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Tennis has a long history (deriving from the 'jeu de paume'), but its establishment as the modern sport can be dated to two separate roots. In 1859 Major Thomas Henry Gem, a solicitor, and his friend Batista Pereira, a Spanish merchant, who both lived in Birmingham, England played a game they named "pelota", after a Spanish ball game. The game was played on a lawn in Edgbaston. In 1872 both men moved to Leamington Spa, and with two doctors from the Warneford Hospital, played pelota on the lawn behind the Manor House Hotel (now residential apartments). Pereira joined with Dr. Frederick Haynes and Dr. A. Wellesley Tomkins to found the first lawn tennis club in the world, and played the game on nearby lawns. In 1874 they formed the Leamington Tennis Club, setting out the original rules of the game. The Courier of 23 July 1884 recorded one of the first tennis tournaments, held in the grounds of Shrubland Hall (demolished 1948).

In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield devised a similar game for the amusement of his guests at a garden party on his estate at Nantclwyd, Wales. He based the game on the older sport of indoor tennis or real tennis ("royal tennis"), which had been invented in 12th century France and was played by French aristocrats down to the time of the French Revolution.


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Q: What is the history of inline skating?
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