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Tennis was invented by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield.

Often called the “Father of Modern Tennis,” Wingfield played a crucial role in developing and popularizing the sport in the late 19th century.

For a more in-depth exploration of the storied past of tennis, be sure not to miss our comprehensive Tennis History article!

Tennis Invention Timeline

  • 12th Century: Tennis originated in France as “jeu de paume,” a handball game played by nobility.
  • 16th Century: Introduction of rackets; popularity spread throughout Europe, including England’s Hampton Court Palace.
  • 1873: Major Walter Clopton Wingfield invented lawn tennis, laying the foundation for modern tennis.
  • 1874: Wingfield patented his new game, sold tennis sets, and established the sport across Europe and the US.
  • 1877: The first Wimbledon Championship took place, launching professional tennis and international competition.
  • 1913: The International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) was formed, governing international competitions and the sport’s growth.
  • 1925-1988: Tennis’ Open Era began, featuring iconic players, court innovations, and major advancements in racket technology.
  • 1990s-2000s: New tennis icons emerged, televising broadened audience reach, and digital media revolutionized the sport.

Facts known about Tennis Invention

  1. French Origins: Tennis evolved from the French handball game “jeu de paume,” played by the nobility in the 12th century.
  2. Racket Introduction: Rackets were introduced in the 16th century, leading to the development of modern tennis.
  3. Wingfield’s Influence: Major Walter Clopton Wingfield popularized the sport and established the foundation for modern tennis in 1873.
  4. First Wimbledon: The inaugural Wimbledon Championship in 1877 marked the beginning of professional tennis and international competition.
  5. Global Growth: The formation of the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) in 1913 helped expand the sport worldwide.


Who invented Tennis?

Tennis was invented by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield, who also patented it in 1874.

When was Tennis invented?

The game of Tennis was invented and patented in the year 1874.

Where did Tennis originate?

Tennis originated in England. Specifically, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield crafted the game’s initial rules while living in Wales.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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