The sport of tennis is played the world over, and some of the world’s best athletes play in a variety of tennis tournaments, from Wimbledon to the US Open. Tennis is followed by a lot of countries, so it is hard to miss the headlines! Also, after a hard fought game, it can be hard to avoid stains as well. But Vanish is here to help, with our comprehensive guide to tennis.

The History of Tennis

Tennis has an intriguing history. Some historians think that tennis was first played in ancient Egypt – linking the Arabic word ‘rahat’ as the origin of the word ‘racquet’[1]. However, a commonly accepted story of its origin is told of a ball game titled ‘jeu de paume’ invented by French monks in the 11th or 12th century. It was a crude game, but it soon became popular with noblemen. The name ‘tennis’ could have been derived from the French word ‘tenez’ (or ‘to take’). The story of how the game points are calculated is also an interesting one – the scores were derived from the way the player moved on the court. At the time, the courts were 90 feet long, so each player had 45 feet to play in. When a player got a point, they were allowed to move up the court by degrees – first by 15 feet, the second by another 15 (to 30 feet), and finally 10 feet (to 40 feet).

The game developed in popularity all over the world, with variations of the game much more like squash or rackets in the form of ‘real tennis’, where the walls and ceiling were used, instead of an open court. But it wasn’t until 1850 that the modern game was developed[2].

Court Surfaces, and their Stains!

You can play tennis on several different kinds of surfaces. The most popular surfaces are grass courts, clay courts, and (more commonly) artificial hard courts such as concrete, or synthetic surfaces (made up of rubber, silica and acrylic), or the AstroTurf. Different kinds of stains can occur depending on the surface one plays on.

  • Grass courts – Famous tournaments played on grass include Wimbledon and Queen’s. Grass courts are one of the fastest types of court, and usually they are quite bouncy too. However, they can also be a bit slippery, and many players are susceptible to falls. It is not uncommon to get a grass stain or two on your bright tennis whites!
  • Clay courts – Monte Carlo, Rome and Roland Garros (or the French Open) tournaments are all played on clay, and the surface is usually found in Mediterranean countries. It is a hard and slow surface with a high bounce, and it kicks up quite a bit of red dirt all over your socks, shoes and even shorts. But clay stains are relatively easy to remove from the clothes. Usually, water is enough to remove the stain, but pre-treatment might be required if the clay cakes on the fabric.
  • Artificial courts – The US Open and Australian open are played on hard courts, and they are not covered by a layer of dirt or grass. So any falls will result in skin injuries such as cuts and bruises, but there will not be any stains on your clothes.

On all three, sweat stains are all too likely to happen.

Game, set, soak!

Fortunately, dealing with stains is much easier than acing a tennis serve. With Vanish Oxi Action Gel (which can remove certain stains in just 30 seconds!), start by pretreating the stain with a mixture of warm water and ¼ cup of the powder. Pour the mixture onto the stain, covering the affected area completely. Finally, let the solution work on the stain for a maximum of five minutes before rinsing, before putting it in the washing machine for a wash. Your tennis gear should now look really clean and be completely stain free. Just repeat the process if the stains don’t come out in the first wash.

You can get your tennis whites up to three shades whiter when you give them a good long soak with Vanish Oxi Action Crystal White. Just add a full scoop of the powder to four litres of warm water, and mix it with your clothing in the tub. Leave for a maximum of six hours, and then wash as you normally do, to see the full effect of the powder.

While a champion may be able to win a game without breaking a sweat, we’d bet that after a tough match, they’ll have a stain or two to take care of. All tennis related stains can be beaten with Vanish.