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For example, the maximum length of the frame had been 32 inches (81 cm) until 1997, when it was shortened to 29 inches (74 cm).

Many companies manufacture and distribute tennis rackets.

Meanwhile, technology led to the use of synthetic strings that match the feel of gut yet with added durability.

Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is also a popular worldwide spectator sport.

The four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the Majors) are especially popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open also played on hard courts.

Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume ("game of the palm"), which evolved into real tennis, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style.

It wasn't until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis", from the French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold! It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall.

Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, which is now known as real tennis.

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