Tennis : enjoy a game whilst on holiday with your own court
The exact origins of tennis are somewhat disputed with some sports historians arguing it started in Ancient Egypt, to the 5th century in Italy where in Tuscany villagers struck balls in the street with their hands, to 12th century France where the game was played in a courtyard.
By the 16th century tennis had become very popular with the aristocracy and in particularly among the French nobility that rules and equipment came in force. Many courts were built which meant the sport was available for a wider cross section of players.
On the other side of the Channel King Henry VIII who was a skilled player and lover of the game has famously built a tennis court at the Royal Palace of Hampton Court which is still there today. According to the official information regarding Hampton Court it is said that Henry’s second wife Ann Boleyn, was watching a game of tennis in Whitehall when she was arrested, and legend has it he was playing when told she had been executed.
Tennis continued to grow in popularity and was widely played in the 17th and 18th century, but by the French Revolution and with European royal families besieged, interest dwindled.
Other racquet sports started to emerge such as squash until lawn tennis was introduced by Major Charles Wingfield, who patented the equipment and rules for the game in London in 1874. The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club staged their first tournament on the lawns of Wimbledon in 1877 with Spencer Gore winning the men's singles and the grand sum of 12 guineas.
Over the next few years changes were made by lowering the net and reducing the box in which the service could be hit. Rules and scoring have hardly changed since the 1890’s with the only difference has been the inclusion of the tie-break in the 1970’s.
The four grand slam events were also established in the 19th Century with Wimbledon in 1877, the U.S. Open and the French Open in 1891 and Australian Open in 1905 and they remain today the Holy Grail for the tennis elite. The Davis Cup was established in 1900 and the Federation Cup (Women’s tennis) was launched in 1963. Associations were formed and the men's ATP (Association of Tennis Players) was formed in 1973 and the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) in 1974.
Today we have massive prize money and sponsorships that leading players such as Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova are among the richest sportsmen and women in the world. Roger Federer and women's singles champion Serena Williams both earned $2.1 million for their victories in the latest grand slam at the Australian Open and make millions more through endorsements and other commercial interests.
Despite the lucrative cash prizes and sponsorships its s till the thrill of the competition and the quest to hit the perfect stroke which drives the stars of today and in that respect perhaps little has changed from medieval times where the ego of kings was a stake.
It’s something to have your very own swimming pool in one of our many villas but to have one with your very own tennis court takes it that one step further. I am sure that many of us either love a “knock about” game or for those who take it extremely seriously a proper “championship” game.
We have a selection of villas with their own all weather tennis courts and some villas will even find you a tennis coach to perfect that serve!
Listed below are villas with their own tennis courts but it’s worth reading about the history of the game and some of the greatest players of all times up until present day.
Accommodation near Biarritz with heated pool - a beautiful 19th century stately home offering seclusion and privacy yet very convenient for amenities and just six miles from the Atlantic coast for sandy beaches and wonderful surf. A private tennis court and hot tub add to this villa's considerable appeal!
Le Pelerin is a stone-built villa in Dordogne with a tennis court, large garden and large pool, a short stroll from the centre of the pretty village of Saint Sozy, and convenient for many attractions in the Dordogne and Lot regions.
A family villa with heated pool and tennis court in South West France, Minervois sits in 12 acres of land in the region of Languedoc known as the Black Mountains. On the edge of the hilltop village of Lespinassiere, the villa enjoys a forest backdrop.
Large Cote d'Azur Villa with pool for vacation - Situated in an elevated position between Grasse and Cannes that affords far-reaching views, this large Cote d'Azur villa is surrounded by beautiful grounds and has a full size tennis court, large pool, gym, sauna and Jacuzzi.
Grasse Cote d'Azur villa with heated pool and tennis court – originally a farm producing flowers for the use of local perfume makers, beautifully refurbished La Floraison is a delight. From its heated pool and full-size tennis court to the large grounds and comfortably furnished interior, this large French Riviera villa is ideal for a relaxing holiday.
Exclusive hilltop villa near Cannes - Set on a hilltop on the edge of Mougins, this luxury villa with heated pool and tennis court commands far reaching views over the Esterel mountains, Cannes and its splendid bay, only a short drive away.