Lawn Tennis is a game played indoors or outdoors on a rectangular court by two persons (in singles), or by four of the same sex (women's and men's double) or by men and women partners (mixed doubles). The players use rackets to strike a ball back and forth across a net. The object is to score points by hitting the ball out of the opponents reach or in such a way that he cannot return it successfully.
The origin of the game is varied and ancient. It was at first a solemn fertility rite in Egypt and in the Middle East. Another view is that, the term 'tennis' is derived from an Egyptian town on the Nile known as Tinnis and 'racket' is derived from an Arab word rahat. Records confirm that tennis was played in France in the 12th century at first with the palm of the hand. It was played by monks and later by kings. Because of the enthusiasm, the sport came to be called royal tennis. After 1800, court tennis began to experience a decline and lawn tennis came into being. The game became standardised in 1877.
The game started in India in the late 19th century. The first All India Championships in Tennis were held in 1910, in which both men and women took part. India reached the top challenging position in the Davis Cup Tournament, a couple of times. Several Indians made an impression on the tennis courts. Sleem, Deane, Ranga Rao, S. M. Hadi, E. V. Bobb, P. L. Mehta, Brooke Edwards and Balagopalan were among the pioneers of Indian tennis. Among women, Leila Rao, Jenny Sanderson, Kusum Mehta and Khanum Haji were the celebrated stars.
Ramanathan Krishnan with Naresh Kumar was a great force in the doubles, winning the National and the Asian Championships a number of times. The Amritraj brothers - Vijay and Anand proved to be among the best pairs in doubles.
Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes became the first doubles team to reach four Grand Slam finals. They won French Open and Wimbledon.