Lawn Tennis in India is a game which can be played either indoor or outdoor on a rectangular court by two persons (in singles) or by four persons of same sex (women`s and men`s double) or by men and women parties (mixed doubles). Rackets are used to strike the ball back and forth across a net. Hitting the ball away from the reach of the opponent increases the scores.
Lawn Tennis is a very old game and it has a diverse origin. It was first played in Egypt and in the Middle East. The name tennis is supposed to develop from an Egyptian town named "Tinnis" and racket is from an Arab word "rahat". It is also said that the word tennis comes from the French word `Tenetz` which means `look out`.
According to the earlier records, tennis was played long before in 12th century in France with the palm of the hand. The passion of the game gave it the name Royal tennis. After 1800, lawn tennis came up dominating the court tennis and in 1877, the lawn tennis was standardized.
The British Army and civilian officers brought Lawn Tennis in India in the 1880s and in 1910, the first All India Championship in tennis was organised where both men and women participated.
Afterwards, `Punjab Lawn Tennis Championship` at Lahore (earlier was in India), `Bengal Lawn Tennis Championship at Calcutta and the All India Tennis Championship at Kolkata
Lawn Tennis was earlier a game of upper classes and regarded as a fashionable game due to the high cost of the equipment but now Lawn Tennis in India is played by all groups of people of all ages.
The success of Leander Paes
, Mahesh Bhupathi
and Sania Mirza
have inspired many people of young generation to take up the game as a profession.
There are various types of lawn tennis tournaments played in India. There are region wise tournaments like Chennai
Open Tennis Championship, DSCL Open National Tennis championship and Maharashtra state lawn tennis association etc.
There are total six games to make one set of lawn tennis in India. The winner needs to score four or more points. There are total three sets in a match. A lawn tennis player needs to win two out of three sets to win the match. But in case of final match a player needs to triumph the three out of five sets.
In Lawn tennis in India, one needs to achieve four points with a plus of two or more points over the challenger. The tiebreak system is applied if the score is 6-6 to choose the winner.
Lawn Tennis in India became popular with Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes reaching the first doubles team to four Grand Slam finals. They brought home victory by winning the French Open and Wimbledon.
Lawn Tennis team in India attained the top challenging position in the Davis Cup
many times. The famous names in Indian Lawn Tennis are Ranga Rao, S M Hadi and Balagopalan and among the women, Leila Rao, Kusum Mehta, Khanum Haji and recent craze Sania Mirza are renowned names. Sania Mirza is the first Indian woman to win a WTA singles title in Hyderabad Open in 2005 and was nominated as the most impressive newcomer of 2005.
All India Lawn Tennis Association
(AILTA) was formed at Lahore in March 1920. At that time the constitution and the rules of the games were also formed. The participation in Davis Cup Competition was also decided then.
Indian Lawn Tennis players` defeated France, Romania, Holand, Belgium, Spain and Greece in the Davis Cup ties between 1921 t0 1929.
Various tournaments are organized by the All India Tennis Association from time to time to motivate the local talented players from various parts of India.
The rules of tennis
in India stayed unchanged till 1970s when the tie-breaker rule was incorporated. One more technology called "instant" replay has been adopted recently in Lawn tennis in India. This permits a player to challenge the official call of a point.
Lawn tennis in India saw the great pairs like Amritraj brothers- Vijay Amritraj
and Anand who won many doubles together. Ramanathan Krishnan
with Naresh Kumar also brought victories in National and the Asian Championships many times.
The lawn Tennis court in India is of rectangular flat surface. The lawn tennis court is generally measured as 78 feet long and in width 27 feet.
Indian lawn tennis court is usually of three types based on the surface material of the court: Clay Court is used at the French Open that may consist of red clay or green clay, Hard Court is concrete coated with asphalt that is used at US Open games and lastly the grass clay, used in Wimbledon matches.
A net measuring 3 feet six inches high at the post is stretched across total width of the court is used in Lawn tennis in India. In Lawn tennis game in India, ball boys or girls are appointed to collect the balls and to give the players their towels.
At junior level, the players are below 18 years age and they get sponsorship from various government bodies or private institutions.
Lawn tennis in India has eight basic shots: the serve, forehand, backhand, volley, half-volley, overhead smash, drop shot, and lob.
To continue the matches round the year, indoor courts are preferred. The indoor surfaces are kept hard, carpet and clay. The player`s success rate also depends much on the type of surface he/she is comfortable to play on. Compared to hard court, the clay court is known to be slow. Indian Lawn Tennis players also put on various shoes depending on the type of court. Shoes of Lawn tennis are designed in different way to protect from sliding. In lawn tennis game in India one player acts as server and the opposing player is the receiver. The server serves when the receiver is prepared to receive.
In lawn tennis in India, the ball has to run into the diagonally opposite service box in a legal service. In case the ball stops in the service box the server has to take again the service and it is known as a let service.
The chair umpire of the match declares the winner and the total score at the end of the match. He sits on a raised chair in any side of the court and he has the authority to take factual decisions. But in Indian lawn tennis, the referee, who is off the court, is the ultimate decision maker. He can overrule the umpire`s decision but unable to change the umpire`s decision on a fact.
The lawn tennis in India is shining well but it needs much more encouragement from the people of the country. If the players are given more respect and facility like in cricket, India can reach the top soon.