The proper term for the game played at Wimbledon is SPHAIRISTIKE.

The rules of tennis as we know them were set down by a man called Major Walton Clopton Wingfield back in the 1890s.  Tennis had been played before, of course (Shakespeare refers to the game several times) but it had always been played by kings and princes in the courtyards of palaces.

It wasn’t until the invention of the lawnmower in the nineteenth century that people were able to play on grass.

Major Wingfield wanted to distinguish his new game from the old tennis (which came from the french word ‘tenez’, meaning hold) so he decided to call it sphairistike, which is ancient Greek for ‘ball skill’.

Sphairistike became wildly popular but there was a problem: nobody knew how to pronounce it.  Did it rhyme with pike, or with piquet?  In fact, it rhymed with sticky; but nobody knew that.  So, rather that make fools of themselves by getting it wrong, people decided to call it LAWN TENNIS

The use of the word LOVE in tennis is often thought to come from the French ‘l’oeuf’ meaning egg because an egg is shaped like a zero.  This is a myth.

If you do something purely for love, you do it for nothing!  Centuries back you might have married for status, power or money, but if you married just for love you gained nothing!

By the 1740’s this notion of love being zero had emerged in games and sports. The first known reference is to the score in whist