From the Olympics and the Masters to friendly backyard games, tennis is a fun, fast-paced sport with centuries of history. Refined during the Renaissance, tennis became fashionable at 16th-century royal courts in England, France and Italy, and later became popular with the newly leisured middle classes from the 19th century onwards. As New Yorkers and tennis enthusiasts worldwide prepare for the start of the US Open on 31 August, we look back at tennis-centric art and objects offered at Sotheby’s over the years.