Basic Rules Of Tennis
The basic rules of tennis are fairly easy to master, as are some of the strokes used during gameplay. Once you have learned the easy stuff, it’s just a matter of hitting the courts regularly to hone in on your tennis skills. Check out our guide and grab your racquet. You’ll be challenging your friends to a match in no time.
- The players. A game of tennis is played between two players or teams and can be played in three different formats including singles, doubles and mixed doubles. The singles format is played between two individual players; doubles is played between four players, two to each side (typically all women or all men); mixed doubles is also played between four players, two to each side (typically a mix of men and women).
- The court. Opponents must stand on opposite sides of the court. If you are delivering the ball to the start point, you are the “server.” The player standing opposite from you is the “receiver.” You must stand behind your baseline (between the center mark and the sideline), while the receiver is permitted to stand anywhere behind his side of the net. You should wait to serve until the receiver is ready. If you are the server and you miss your target twice, you lost the point. However, if the ball hits the net and goes in the correct service box, you’ll get another shot.
- Game length. Tennis differs from other sports in that it does not adhere to the clock. There is no specific amount of time in which a tennis match must take place from beginning to end. The game continues until one player wins the predetermined number of sets required for the match (which is typically about two or three).
- Scoring system. You will receive a point when your opponent cannot return the ball back over the net and into the court. Whichever player reaches four points first takes the game. Tennis points are scored on their own system and are referred to as “love,” 15, 30 and 40. If the game results in a tie, it’s called “deuce.” In order to win the game after a deuce, you must score two consecutive points.
Types of strokes. The most commonly used stroke is known as the forehand. Forehand strokes are popular because they pack a lot of punch and are easily made by swinging the racquet across your body in the direction of where you want to place the shot. There are two types of backhand strokes including the two-handed backhand and the one-handed backhand. They are quite similar, aside from the fact that you use a different number of hands for each one. The backhand is more difficult to conquer than the forehand because your hand is pulling into the shot rather than pushing into it. Another shot, known as the groundstroke, is hit after the ball has bounced once. If the ball is hit before it bounces on the court, it’s known as a volley.