Tennis is an exciting sport that people worldwide enjoy playing and watching. While many players spend their time learning tips for improving their tennis game, many of us spectators love to learn historical trivia about the game. So here are three interesting tennis facts you never knew.
Tennis Balls Were Originally White
The first interesting fact about tennis that you may have never known is that tennis balls were originally white. Of course, today, tennis balls are that famous electric yellow color that we know so well. However, players did not use yellow tennis balls until 1972. White was the original color for tennis balls, dating back to the late 19thcentury. The primary purpose for this change in ball color was because when color TVs came out in the late 1960s, it was exceedingly difficult to see the white ball on the screen. So, in 1972, officials decided to change the ball color to yellow. Wimbledon did not begin using these new yellow balls until 1986, 14 years after their introduction.
Wimbledon Has a Personal Hawk
Another unique fact about tennis is that Wimbledon has a personal hawk. This may sound peculiar initially, but it’s quite an ingenious idea. During the Wimbledon tennis tournament, officials hire a hawk to scare pigeons away. The chosen hawk for the job is a Harris’s Hawk named Rufus. Fans of the sport have come to love Rufus so much that he even has his own Facebook and Twitter accounts. Before Rufus, the first bird to hold the responsibility of protecting Wimbledon from pesky pigeons was a hawk named Hamish.
World’s Oldest Court Is Still in Use
The third fun tennis fact is that the world’s oldest tennis court is still used today. The oldest court in the world is The Royal Tennis Court at Hampton Court Palace in London. This tennis court dates back to 1526 and belonged to Henry VIII. There is a longstanding rumor that this court is where King Henry VIII learned about Queen Anne Boleyn’s execution while he was playing a game of tennis. There is also a rumor that Anne Boleyn was betting on a game of tennis as she was arrested and taken to the Tower of London for her execution.
So now you know three interesting facts about the sport of tennis. Tennis has a unique and exciting history that dates back hundreds of years and is still one of the most popular sports today.