I have heard other stories on the history of scoring.
Where I obtain this information from is a book called "Playing the
Moldavians at Tennis" written by Tony Hawks (for anyone that has seen the
cult sci fi comedy hit Red Dwarf (from England) the will recognise this
name by virtue of the fact he is a writer for the series).
The book is hilarious and is a great read.
Back to the subject, Tony in this book looks at the history of scoring in
tennis and discovers this:
Tennsi is a game that was dveloped in France a long time ago. The method
of scoring by 15s is believed to be medieval in origin, and 40 is used as
an abbreviation of the original 45. "Deuce" is a corruption of the
French a deux, indicating hat one player had to win consequtive points
for the game. The origin of "love" being used for zero either came from
l'oeuf - meaning egg and being the shape of a nought, or the fact the
word love had been equated with "nothing" in such phrases as "a labour of
love" or "neither for love or money". Furthermore it was called a
service because the task of beggining the rally was carried out by a
servant for his master.
This sounds like a good reason to me. I have also heard that the scores
15, 30 and 40 came from the angles created by the arms of young servant
boys who kept the scores for their masters.
How much of this is true I am not sure but I hope it may have thrown some
light on the topic.
Sunnybrook Tennis Centre
Warwick Farm, NSW Australia
Received on Sat Aug 26 2000 - 03:41:03 CDT