Tennis Basics

Tennis is a racket sport played inside the netted rectangular tennis court. Tennis has singles (one player on each side of the netted court), and doubles (two players on each side of the netted court) games with doubles game occupying slightly larger playing area. Each player uses a tennis racket to hit a tennis ball over to the other side with the ball hitting no more than 1 ground inside the rectangle. The objective of the game is to hit the ball so that an opponent cannot return the ball to your court.

Tennis Court
Image from Clipart Library

The game of Tennis originated from England in the 19th century, and it is played by millions of amateur and professional players worldwide. There are 4 major (or Grand Slam) tournaments known as the Wimbledon played on grass courts, French Open played on red clay courts, and Australian and US Open played on hard courts. It is also played in the Olympics.

Rules of Tennis

Although there are singles (2-person) and doubles (4-person) games, the general rules of tennis are similar. The following are general rules used to play tennis.

  1. Tennis can be played by 2 people (singles) or 4 people (doubles).
  2. The singles game uses inside boundary line while doubles game uses the outer line as the boundaries.
  3. The score is counted by a point, game, set and match. A point is won when an opponent misses a valid return. A game consists of 4 points, but must win by 2 points otherwise the game continues.
  4. A set is complete when one party (or team) wins 6 or more games with at least 2 games advantage. In the event of game tie at 6-6, a set can either continue or end with a 7-point tie-break.
  5. A match is won whoever wins the majority of sets. A match is always played an odd number usually 3 or 5 sets, but in an amateur game 1 set can be played.
  6. Each party takes turn on serving a game, and may start with a coin toss to decide who serves first.
  7. The server must play from the forhand-side (duece) first, and then the backhand-side (Ad) and continue to rotate between sides until the game ends.
  8. The server must serve the ball inside the smaller box diagonal to the side where the server is serving. The server has 2 chances of making correct serve, and it both fails the opponent wins the point. The receiver must wait until the ball bounces first inside the inner box before returning the ball.
  9. The ball must land inside the boundary lines. The party who hits the ball outside of bounds loses the point.
  10. The ball landing on the boundary line is considered good.
  11. A player cannot touch the net (or post) with a racket or cross onto the opponent's side.
  12. A player cannot hit the ball twice.
  13. A player must wait until the ball crosses the net before returning it.
  14. A player must return the ball before it bounces twice else loses the point.

Tennis Scoring

Tennis scoring is made from the points, games, sets and a match. Each unit of measure is described below:

  • Point: A smallest unit of score. Points increase from Love(0), 15, 30, 40 and Game. A game ends when a player wins by 2 points. After 40-40 (Duece), the points are counted Ad In (server's advantage) and Ad Out (receiver's advantage).
  • Game: A game must play until one player (or team) wins at least 4-points, and must win by 2-points. A game continues until one player wins by 2-points.
  • Set: A set must play until one player (or team) wins at least 6-games, and must win by 2-sets. When the set score reaches 6-6, a 7-point tie-break begins to determine that winner of the set.
  • Match: A match is played an odd number of sets usually 3 or 5. A winner with the most sets wins the match.

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