Lawn tennis is a comparatively modern sport. It is based upon the ancient game of court tennis, which came from Egypt or Persia about 2500 years ago. Major Walter Wingfield thought that people could play court tennis outdoors on lawns, and in December, 1837, he introduced his new game, which he called sphairistike. The sport became popular very soon, but people did not use the difficult world sphairistike. They called it lawn tennis.
By 1874, English soldiers played the game in Bermuda, and in the early months of that year a young woman named Mary Outerbridge came back from Bermuda to New York. She brought the equipment for the new game with her. With the help of one of her brothers she organized a court on the grounds of the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club in the spring of 1874. Miss Outerbridge and some of her friends played the first game oflawn tennis in America. And just two years later, in 1876, the first American lawn tennis championship took place at Nahant near Boston.