What is Real Tennis?
Real Tennis is the oldest racket sport and the predecessor of the modern games of lawn tennis and squash. The game is now growing with the renovation of old courts and the construction of new courts. There are active courts in the UK, France, Australia and the East Coast of the USA. The game is played, like lawn tennis, over a net, but it is set in an unconventional indoor court. As in squash, the walls form part of the playing area, as well as the roofs of galleries built onto three of the four walls. The court is asymmetric and resembles monastery cloisters, where it is believed to have originated. It has netted galleries along one side and at one end of the court and various other openings where it is possible to score points.
The key attraction of Real Tennis is in its strategy, rather like playing chess, where the thoughtful move will beat power and the ability to keep service (which does not alternate with games) is paramount.
The game has a very effective handicapping system, which makes it suitable for players of all ages and abilities to compete with each other. Real Tennis rackets still have wooden frames with the handle off-centre. The balls are solid, heavier and harder than in lawn tennis; they bounce less and are all hand made by the Professionals.
Real Tennis Promotional Video
by the Dedanists' Foundation - Regenerating Real Tennis
A video provided by the Dedanists' Foundation giving an insight into the game of Real Tennis from its past to present at both Club and Professional level featuring some of the best players in the world!