Where Did Tennis Scoring Come From?

Mystery Hour

Mystery Hour Question

Where did the tennis scoring system come from? Is there a logical reason for it?
Paul, Harrow


** Definitive **
Name: Flo, Woodford
Qualification: I've answered this three times on Mystery Hour!
Answer: Tennis was originally played indoors in France. At the top of the hall was a clock and the only way they could get a scoring system was the four quarters of the clock.

That meant we had 15, 30, 45 (which was later shortened to 40 as it was easier to say) and the game evolved from there.

For zero, we say love as it comes from the french l'oeuf, meaning egg, which looks like a zero.

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