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Tennis Anyone?



Tennis Anyone?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    sheepskin, sphairistike, tenez, feat, majority, probably, newly, version, impressed, sawdust, paddle, badminton, however, wool, nets, lived
     content words:    Middle Ages, King Henry, Major Walter C., Major Wingfield, All England Croquet Club, United States, Mary Ewing Outerbridge, New York, Ewing Outerbridge, Staten Island


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Tennis Anyone?
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Tennis and badminton probably started in much the same way. Players used a paddle to hit an object back and forth to each other. The object was to keep the object in the air and not drop it. During the Middle Ages, the French played a game called court tennis or royal tennis. The game made its way to England where members of King Henry VIII's court enjoyed the pastime. They used a ball made of sheepskin that had been filled with sawdust, sand, or wool.
 
2     As time progressed, so did the changes in court tennis. A ball was invented that would bounce. It was at this time that an Englishman named Major Walter C. Wingfield invented lawn tennis. He called his game "sphairistike", which is a German word for ball playing. He took the idea of hitting a ball from court tennis. He took the use of racquets from squash. He added in the use of a net from badminton. Then he added his own ideas.
 
3     Wingfield's playing court looked a lot like an hourglass. The net was at the center of the court. The baselines at the back of the court were wider than the width of the net. Major Wingfield introduced his game at a garden party he held in Wales in 1873. Players found that the German name Wingfield had given the game was too hard to pronounce. French players who had played the court version of the game shouted the word for "play" before each game. That word was "tenez." It didn't take long before everyone was calling this newly popular game tennis.

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