1. Tennis has long been considered the game of the upper strata of society. It was a favorite pastime of aristocrats, and women often played it as well. Since it was considered unacceptable for a noble young lady to sweat in public, then an exclusively white form was used – there were no traces of sweat on her. White symbolized purity and dignity, and it reflected the self-perception of that stratum of society to which most tennis players belonged. But from the second half of the 20th century. at all tournaments (except Wimbledon) tennis players were allowed to play in colored uniforms.
  1. Once a famous writer and university teacher Tolkien decided to play tennis with his freshman student, but during the game he suffered a severe ankle injury, as a result of which he was bedridden for several months. A forced break in his teaching work allowed him to find time to prepare drafts of the famous book “The Hobbit”. Yes, thanks to tennis and an accident, mankind learned about the magical world of Middle-earth.
  2. The Wimbledon tournament has its “guardian angel” – watchdog Rufus. Its services are used to scare away pigeons that fly to grass courts in search of food. Sometimes there are so many of them that matches have to be suspended. The purpose of the hawk is not to kill the parasitic birds, but simply to drive them away.
Watch hawk
  1. At most tournaments under the auspices of the ATP and WTA, a different kind of hawk is also used – not biological, but technological. Hawk-Eye system simulates the trajectory of the ball and helps determine the winner of the draw in controversial situations. There is no need to use the system on ground surfaces, since the mark of the ball is already clearly visible.
  2. The average speed of a men’s serve in tennis is 200 km/h, and the ball flies to the receiver in 700 milliseconds, i.e. 0.7 seconds.

Among men the official record for the fastest serve belongs to Ivo Karlović (Croatia) – 251 km/h, but Samuel Groth (Australia) managed to send the ball to the opposite half of the court at a speed of 263 km/h (this record was not recognized by ATP representatives).
Among women, the record holder is Sabine Lisicki (Germany) – 211 km/h.

  1. Women repeatedly challenged men, trying to prove that they are able to compete against them on equal footing in a tennis match. Although the first initiator of such a meeting was a man – three-time Grand Slam winner Bobby Riggs. In 1973, the American tennis player turned 55 and boasted that he would beat any female tennis player on the professional tour.

The first glove was picked up by Margaret Smith-Court from Australia, a 24-time Grand Slam singles champion. But the competition in the match with Riggs did not work out – the Australian lost 2:6, 1:6.

But then the famous tennis player and activist of the feminist movement Billie Jean King created a real sensation, defeating Riggs in three sets – 6:4, 6:3, 6:3. In 2017, a film based on this match was released – “Battle of the Sexes”.

But the Williams sisters do not like to recall their experience of playing with a representative of another article. In 1998, the oldest of them (Venus) was 17 years old, and the youngest (Serena) was 16. During the Australian Open, Venus said that she would be able to play on an equal footing with a man ranked no higher than 200th. Unfortunately for her, she found an unemployed tennis player with exactly such parameters. 30-year-old German tennis player Karsten Braasch lost in the first round of both singles and doubles, but stayed in Australia for some time. And most importantly, he took 203rd place in the rating.

The sisters agreed to play single-set matches with him. Braasch mentioned that he played half-strength, but he won the first match against Serena with ease – 6:1. Venus took one more game, but also lost – 2:6. The sisters were not particularly upset, but later, when Serena was asked to recall the events of these matches, she replied that she did not remember anything like that.

  1. From August 15, 1995 to November 25, 1996, the first place in the women’s ranking was occupied by two tennis players – Monica Seles (USA) and Steffi Graf (Germany). Such a unique situation arose as a result the most shocking incident in the history of tennis.

In April 1993, 19-year-old Seles, who at that time represented Yugoslavia, performed at a tournament in Hamburg, Germany. In the quarter-finals against the Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva, the usually well-mannered German audience openly cheered against Seles, who was ranked ahead of their favorite Steffi Graf. During the break between games, one of Graf’s fans ran onto the court and stabbed Seles in the back. Although the wound was not life-threatening (the needle entered the body by 1.5 cm), Selesh suffered a severe psychological injury: she interrupted her career for more than two years, began to avoid people and secluded herself in her house under guard. Only 28 months later, she appeared on the court again, and although according to the decision of the WTA she formally occupied the first place in the ranking, she was still unable to reach her former level. And she never visited Germany again.

  1. The longest match in the history of tennis took place in 2010 in the first round of Wimbledon – between John Isner (USA) and Nicolas Mayu (France). It started on June 22, and the winner was decided on June 24: the match lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes and ended with the score 6:4, 3:6, 6:7, 7:6, 70:68. The last set became the longest in the history of the game. Tired Isner already lost the match in the next round in an hour and a half – 0:6, 3:6, 2:6. It is possible that this record will become eternal, since since 2019 at Wimbledon, a tie-break has been introduced in the fifth set with a score of 12:12.
Full recording of the match (pay attention to the timing)
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Yuriy P.
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