Historically speaking when did the ball bouncing before serve actually started? I was wondering this today because of the 20 second rule that some spaniards and other guys in the atp pros break all the time, and star to wonder just when did this behaviour got so strong that you cant even serve a proper serve without bouncing the ball a couple times right before it. It just doesn’t feel like the complete motion without it. So Getting back in history, we arrive at British Victorian age where lawn tennis was played. Bouncy rubber balls where somewhat developed by an Indian army major named Walter Clopton Wingfield that first had the idea of bringing a cauchu (rubber type material) based ball into raquet-tennis and real-tennis has it was known back then. Before the use of this balls the racquet tennis was a more of a street game, similar to the modern squash and was played using a wall with roughly made wood paddles and using leather balls, so I’m guessing no bouncing on the ground here to star the game. Real-tennis or royal-tennis on the other hand, was more of a prestige hobby for the noble man, and the sport had its own facility in a place called Hampton fields (can anyone verify this info?) and was first introduced by Henrique VIII who had brought the game from France under the name “tenetz” that roughly translates to ball pitcher. This one was played by hand or with a small wooden hitter bat, and I have no idea what type of ball they used, but later on the use of the cauchu balls became regular practice. In the XIV century closed sports venue with rocky pavements where created to play the real-tennis and a thin net was extended at mid “court” to separate both half’s. but before the use of Major Wingfield innovative balls (no pun intended) real-tennis had some difficulties in capturing the interest of bigger audience. In 1872 there was an article written by a man named Harry Gem that considered bringing the real-tennis into the beloved English grass fields. Major Wingfeild would then had his opportunity to bring his product to life. He design a similar outdoor court to the one already used in real-tennis and a simple set of rules, and called his new sport the “Spharistique” (greek name for “ball game”). So in the early 1870 Major Wingfield had his game for sale for 5 guineas where you would get a box with 2 racquets, some ball, a net, a white long ribbon to mark the court, and two post to stretch the net. The court was trapeze shaped and the point system was similar to the one used in real-tennis. But the balls bounced in grass. So I wonder… Did it all started back then?