The Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court Palace is a real tennis court which was built for Henry VIII of England, who played there from 1528, and is still home to an active tennis club. In 2015 it was closed to visitors for major restoration works.
During the 17th century various improvements were made to the court. One of the first acts of Charles II after his restoration in 1660 was to order the extensive refitting of the Tudor tennis court. This included the laying of a new tile floor, the remodelling of the galleries and repairs to the roof. At the same time, new nets, curtains and velvet cushions for the spectator's seats were provided. The interlaced initials above the net on the wall opposite the corridors are, however, not those of Charles but of William and Mary (1689–1702). Since the end of the 17th century the court has undergone little alteration. However, progress is not incompatible with history: in 1975 sodium halide lighting was installed.
==Real Tennis World Championship matches==
The Real Tennis World Championship has been played at the Royal Tennis Court on five occasions:
* 1885 Thomas Pettitt beat George Lambert 7-5
* 1977 Howard Angus beat Gene Scott 7-2
* 1979 Howard Angus beat Chris Ronaldson 7-0
* 1983 Chris Ronaldson beat Wayne Davies 7-4
* 2002 Rob Fahey beat Tim Chisholm 7-6
The Ladies' World Championship, inaugurated in 1985, was played at the Royal Tennis Court in 1999, when defending champion Penny Lumley beat Sue Haswell 2-1 in the final.
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