Modern tennis developed from jeu de paume, or “game of a palm,” a competition adored by French and English monarchs alike. (This chronicle of a diversion is now famous as “real tennis,” and still has a devotees.)
French monarchs helped popularize a sport. One of a initial courts in Paris was built during a Louvre by King Charles V, in 1368. Francis I, who ruled in a 1500s, was pronounced to be an eager actor and built courts via a country.
Charles IX called it “one of a many honorable, estimable and healthy exercises” in 1571. “Healthy” might be relative: King Louis X was believed to have died from a chill following a quite eager diversion in 1316 (though some suspect poison was involved).
The competition declined in recognition during a power of Louis XIV. Though he built a jeu de paume justice during Versailles in a 1680s, he was reportedly not really good during it, and spent some-more of his time personification billiards.
France no longer has a monarchy, though a French Open still might: Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard famous as “the aristocrat of clay,” is seeking an rare 11th pretension this year.
Jillian Rayfield wrote today’s Back Story.
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