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Real Tennis & Racquets

Real Tennis & Racquets


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Real Tennis & Racquets

The racquets used to play the game are depicted below a match in progress. Date: 1771

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 608800

© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10114017

Depicted Match Progress Racquet Real Tennis


EDITORS COMMENTS
Real Tennis, also known as Royal Tennis or Court Tennis, is an ancient racket sport that predates the more modern lawn tennis. This image, dated 1771, offers a glimpse into the rich history of the game as it was played over three centuries ago. The photograph depicts a lively match in progress, with two players intently focused on the game, their expressions a testament to the intensity and concentration required to excel in Real Tennis. The racquets used in the game, as shown below the players, were essential tools for success. Unlike the lightweight, graphite racquets used in modern tennis, Real Tennis racquets were solid, often made of wood, and could weigh up to 2.5 pounds. The large, flat heads of these racquets allowed for greater control and power when striking the ball. Real Tennis matches were typically played indoors, in enclosed courts with walls that could be adjusted to change the bounce and direction of the ball. The game involved complex rules and strategies, with players using a variety of shots, including volleys, smashes, and lobs, to outmaneuver their opponents. The origins of Real Tennis are shrouded in mystery, with some historians believing it originated in northern France or southern Spain. By the 16th century, it had become a popular pastime among European nobility, and courts were built in castles and grand estates across Europe. The game continued to be played into the 20th century, but its popularity waned with the rise of lawn tennis and other modern sports. Today, Real Tennis is enjoyed by a dedicated community of enthusiasts, who appreciate the game's rich history and unique challenges. The photograph above offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, transporting us back to a time when Real Tennis was a beloved pastime of the European elite.

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