Tennis is a racquet sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a racquet to strike a rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to play the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a good return. The opponent who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite opponent will.
Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages.
The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis".
The rules of tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tie-break in the 1970s.
The four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the "Majors") are especially popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open played also on hard courts.