Rio 2016 Olympics: Know your sport — Tennis

Rio 2016 Olympics: Know your sport — Tennis

Tennis at Rio 2016 Olympics will be played on hard courts with a special stadium constructed for the purpose.

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Tennis or Lawn Tennis is generally played between two or four players across all age groups. (Source: AP)

The 28th edition of the modern Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janereio from August 5 to 21. Since it first began in Athens in 1896, the Games have seen exponential growth with rise in the number of participating nations and number of athletes. The Games are being hosted in a South American city for the first time. The 2016 Games will see players competing in 41 disciplines from 28 sports. A total of 306 medals are on stake and more than 10, 500 players are participating. The sports at the Games vary from water to track and field and filed events. Each game has a different set of rules and different ways to win a medal. We bring to you a breakdown of each sport.

Sports basics: Tennis is generally played between two or four players across all age groups. The sport can also be played by the wheelchair users. Anyone who can use a racket will be able to play the sport. The racket sport can be played against a single opponent or a team of two players. The International Tennis Federation oversees the proceedings of the sport at the moment. The game was developed using a racket and a garden courts. Rules have changed over the time since it was first played at the 1896 Athens Games. Men’s Tennis was inducted in 1896 while women’s tennis began in 1900 Paris Games.

History: The history of the sport could be traced back to as early as 12th Century AD in Northern France where people used to play the sport with their palms. Soon they moved to using Rackets and a soft rubber ball as a recreational sport. Louis X of France became famous after he constructed indoor courts for modern day Tennis. Soon the sport travelled to royal palaces all over Europe. However, the modern rules of the game were set in Birmingham in United Kingdom.

Scoring format: Equipment needed for the game includes a ball and a racket. The game must be won by a margin of two points. If the score is tied at 40-40, players must win the advantage to win the game. The first player to reach six games with a margin of two, wins the set. Matches are contested in the best of three sets but the Men’s single’s final include best of five sets.


Categories: The categories include – singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Singles involves two players, usually men or women, competing against each other. Doubles game is played between two teams containing two players each – all males or all females. The Mixed doubles also have two teams containing two players each. But each team must have one male and one female in that particular team.

Indian contender(s): The Indian contenders look promising. Here is the list of players representing the country at Rio 2016 Olympics —Rohan Bopanna (Men’s doubles, Mixed doubles), Leander Paes (Men’s doubles), Sania Mirza (Women’s doubles, Mixed doubles), and Prarthana Thombare (Women’s doubles).