The basic rules of lawn tennis are something every soon-to-be professional, racket-wielding athlete needs to know. "Lawn tennis," as the nineteenth century original variation was called, has its origins in the United Kingdom. From there, the several variations of lawn tennis have spread to every known corner of the globe. Luckily for you, the rules of lawn tennis aren't complicated, but pay attention!
- Games are won at the score of four and by a lead of two. In other words, you're going to have to make at least four points on your opponent and him/her be no less than two points behind you in order to win the game.
- Sets consist of at least six games. To win a set in lawn tennis, you will not only need to be victorious four times, but have your competitor no less than two games behind you. This rule is the same as the above, only applied to the set level of play and not the game level.
- Every odd game, players switch sides. You will need to change sides with your opponent every odd game. So, the first, third, fifth and seventh matches are all games in which you will be required to switch sides.
- Delays of games will cost you. Literally. A penalty is called a "first warning" for a delay of game, but a point is taken off if the game is delayed once again. A delay is constituted by more than 25 seconds in between play or over 90 seconds between changing of sides or games.
- Points are called as zero, fifteen, 30 or 40. Obviously, over 40 is a win in lawn tennis. The first point goes down as "fifteen" on the player's record, then "30" for the second and "40" for the third.
- If both players are tied at 40-40, the situation is called a "deuce." Deuces are settled in a different way. When a particular player makes a point in a "deuce," he/she is said to have the "advantage." If the player makes another point, the game is his/hers. However, losing the advantage will only return the player back to the "deuces" level of 40-40.
- There are specific dimensions for courts. These are dependant on the rules of lawn tennis. For example, a "singles" game is played on a 27-foot-wide by 39-foot-long court per side. "Doubles" are played on double the length and width of the entire "singles" lawn tennis court.
- The Lawn Tennis Association overseas official rules. As the highest, commonly-recognized authority in the sport, the LTA officiates Wimbledon and other highly popularized tennis events.
- Balls that hit the boundaries are "good." In other words, your opponent is going to have to suck it up in lawn tennis if they aren't fans of border balls. Anything outside, however, is obviously no good.
- The ball may only hit the ground on each side once. Obviously, if a player fails to stop this from happening, his/her opponent will receive a point. However, the ball need not be hit at all and can be directly bounced back.
Lawn tennis has been, and always will continue to be, a beautiful sport. The rules of lawn tennis are to be obeyed and respected at any proper match and are essential for a fair, fun and engaging match between two or four players.
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