Origin of the sport

The earliest form of tennis can be traced back to 12th and 13th century France and a game called 'jeu de paume.' However, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield is credited with publishing the first set of rules for the game of tennis that we know today in 1873. From there the game quickly rose in popularity across England, Europe, America and Australasia. The first Wimbledon Championships were staged at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in 1877 and the first US Championships took place four years later.

The International Lawn Tennis Federation now known as the International Tennis Federation was formed in 1924. Tennis was part of the Olympic schedule until 1924 when it was dropped from the programme. The sport was reintroduced as an Olympic sport at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

Today the four leading 'Grand Slam' tournaments in the professional game are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

How it Works

The game of tennis is a racquet game played with a yellow or white ball on a smooth rectangular court which can either be grass, clay, concrete/asphalt or an artificial surface.

Games are played with a net which equally divides the two sides of the court. The aim of the game is to score a point by hitting the ball in the other side of the court without the opposing player successfully retrieving the ball to the other side of the net.

Matches are traditionally played the best of three or five sets. The first player to reach six games wins a set providing they are at least two clear games ahead. Once the score in a set reaches 6-6 a tie-break is used to determine the outcome of the set. A tie-break is won by the first player to secure seven points - or in the event of the tie-break reaching 6-6 the first player to go two points clear.

Each game is decided by the first player to collect four points – known as love (0pts), 15 (1pt), 30 (2pts), 40 (3pts) and game (4pts). If the games reaches a score of 40-40 also known as 'deuce' the next player to win a point holds advantage. If the next point is won by that player holding advantage it is game. If the player not holding advantage wins the next point it reverts back to deuce and so on.

Format at WMG 2017

Participants will opt to compete in either the A Grade – open or B Grade – recreational competitions. The men's and women's singles will be organised in five-year age groupings from 30+ up to 80+. Meanwhile, the men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles will be in ten-year age divisions from 30+ to 80+. Entry numbers dependent, some competitions will have a preliminary round robin format with pools of four players (four pairs in doubles). The top two players in each group advance to the championship event and the bottom two will be pitched into the consolation event. From that point on the championships and consolation events will be straight knockout tournaments. Preliminary matches will be best of two sets with a 'championship tie break' played if necessary. Consolation matches will be one tiebreak set. Championship event matches will be the best of three tiebreak sets. There will also be a para-tennis (wheelchair) competition.


Albany Tennis Park. Courts are astro-grass and cushioned acrylic.

Expected number of competitors: 500

Kiwi Hero: Chris Lewis

The Auckland-born player was earmarked as a potential star of the future after winning the boys singles title at the 1975 Wimbledon Championships. After turning pro later that year he went on to secure three singles titles and earned a career-high ranking of 19 in 1984. The undoubted highlight of his 11-year professional career came when he battled through three tough five set matches to earn a place as an unseeded finalist in the men's singles at the 1983 Wimbledon Championships. He succumbed in straight sets in the final to US tennis legend John McEnroe.

Did you know?

John Isner of the USA beat France's Nicolas Mahut in the longest match in tennis history at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships. Isner won the final set 70-68 in a match that took 11 hours and five minutes spread across three days to complete.

How to get Involved?