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tennis indoor or outdoor game for two players singles or four players doubles Although originally lawn tennis was played only on grass courts today the surfaces are more often of clay asphalt or synthetics The court measures 78 ft by 27 ft 238 m by 82 m for singles play it is 45 ft 14 m wider for doubles A net 3 ft 91 cm high in the middle divides the court laterally Play is directed toward hitting the inflated felt-covered ball about the size of a baseball with an oval-headed fiber-strung racket into the opponents court so that he or she cannot make a proper return Points are scored in the progression 15 30 40 and game with six games required to take a set Usually three set victories decide a match in mens play two set victories in womens play Modern tennis was developed in 1873 by an Englishman Major Walter C Wingfield who borrowed from older forms of the game The first world championship held 1877 at Wimbledon England became the famous tournament of that name In the US where tennis was introduced in 1874 the national mens championship has been contested since 1881 the womens since 1887 The Davis Cup international team competition begun in 1900 focused world attention on the sport Major tournaments originally restricted to amateurs have been open to professionals since 1968 Tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988
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