Alex Stephens

Rules Of Tennis

  • The game starts with a coin toss to determine which player must 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 their 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.
  • Points are awarded in scores of 15, 30 and 40. 15 represent 1 point, 30 = 2 and 40 = 3. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • History

    Some people believe that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans played different versions of tennis. Drawings and descriptions of any tennis-like games have not been discovered, but a few Arabic words dating from ancient Egyptian times are cited as evidence. The theory goes that the name tennis is derived from the Egyptian town of Tinnis alongside the Nile and the word racquet evolved from the Arabic word for palm of the hand, rahat.

    Tennis owes its invention to many pioneers, prominent among whom, was the Englishman, Walter Clopton Wingfield, who patented it in 1873. The game was brought to America, via Bermuda, by socialite Mary Ewing Outerbridge from Staten Island, New York. In USA, it was first played in 1874, at the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club.Since then, tennis has come a long way to become the premier spectator sport world over, only rivaled by soccer. Millions of people all over the world follow tennis religiously. The power, speed and beauty of this game leaves everyone enthralled.

    Difference between Singles and Doubles

    There are a number of differences between singles and doubles tennis. Perhaps the most obvious of these is the doubles alley, a pair of lanes running the length of the court on either side. Both alleys measure three feet wide and are only considered in play during a doubles match. The strategies used in singles and doubles often differ as well. Take, for example, the tactic of serving wide, which seeks to score a point off the opponent by first dragging them off the court in one direction and then hitting the opposite way into the open court. In singles, servers using this tactic must balance the angle of their serve with how comfortable they feel guarding against an up the line return, whereas in doubles, the line is guarded by the server’s partner, allowing the server to attack extreme angles on the wide serve without worry. Another strategy unique to doubles tennis is poaching. While many doubles teams play with both players at net as often as possible, having one player at net and one at the baseline is a more common formation. Should the need present itself, the player at net can quickly slide into the center of the court and intercept, or poach, a shot intended for the baseline player. This aggressive technique, which typically makes it difficult for the opponent to get a volley by the player at net, can help a team quickly rack up points.


    The servers score is always announced first the entire game with tennis terminology voiced in a manner unique to tennis.

    • Points Earned 0 = 0 Games Points or 'Love'
    • Points Earned 1 = 15 Game Points
    • Points Earned 2 = 30 Game Points
    • Points Earned 3 = 40 Game Points
    • Points Earned 4 = Game Over (2 Point Advantage Required)

    In a tennis game that's part of a set, scoring is unconventional. The scores do not start increasing from single digits. The player who scores four points first, wins the game, provided there is a difference of two points. Zero score is referred to as 'love'. Ergo, the '0-0' score at the beginning of the game is referred to, as 'Love All'! (Thus the game begins with a noble message of love!) A match can either be 'Best of Three Sets (First player to win 2 sets, wins the match) ' or 'Best of Five Sets (First player to win 3 sets, wins the match)'. A player wins a set, when he wins 6 games, provided he is ahead of his opponent by two games. If the difference between the players is less than 2 games, the game may continue till either wins the set by a margin of two (known as the Advantage set scoring method).

    Alternatively, if both players are tied with 6 games to their name, whoever wins the tie-breaker game, will win the set (this is known as the Tie-Breaker Method). The latter strategy is mostly adopted in ATP tournaments. Wimbledon, one of the four prime grand slams, uses the advantage set scoring method, due to which there is a possibility of a game continuing for a long time in some cases.

    A prime example is the Isner-Mahut match at the Wimbledon championships in 2010, which went on for 11 hours and five minutes! The score read something like this - 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68! The last figure is the number of points played in the last set, which lasted for eight hours, spread over three days.

    The serving player's score is always mentioned first, when calling. If both opponents or teams are leveled at a 40-40 score, they are said to be in 'Deuce'. Hereafter, the one who scores two points consecutively (with a difference of two points), wins the game. The player who scores a single point after 'Deuce', is said to have an 'Advantage'. However, if both score single points after a 'Deuce', the score is again tied, that is they land up in a 'Deuce' again. The only way a game can end is when a player scores two consecutive points after the tie.

    If both players have won 6 games each and the set is tied, a tie-breaker game must be played. The scoring for this game is conventional and linear, starting from 0 to 1, 2, 3.. and so on. The first player to score 7 points wins the game and the set, provided he has a two point lead over his opponent. The tie-breaker game continues, till a player achieves the two point lead to win the game and set. During this game, the sides need to be changed after 6 point are scored.


    Hold the tennis racket using a continental grip
    - A continental grip is best described as holding the racket perpendicular to the ground and holding it with your pointer finger along the first bevel of the racket.

    -Point left foot towards opposite post of net (cross court post) while your right foot is parallel to the court.

    -Bounce the ball 2 to 4 times to get a feel for the ball and the court texture as court textures can vary (ex: clay, grass, etc)

    -Bring ball to flat racket face in preparation of the toss

    -Toss ball in the air from approximately the top of the head to the height of 3 meters. After the release of the ball, your hand can remain up for guidance and extra momentum.

    -Hit and follow through

    Terms To Know

    Ace-A serve that the returner doesn't even touch with her racquet. An ace wins the point immediately for the server.

    Alley- the extra area of the side court used for doubles

    Deuce-when the score in a game is 40 to 40.

    Double Fault-two missed serves in a row. The server will lose the point.

    Ground Stroke-Your basic forehand and backhand strokes

    Volley-A shot that you hit before the ball bounces, usually at the net.