Not all sports are created equal, and ‘Real Tennis’ was once the passtime of Royal’s and the most popular sport in pre-revolution France. Tennis on grass was of course invented in England as a popular version of the original french game ‘Jeu de Paume’ which was initially played by hand. The meaning of ‘tennis’ is taken from the french expression ‘tenez’ which means to hold and more specifically ‘here you are’ when playing on a court.
And ‘here they are‘ playing with gender since a long time back according to available imagery. Natural women didn’t look different only a 100 years back but EGI individuals did as the elite had not yet attained the EGI refinement of today.
Often called “the sport of Kings”, the fiercest battles have traditionally been held at Wimbledon where the Queen herself consecrate new champions* each July since 1877. The spectators ravish in ‘Strawberries and Cream‘ as the game is played in the honor of Venus on the courts. Strawberry fields forever ?
Tennis professionals (pro’s) appeared from 1968 onward and seem to keep Wimbledons gender confused traditions – many Pro’s are major contemporary public figures such as the Williams brothers, Amelie Mauresmo, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova or Chris Evert to name but winners (leaving out sex-symbols such as Gabriela Sabatini, Anna Kournikova or Eugenie Bouchard).
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Dorothea Douglass – 7 times Wimble Don winner (1903-1914)