20 interesting facts about tennis

We take a look at some of the most interesting and unusual stats and facts from the world of tennis.

Here are 20 interesting tennis facts you can use to surprise your friends.

Tennis records

1. What is the record for the fastest tennis serve?

John Isner holds the ATPs official record for the fastest serve, coming in at a whopping 253 km/h (157.2 mph). This isn’t the fastest recorded serve, that is held by Sam Groth and was clocked at 263 km/h (163.4 mph), however, as this was at an ATP Challenger event it is not formally recognised by the ATP.

2. What is the longest tennis match to be played?

Spread over 3 days and lasting for 11 hours and 5 minutes, the match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in 2010 is the longest record tennis match. The final score was 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 with John Isner leaving the mammoth match victorious.

3. What is the shorter tennis match to be played?

Dating back to 1969, the shortest match on record was between Susan Tutt and Marion Bandy that lasted just 20 minutes, Tutt beat Bandy 6-0, 6-0.

4. Who holds the record for the most Grand Slam wins?

Roger Federer holds the record for the most Grand Slam titles with a total of 20, closely followed by Rafael Nadal with 19, and Novak Djokovic sits in third with 17.

5. Who holds the record for being the youngest tennis world number 1?

At just 20 years and 268 days old, Lleyton Hewitt is the youngest ever male tennis player to be number 1 in the world. From the women’s side of the sport, Martina Hingis was the youngest ever female number 1 and youngest number 1 in the whole sport at just 16 years old.

Tennis tournament facts

6. What was the first tennis tournament played?

The origins of tennis date back thousands of years although the sport has changed massively over the years. The first recognised tournament to be played was Wimbledon in 1877.

7. When was each Grand Slam event founded?

Australian Open - 1905
French Open - 1891
Wimbledon - 1877
US Open - 1881

8. Who was the first winner of each Grand Slam event?

Australian Open - Rodney Heath
French Open - H. Briggs
Wimbledon - Spencer Gore
US Open - Richard Sears

9. What is the longest-running tennis tournament?

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, with the first event taking place at the All England Club in 1877.

10. What is the most spectated tennis tournament?

The 2019 US Open holds the record for the largest attendance with 853,227 spectators across the three-week period. Tennis equipment facts

11. When were tennis racquets introduced to the sport?

Surprisingly, the first tennis racquet wasn’t made until 1874, previous athletes played with their hands.

12. How much does a tennis ball weigh?

A modern tennis ball must weigh between 56.0–59.4 g (1.98–2.10 ounces).

13. When were yellow tennis balls introduced to tennis?

Yellow tennis balls weren’t introduced to the sport until 1972, traditionally the balls were either black or white. The yellow ball was introduced by the Internal Tennis Federation to make it easier for TV viewers to see the ball.

14. What is the maximum size of a tennis racquet?

There are certain restrictions on the size of a tennis racquet. It can be no longer than 29 inches (73.66cms) including the handle, and no wider than 12.5 inches (31.75cms). The maximum size of the hitting surface is 15.5 inches (39.37cms) long and 11.5 inches (29.21cms) wide.

15. How high is a tennis net?

The highest point of a tennis net is the posts which are 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 metres) high, and the centre is 3 feet (0.91 metres) high.

Fun tennis facts

16. Where does the word tennis come from?

It’s believed that the word tennis most likely came from the Anglo-French word tenez meaning "hold! receive! Take!" which was a term called from the server to his opponent. The use of the word for the modern game is dated back to 1874 and is short for lawn tennis, which originally was known as sphairistike which is a Greek word meaning "(skill) in playing at ball".

17. What country invented tennis?

Tennis is a direct descendant of the sport, jeu de paume which was invented in France in the 11th century, however, the sport as we know it today dates back to the 1870s where the rules and laws were set out in England.

18. How many strawberries are sold at Wimbledon each year?

It’s believed that a staggering 28,000kgs of strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream are supplied to the Wimbledon Championship each year!

19. When were rectangular courts introduced to tennis?

The rectangular court was introduced in 1877 by the Wimbledon tournament committee at the All England Club. Previously tennis courts were an hourglass shape, with the narrowest part of the court being at the net.

20. Who has the loudest grunt in tennis?

The loudest known grunt was from Maria Sharapova in 2009, measuring a deafening 105 decibels - a similar volume to a car horn!

Tennis is a fascinating sport and these are just some of the amazing facts about the sport that you can impress your friends and family with. What are your favorite facts about tennis? Let us know in the comments below.


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