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The rules and scoring are similar to those of lawn tennis , which derives from real tennis, but are more complex. In both sports game scoring is by fifteens "40" being short for the original forty-five.
However, in real tennis, six games wins a set, without the need for a two-game margin as in lawn tennis  although some tournaments require more games as many as 10 to win, usually playing one, single set.
A match is typically best of three sets, except matches between men in the major open tournaments, which are best of five sets.
Unlike latex-based technology underlying the modern lawn tennis ball, the game uses a cork-cored ball which is very close in design to the original balls used in the game.
The balls were traditionally white, but around the end of the 20th century "optic yellow" was introduced for improved visibility, as had been done years earlier in lawn tennis.
The racquet oval is shaped to make it easier to strike balls close to the floor or in corners, and to facilitate a fast shot with a low trajectory that is difficult for an opponent to return.
There are two companies in the world hand-crafting these racquets: Grays of Cambridge UK and Gold Leaf Athletics US.
It is enclosed by walls on all four sides, three of which have sloping roofs, known as "penthouses", beneath which are various openings "galleries", from which spectators may view the game and which also play a role in scoring points , and a buttress that intrudes into the playing area tambour off which shots may be played.
There are no "standard dimensions" for courts. They are doubly asymmetric : each end of the court differs in shape from the other, and the left and right sides of the court are also different.
The service is always made from the same end of the court the "service" end ; a good service must touch the side penthouse above and to the left of the server on or over the white service line on the receiver's "hazard" side before touching the floor in a marked area on that side.
There are numerous and widely varying styles of service. The game has many other complexities. For instance, when the ball bounces twice on the floor at the service end, the serving player does not generally lose the point.
Instead a "chase" is called where the ball made its second bounce and the server gets the chance, later in the game, to "play off" the chase from the receiving end; but to win the point being played off, their shot's second bounce must be further from the net closer to the back wall than the shot they originally failed to reach.
A chase can also be called at the receiving "hazard" end, but only on the half of that end nearest the net; this is called a "hazard" chase.
Those areas of the court in which chases can be called are marked with lines running across the floor, parallel to the net, generally about 1 yard 0.
Additionally, a player can gain the advantage of serving only through skillful play viz. This is in stark contrast to lawn tennis, where players alternately serve and receive entire games.
In real tennis the service can only change during a game, and it is not uncommon to see a player serve for several consecutive games till a chase be made.
Indeed, in theory, an entire match could be played with no change of service, the same player serving every point. The heavy, solid balls take a great deal of spin, which often causes them to rebound from the walls at unexpected angles.
For the sake of a good chase close to the back wall , it is desirable to use a cutting stroke, which imparts backspin to the ball, causing it to come sharply down after hitting the back wall.
Another twist to the game comes from the various window-like openings 'galleries' below the penthouse roofs that, in some cases, offer the player a chance to win the point instantly when the ball is hit into the opening in other cases, these windows create a " chase ".
Effectively, these are "goals" to be aimed for. The largest such opening, located behind the server, is called the " dedans " and must often be defended on the volley from hard hit shots, called "forces", coming from the receiving "hazard" side of the court.
The resulting back-court volleys and the possibility of hitting shots off the side walls and the sloping penthouses give many interesting shot choices not available in lawn tennis.
Moreover, because of the weight of the balls, the small racquets, and the need to defend the rear of the court, many lawn tennis strategies, such as playing with topspin, and serve-and-volley tactics, are ineffective.
Real tennis evolved, over three centuries, from an earlier ball game played around the 12th century in France. This had some similarities to palla , fives , Spanish pelota and pilota or handball , in that it involved hitting a ball with a bare hand and later with a glove.
This game may have been played by monks in monastery cloisters , but the construction and appearance of courts more resemble medieval courtyards and streets than religious buildings.
Cees de Bondt; Infected by the tennis history bug. This website on the history of tennis has its origin in a visit I paid to Seacourt Tennis Club in Hayling Island, England, with a group of lawn tennis players from the Oranje Tennis Club in The Hague in the summer of At Seacourt I played my first game of real tennis, the ancestor of all racket sports, including lawn tennis.
My first experience with real tennis was frustrating, but at the same time inspiring. The intricacies of the rules, the lay-out of the court and the weight of the solid ball make it a game that is very difficult to master, even for advanced lawn tennis and squash players.
But I soon found that the sheer endless range of tactical possibilities the real tennis player can opt for during a match, give the game an extra dimension and its unique appeal.
When later I played at the Royal Tennis Court at Hampton Court Palace near London, the court where the Stuart Kings practised the game, I was genuinely infected with the real tennis bug.
King William III of England, Prince of Orange, had played on the court, I was told, and the Princes of Orange before him had also been keen real tennis players.
My research culminated in my book Heeft yemant lust met bal of met reket te spelen? Tennis in Nederland tussen , published in , which records the existence of tennis courts at the major residences of the Princes of Orange as well as at least real tennis courts kaatsbanen in Holland between Once I had finished my book I continued to search for records on tennis in studies on Renaissance and Early Modern European civil and court culture.
Tennis accounts, or even brief references to the game, proved to be scarce. Early in , however, I perused the index of a book by Gregory Lubkin, A Renaissance Court.
Milan under Galeazzo Maria Sforza Berkeley and to my surprise came across a long list of tennis entries. Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza proved to have been a passionate player who employed as many as ten tennis professionals.
Detta innebär att servaren eller mottagaren som slagit bollen vinner poängen. De tygförsedda tennisbollarna har numera en kärna av finfördelad kork.
De görs fortfarande för hand och är tyngre gram [ 3 ] än vanliga tennisbollar. Vid väl avvägda slag mot hörnen tenderar bollen att efter väggkontakt studsa endast litet eller inte alls.
Spelets tidigaste historia är inte helt känd. Varje kloster utvecklade egna regler, men allteftersom, i samband med träffar mellan de olika klostren, började man ensa reglerna.
Endast de allra bästa männen kunde besegra henne. Reglerna och utformningen av själva spelplanen är i stort sett oförändrade sedan talet.
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