Kind of sport
From 1896 to 1924, tennis had been part and parcel of the modern Olympic Games. In 1968 it made a one-time showing as a demonstration sport and since 1988, it has regained its place on the Olympic programme. It is perhaps a bit strange to suddenly see very well paid professionals along side Olympic amateurs. With names such as Mecir, Mayotte, Edberg, Graf and Sabatini not just anybody came to the Olympic Tennis Court in Seoul. Over the years, tennis has grown from a sport played only by the upper echelons of society to a sport played by millions. One distinguishes women's and men's singles and women's and men's doubles and mixed doubles. A match consists of sets. Every set consists of games and every game comprises points. One point is 15; two points 30; three points 40 and four points is the game (jeu de paume also used this manner of scoring). At 40-40 (deuce) a player has to make two points more than his/her opponent to win the game. A set is won when the player wins six games with at least two games difference. A match is won when the player wins three sets (best of five). If the score 6-6 has been reached in a set, a tie-break will be played. Each of the players serve twice alternatingly, and the player first reaching 7 points wins the set. With a 6-6 score in the tie-break, they play until one of the players has 2 points more than his/her opponent. The women usually play according to the 'best of three' system. Tennis can be played on grass, gravel or an artificial surface. A well-rounded player has to have a wide range of swings. It starts with a fast, well-placed service and a strong backhand and forehand. Next to these basic swings, the player also uses the volley, half-volley, stop-volley, slice (effect obtained by 'slicing' the ball), etc. Apart from an impeccable hitting-technique, he/she will have to possess a quick reaction, timing, insight, speed and a good condition.