Lessons at Home: Playing Tennis
11th November 2020
Whether you’re watching or playing tennis, understanding the flow of the game allows newer participants to be fully engaged in the sport.
It starts with learning the parts of the court. The lines on the ground determine where the players stand to start a point and where a ball can be played throughout a rally. For example, “the alley” is only available for doubles players and is considered out of bounds for singles matches.
| STARTING A POINT
|A point is started when a player serves.
- The ball must cross the net and be in the opponent’s service court.
- If the ball touches the net and still lands in the opponent’s service court during a serve attempt, it is considered a “let” and the player can attempt another serve.
- If the ball hits the net or does not land in the opponent’s service court during a serve attempt, it is considered a “fault” and the player can attempt another serve.
- A second “fault” results in a “double fault” and the server loses the point.
| WINNING A POINT
|A player wins a point if the opponent:
- Does not hit the ball back over the net
- Returns the ball out of bounds ‘OUT’
- Hits the ball twice
- Cannot return the ball before it bounces twice
- Is hit by the ball on his or her body
- Touches the net with his or her racquet or body
- Touches the ground on the opponent’s side of the court
- Throws racquet to hit the ball
| KEEPING SCORE
|A tennis match is broken into games and sets.
- Game Points go from Love > 15 > 30 > 40
- If both players have earned 3 points, the score is 40-40 which is called “deuce.” The player who wins the next point has “advantage.” If the player with advantage wins the next point, he or she will win the game. If he or she loses the next point, the game goes back to deuce.
- In professional tennis, the first player to win 6 games wins the “set.” If the players are tied 5 games each they will play until someone wins a 7th game.
- The match winner is determined by whoever wins the predetermined amount of sets. Some matches are played in a best of 3 sets format while others play best of 5 sets.
Click here to learn how string tension can change how your racquet impacts the ball.