Tennis/Printable version

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The court

Diagram of dimensions of a tennis court.

The tennis court is a flat rectangle surface with a low net stretched across the center. It is generally covered in grass, clay, concrete, or a synthetic compound. The courts dimensions are 78 feet by 27 feet for singles courts, and 78 feet by 36 feet for doubles courts.

The equipment

Racquets History

  • Wooden
  • Plastic
  • Carbon fiber
  • Hybrid technologies
  • Nano technologies

Basic rules

Tennis Rules[edit | edit source]

1. When serving the ball must land in the opposite service box diagonally towards your opponent.

2. You get two attempts to get the ball in play when serving. If the ball goes directly out or hits the net and lands out, the first serve is lost and you have a second serve attempt. If the 2nd serve does not land in play, the receiver gets the point. If either the 1st or 2nd serve hits the net but goes over and lands in the correct service box, it is a "let" and the serve is taken over again.

3. When rallying, in order to get a "point," the ball can either bounce at least twice in the court, once in the court and once anywhere else (including stationary objects not on the court), or the hitter can may hit the ball directly out or into the net and lose the point.

4. No double hitting; one player cannot hit the ball more than once or two doubles partners cannot each hit the ball.

Scoring System[edit | edit source]

All scores are announced with the server's score first. Thus, a 0-40 score means the server has 0 points, the receiver has 40 and could win on the next point. Under normal circumstances, the point after 40 wins the game, unless both players have 40 ("deuce"), in which case advantage scoring starts

40 - "Deuce" if both players have 40
Ad - Short for "advantage." If the server scores a point from deuce, the score is Ad-In or Advantage-In. If the receiver scores the point, the score is Ad-Out. The first player who scores from their advantage wins the point. If the opposite player scores, the score goes back to deuce. Some people play with no-ad scoring where the next point after deuce wins.

A singles game

Singles-played with two people

  • does not use the outer boundaries (tramlines are out)

A doubles game

Singles and Doubles

doubles-played with 4 people, 2 on each side

  • uses full boundaries (tramlines are in)

Professional competition

Current top players of the game (2008)


Roger Federer (SUI), Rafael Nadal (ESP)


Justine Henin (BEL), Maria Sharapova (RUS)


Basic Tennis Terms

usually deflecting the ball at the net.
usually an overhand hit used to get the ball in play.
a hit with the inside of the hitting hand facing the court, almost always a one-handed shot.
a hit the back of the hitting hand facing the court. Can be a one or two-handed shot. The two-handed backhand, though difficult for some, if mastered, offers good power, direction, and spin. The one-handed backhand offers power, speed, and flexibility.
the stringed bat used to hit the tennis ball.
when the ball is literally spinning backwards while traveling forwards. Produces a low bounce and/or less forward motion after the bounce.
when the ball is spinning forward while traveling forward. Usually produces a high bounce.
hitting the ball with left or right side spin, produces a low or sideways bounce.
hitting the ball back and forth.