How did the modern tennis emerge
Tennis has emerged as a sport that has attracted a strong international following, with many of the world's top players coming from Europe, North American, and Australia. While today's sport is seen as another multi-billion dollar industry with major world tournaments held in many countries, the origins of tennis originate from a game played by monks and elites in Europe's Medieval societies.
While there appears to be some evidence that a ball game akin to tennis existed in the ancient world, specifically ancient Egypt, scholars are not in agreement that this game influenced the modern game. Most of this evidence emerges from words similar to the word tennis and racket. The Romans did play a type of hand ball game that may have been played in Europe and this game could have remained in memory by the Medieval period, influencing the sports development. However, few drawings or descriptions indicate what these early games looked like, making it hard to know if there was a clear ancient origin for the sport.
The clearest evidence for the origins of tennis date to the Medieval period in France at around the 12th century. During this time, a type of court was used where a rope was strung across. The ball would be hit back and forth by hand. The ball was also hit off the surrounding walls and the game likely had various rules. A story emerged during this time that the devil introduced the sport to the order of monks, suggesting perhaps that officials in the church considered this game as a distraction from the monks' main duties. Another Medieval book also questions why archbishops and bishops had taken up the sport. This book, called Summa de ecclesiasticis officiis, indicates the game that resembled a type of handball had become popular in a number of important churches, advising against the adoption of this game by the clergy.