern tennis racquet began in the 14th century. The early wooden framed racquet had a long handle and small, tear-drop shaped head with strings made of gut. The racquet head grew in size with the invention of lawn tennis, but changed little over the next 100 years. Though racquets with metal heads and wire strings were invented in 1889, they did not make tennis history until 1967, when Wilson Sporting Goods introduced the T2000. This metal racquet was stronger and lighter than wood and quickly became a top seller.

The next 30 years brought an explosion of innovations in racquet construction and design leading to today's popular lightweight graphite racquets designed with oversized heads and wider frames.

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History of the Tennis Shoe

Like the tennis ball and lawn tennis, the history of the tennis shoe began in the 1800s with the invention of vulcanized rubber. The invention allowed for the creation of the first rubber-soled shoes, called plimsolls. In 1931, Adidas made history with the release of the first tennis shoe. Converse followed four years later with the releases of an athletic shoe named after the 1930's badminton/tennis champion Jack Purcell. These tennis shoes soon became a staple among the Hollywood and "bad boy" crowd.

Find the shoe for you - shop by shoe features or select from men's, women's or juniors' styles.

Shop Do It Tennis for All Your Pro Performance Tennis Gear

Shop Do It Tennis for All Your Pro Performance Tennis Gear

Tennis Racquets

Shop our huge selection of the Best Performance Tennis Racquets on the market featuring all the best-selling frames from all the top brands! Check out the most current technology in Babolat tennis racquets used by Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, and Leylah Fernandez; Head tennis racquets, used by Novak Djokovis, Jannik Sinner, Alexander Zverev, Coco Guaff, and Bianca Andreescu; Wilson tennis racquets, used by Stefanos Tsitsipas, Grigor Dimitrov, Karen Khachanov, Borna Coric, and Madison Keys; Yonex tennis racquets, used by Stan Wawrinka, Casper Ruud, Nick Kyrgios, and Jessica Pegula; and Tecnifibre Tennis Racquets, used by Daniil Medvedev, Iga Swiatek.

For help discovering which tennis racquet is right for your style of play, check out our tennis racquet F.A.Q. page.

Tennis Shoes

Take the wear and tear off of your knees and hips with a brand-new pair of tennis shoes designed for the high-impact nature of tennis. Don’t take just any pair of tennis shoes out on the court. Treat your feet right with tennis shoes made for your style of play. Get the latest technology for injury prevention with a Michelin outsole found in Babolat tennis shoes, the Ortholite Sock Liner found in K-Swiss tennis shoes, the DynaFit Upper found in Asics tennis shoes, the Adaptive lacing system on Adidas tennis shoes, and the Quicklace system specifically designed for Wilson junior shoes.

We also offer an extensive collection of shoes for pickleball, and shoes for padel.

Court Equipment

Do It Tennis carries the industry's largest selection of tennis, pickleball, and padel court equipment. Keeping your court in good condition, all year long, is easy when everything you need is at your fingertips. We sell tennis and pickleball court equipment packages; har-Tru, Edwards, and Douglas tennis netss and posts; Bakko and Rally Master backboards for individual training be sure to check out our selection of Lobster, Sports Tutor, and Playmate tennis ball machines. The Playmate tennis ball mower makes cleanup time a breeze. If you are a professional or hoping to play professionally, you can keep your racquet performing longer with your very own tennis stringing machine.

Building it yourself? Then see our tennis court installation page for more information.

Tennis Bags

Keep it all with you whenever and wherever you need it. Order your new pro bag, 6-pack or tournament bag today! Check out all the latest Pure, Team and Club Babolat tennis bags; Radical, Djokovic and Gravity Head tennis bags, the Rackpack and All Vision Tecnifibre tennis bags, Pro and Team Yonex tennis bags; and the Federer and Advantage Wilson tennis bags.

We also have a large selection of cute tennis bags for women who love to arrive at the court in style. Fashion meets function in these designer tennis bags from cinda b, Ame & Lulu, Nice Aces and SportsChic.

A Large Selection of Tennis Apparel

It's not just about tennis racquets...

At Do It Tennis, our focus is to help you get the most out of your purchases so that you look and perform your best on the court. We offer a wide array of performance tennis apparel at great prices. The apparel brands we carry offer cutting edge technologies that are designed to provide a dynamic fit, all around protection and superior ventilation. Our women's tennis apparel collection includes women's tennis skirts, tennis shorts, shorties & tights, polos, dresses, tanks and warm-ups. Our men's tennis apparel collection includes tennis polos, tennis shorts, t-shirts, crew neck's, warm-up's and jackets. If you are looking for team tennis uniforms, we offer discounts up to 20%. You can see our selection and prices in our team section.

For those that are looking for a deals on last season’s tennis apparel, check out our Clearance Sale Section with plenty of discounts on apparel items.

Read our Tennis Blog

Product reviews, tennis how tos, and tournament news

Long gone are the days of walking into your local Pro Shop and discussing each product with the owner. At Do It Tennis our commitment to our customers doesn't stop at checkout. Get the most out of your online shopping experience by visiting our tennis blog for up-to-date information on the latest products written by our team of tennis players who want you to get the right product for you budget, your game and your playing style.

Also found on our blog is a complete list of product videos. Images on the web often lack depth and perception, so our team of professionals endures the lights and camera to explore each product with you, describing the technology, advantages and/or disadvantages as they apply.

We always encourage our customers to participate, leave comments and provide suggestions on our blog, or visit our social media pages to join others in the tennis conversation.

Check Back Often for Promotions

Get great deals and offers on all the best tennis gear

We know that there are many places online to purchase your tennis gear. What makes Do It Tennis stand out from the rest, other than our stellar customer service and our commitment to knowledge is our constantly rotating promotions and offers.

From free shipping to free tennis bags, and 20% off to BOGO, this is your place to see what deals are running right now, what products on sale site-wide and what products have just been released.

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