Tennis is one of the most loved games in the world and is enjoyed my people of all ages. It used to be the game of royals and upper class snoots and was introduced to the world by King Henry VIII. Tennis is a fairly simple game, maybe even the easiest to understand as compared to cricket or football! But for those who need a little more information about tennis and its rules here the very basics.
A maximum number of four players can play tennis at one time. You can have singles matches or doubles matches as well. You will also find mixed doubles matches played in international tennis tournaments.
It is played on a grass court, clay court or hard court. The tennis playing field is rectangular box which is 78 feet long and almost 27 feet wide. A net is placed right at the centre of the court diving it into two equal portions. The net is 1.07 m high at the posts, and 3 feet (914 mm) high in the centre. Additional space is left on the marked sides of court for convenience.
The furthest sides of court are the baselines surrounded by the sidelines. The centre is also marked with a line on either side. These lines act as play parameters and boundaries.
The basic pay in tennis is to win the rally against the opponent. You begin with a player on each side, one serving to another. They stand diagonally opposite to each there which means if the server is on the left hand side of court the receiver has to be on the right hand side of his end.
Service rules states that the tennis ball has to be tossed overhead before being hit. Once hit the ball is hit, it should not touch the net and must land in the diagonally opposite service court with exactly one bounce. If the ball hits the net, goes beyond the sidelines or lands in the wrong diagonal box it is declared a foul and the server is given a chance to re-serve. If the server fouls twice in row a point is awarded to the opponent. The service alternates between the two halves with every game.
The scoring system in tennis is a play of four points played with the same player serving. You have to win with a difference of two points. The score for each point starts with zero or ‘love’, 15, 30 and forty. If both players reach forty it is called ‘deuce’. ‘Advantage’ is when three points have been scored by both players and one of them has one more point than his opponent. The advantage is then given for the player in the lead. Another scoring terminology is ‘break – point’. This is when receiver has chance to beat the server at his game. In tennis losing your service game can be extremely detrimental as serving is very beneficial. You also have game point, set point and in case of international tournaments championship point. This is when the leading player needs only one to win a game, set or match.
International tennis is played in 5 sets consisting of 6 games each in case of the men and 3 sets in case of women. The set can only be won with a difference of two games, which means one player has to win at least two games more than the other to claim the set. Sometimes when the match is close then it is possible for one player to win six games and the opponent five. In this case another game is played. If the leading player wins that game, the player wins the set 7–5. If the leading player doesn’t win, the match gets tied at 6-6 and a tie breaker is played. The tie breaker is play of minimum of seven points with a 2 point difference to win. 7-5 is the apt score if there are no more ties. If the players remain tied at 6-6 in the tie breaker, they maintain play till someone gets the two point difference.
These are just the basic rules of tennis. Like any other sport you will learn as you go along. So take up tennis and enjoy breaking the rules as much you love sticking to them!