WATCH: If you've never seen Real Tennis, it's worth setting your eyes on

Paul Rouse tells Off The Ball about the Irish history of an ancient game

Real Tennis

Picture by: Sport and General / S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

We know about tennis ... so what's Real Tennis?

UCD professor of history and sport Paul Rouse joined Off The Ball to give some background on a sport that dates back centuries, including in Ireland, but is still played to this day.

"It looks like there was a court in Dublin Castle at some point before [1609] and although it's not clear when," said Rouse, before discussing a court which exists off Stephen's Green which had been built by the Guinness family in the 1885.

"This was a dedicated Real Tennis court that [Sir Edward Guinness] built at the back of his house. It is an incredibly beautiful, architectural structure. Inside of it, there were a black marble floor which at the time when it was played was polished beautifully and as smooth as glass. It was not just used by the Guinness family, or their friends and people around the city but also it staged the Real Tennis World Championships in May and June 1890." 

So, this is what Real Tennis looks like now: