Rules of Tennis


Simplified Rules of tennis 

Tennis is a sport requiring quickness, athletic ability, hand-eye coordination, speed and strength. The game is played on an indoor or outdoor court and the object of the game is to hit the ball over a 3-foot net so that your opponent cannot return a shot successfully. Players start the game with a shot called a serve, and players continue to serve until a game is completed and then the opponent gets control of the serve.

Size of the Court

A tennis court is 79 feet long and 27 feet wide. The net in the middle of the court is hung on two posts on the side of the court. The two posts are 3 feet, 6 inches high and the net must measure 3 feet in height at the middle of the court.

Serving and Shotmaking

Play in tennis is started with the serve. The serve starts by standing behind the baseline at the rear of the court on the right side. He must toss the tennis ball straight overhead and strike the ball directly so that it lands in the serving box on the opposite side of the net to the server’s left. If he misses on his first serve, he gets another attempt to put the ball in the box on a second serve. If he fails on the second attempt, the receiver gets a point. The returner stands behind the box, then hits the ball back over the net after it bounces in the service box. Subsequent shots by either player may land anywhere in the court of play. If the ball hits the net and bounds over, it is considered a good shot. If it hits the net and bounces backward, the point goes to the opponent. After a point is over, the process begins again, with the only difference being that the server stands behind the baseline on the left side and hits the ball into the right service box.

Match Format

Most matches are in a best-of-three format. The first player to win two out of three sets wins the match. In order to win a set, you must win six games and must be ahead of your opponent by at least two games. The first player to win four points in a game wins that game if he is ahead by two points or more. But if the game is tied at three points, a player must win two consecutive points before winning the game. The scoring system is somewhat confusing. Instead of being ahead 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2 in points, a player who wins the first point is ahead “15-love.” If he wins the second point, it is “30-love.” If the receiver wins the next three points, the score would be “30-40.” If the server ties the score by winning the next point, the score would appear to be 40-40, but the server would say “deuce” when he announces the score. If the server wins the next point, he would say “advantage server.” If he wins the following point, he wins the game. If he fails, the score returns to deuce and the game goes to the first player who can win consecutive points.