By: Brooke Bebout and Ki-Ki Klaumann

Terms of Tennis

  • Ace- legal serve that is not touched by the receiver, winning the point.
  • Alley- only in doubles, two players on the receiving side change positions after each point played. One at the net and one waiting to receive the serve.
  • Deuce- both players have scored 3 points each, requires that one player must get two points ahead in order to win the game.
  • Double Fault- you get two chances to serve the ball, if you miss both times the other team gets the point.
  • Ground Stick- forehand or backhand shot that is executed after the ball bounces once on the court.
  • Volley- shot in which the ball is struck before it bounces on the ground.


  • Egyptians, Greeks and Romans played precursors to tennis.
  • Balls, which were initially wooden, gave way to bouncier, leather balls filled with cellulose material.
  • It was played using the hand, but over time people began wearing a glove, either with webbing between the fingers or a solid paddle.
  • By 1500, a wooden frame racquet laced with sheep gut was in common use, together with a cork ball weighing approximately three ounces.
  • During the first year of Wimbledon Championships, it only consisted of men's singles; women were not allowed to play until 1884.
  • Serves were underarm and tennis balls were hand-sewn.

Rules and Game Play of Tennis

  • The game starts with a coin toss to determine which player serve first and which side they want to serve from
  • The server must then serve each point from alternative sides on the base line. At no point must the server’s feet move in front of the baseline on the court prior to hitting the serve.
  • If the server fails to get their first serve in they may take advantage of a second serve. If they again fail to get their second serve in then a double fault will be called and the point lost.
  • If the server clips the net but the ball goes in the service area still then let is called and they get to take that serve again without penalty. If the ball hits the net and fails to go in the service area then out is called and they lose that serve.
  • The receiver may stand where they wish upon receipt of the serve. If the ball is struck without the serve bouncing then the server will receive the point.
  • Once a serve has been made the amount of shots between the players can be unlimited. The point is won by hitting the ball so the opponent fails to return it in the scoring areas.
  • You need 4 points to win a game. If a game lands on 40-40 it’s known as deuce. From deuce a player needs to win 2 consecutive points to win the game. After winning one point from deuce they player is on advantage. If the player wins the next point they win the game, if they lose it goes back to deuce.
  • If a player touches the net, distracts his opponent or impedes in anyway then they automatically lose the point.
  • The ball can hit any part of the line for the point to be called in, outside the line and the ball is out.
  • The balls in a tennis match are changed for new balls every 6 games
  • A player loses a point if they fail to return the ball in either the correct areas on the court, hits the net and doesn’t go into opponent’s area or fails to return the ball before it bounces twice in their half.


  • Made up of two to three sets.
  • In order to win a set you must win at least 6 games.
  • Scoring starts at "love" which is zero, and goes up to 40. 40 equals 4 points.
  • After love the first point is fifteen, the second is thirty, the third is forty, then the fourth is game point which wins the game.
  • To win the set a player must win 6 games by 2 or more. The opening sets will go to a tie break if its ends up 6-6 where players play first to 7 points. The final set will not have a tie break and requires players to win by two games with no limits.
  • When playeer are tied by one or two points the score is described as "15-all" and "30-all" or "15-up" and "30-up".
  • If each player has won three points the score is called a deuce, rather than "40-all".
  • Scoring beyond a deuce requires that one player must get two points ahead in order to win the game.
  • The player who wins the next point after deuce is said to have the advantage.
  • If the player with the advantage loses the next point, the score is again deuce.

Difference In Doubles and Singles

Doubles is played with two players, and they have a wider sideline.

Singles is played with one player, and they use the smaller, more narrow sidelines.

Court And Dimensions

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  • A player will hit the ball with a racket so it will fall into the diagonally opposite backside box without being stopped by the net.
  • They begin by tossing a ball into the air and hitting it.
  • When crossing over the net, the ball cannot touch the net.
  • If the ball contacts the net on the serve but proceeds to the proper backside box it is called a 'let'.
  • This is not a legal serve in major tours, but is also not considered a fault.
  • Typically serves are done overhand.


  • Tennis Racquet
  • Balls
  • A tennis bag can be used
  • Tennis shoes are optional

Works Cited

"History of Tennis." History Channel. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Serve (Tennis)." Wikipedia. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Tennis Court Diagram." SportsSpectator. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Tennis Rules." Rules Of Sports. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED TO PLAY TENNIS?." Tennis. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.