Tennis is played the world over, and with famous athletes ready to compete in tournaments from Wimbledon to the US Open, it can be 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 a complicated history. Some historians think that tennis originates from ancient Egypt – linking the Arabic word “rahat” as the origin of “racket”[1]. However, the commonly accepted origin is that of a ball game ‘jeu de paume’ invented by French monks in the 11th or 12th century. It was a crude game, but is soon became popular with noblemen. The name “tennis” could derive from the French “tenez” (or “to take”). Meanwhile, the score  is commonly believed to derive from the way it was played on court - the courts of the time 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 - the first time 15 feet, the second another 15 (to 30 feet), and finally 10 feet (to 40 feet).

The game developed 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. It wasn’t until 1850 that the modern game was developed[2].

Court Surfaces, and their Stains!

In tennis there are several different kinds of surfaces you can play on, the most popular being grass courts, clay courts, and (more commonly) artificial courts such as concrete, or synthetic surfaces (made up of rubber, silica and acrylic), or AstroTurf. Depending on the type of surface, different stains can occur.

  •          Grass courts – Tournaments played on grass include Wimbledon and Queen’s. Grass courts are one of the fastest type of court, and usually quite bouncy too. However, they can also be a bit slippy, and without good grip you could end up with a grass stain or two on your bright tennis whites!
  •          Clay courts – Monte Carlo, Rome and Roland Garros (or French Open) tournaments are all played on clay, and the surface is usually found in Mediterranean countries. It’s quite a hard and slow surface, and produces a high bounce, but can also leave you with orange shoes and socks. Clay is relatively easy to remove though, water should be enough, but if it cakes on it’s time to pretreat.
  •          Artificial courts – The US Open and Australian open are played on hard courts, and shouldn’t leave you with any stains to worry about like the two above. If you do fall, however, you may be at risk of a cut, and a blood stain too.

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

Game, set, soak!

Fortunately, dealing with stains is much easier than acing a serve. With Vanish Gold Oxi Action Gel (which can remove certain stains in just 30 seconds!), pretreat the stain with a mixture of warm water and ¼ cup of powder. Pour the mix onto the stain, covering the affected area. Finally, let the solution absorb for a maximum of five minutes before rinsing, and putting in the washing machine for a wash. Your tennis gear should hopefully look clean, and stain free, but try to repeat the process if your stains don’t come out first wash.

With whites, get them three shades whiter with a long soak with Vanish Gold for Whites, simply add a full scoop of the powder to four litres of warm water, and mix with your clothing in the tub. Leave for a maximum of six hours, and then wash after to see the full effect.

 While any champion may be able to win a game without breaking a sweat, we’d bet that after a tough match, he’ll have a stain or too to take care of. Beat them with Vanish.