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Tennis Rules

Tennis, a globally loved sport, can seem complex at first glance. But once you grasp its rules, you’ll find it’s an invigorating and strategically deep game. This article aims to explain all you need to know about tennis rules in an easy, digestible manner.

The Tennis Court

A standard tennis court measures 78 feet in length and 27 feet in width for singles matches, expanding to 36 feet for doubles. The court is divided into two halves by a net, and each half is further divided into service boxes and baselines.

Serving Rules

In tennis, serving is how every point begins. The server must stand behind the baseline, between the center mark and the sideline. The serve alternates between the deuce court (right side of the court) and the ad court (left side).

Faults and Double Faults

A fault occurs if the serve hits outside the opponent’s service box, the net, or misses the box entirely. If the server faults twice consecutively (a double fault), the opponent wins the point.

Scoring in Tennis

Tennis scoring may seem odd at first, but it follows a distinct pattern. The points start at ‘love’ (0) and increase to ’15’, ’30’, and ’40’. If the score ties at ’40’, it’s called ‘deuce’.

Advantage and Game Point

When the game reaches deuce, a player must win two points in succession to win the game. The player who scores the first point after deuce gains the ‘advantage’. If the same player wins the next point, they win the game.

Set and Match Rules

In tennis, a series of games make a ‘set’, and a series of sets constitute a ‘match’.

Winning a Set

A player or team needs to win at least six games to win a set. However, there should be a difference of at least two games between the opponents.


If a set reaches 6-6, it often leads to a tie-breaker game. The player who first scores seven points in the tie-breaker, and is at least two points ahead, wins the set.

Types of Tennis Matches

There are different types of tennis matches, each with its own set of rules.

Singles Matches

Singles matches are one-on-one. Each player serves an entire game, with the serve alternating between players each game.

Doubles Matches

In doubles, there are two players on each side. The serve rotates between players, moving counter-clockwise.

Etiquette and Fair Play

While understanding the technical rules of tennis is important, so is learning the etiquette of the game.

Respecting Opponents and Officials

Players should maintain respect for their opponents, the officials, and the audience at all times.

Calling Your Own Lines

In casual matches without officials, it’s customary for players to call their own lines and make honest judgments.

In conclusion, tennis is a game that combines physical prowess with mental strategy. While these rules may seem overwhelming initially, they become second nature with practice. Whether you’re a novice looking to start your journey or an experienced player seeking a refresher, this guide aims to make the intricate world of tennis rules accessible and easy to understand.

Thank you for reading our comprehensive guide to tennis rules. As always, the key to mastery is practice. So, grab your racket and let’s hit the court! Here’s to fair play and the love of the game.

Tennis, a fascinating sport cherished by millions worldwide, is a game of skill, strategy, and endurance. While it appears straightforward on the surface, it is governed by a complex set of rules that ensure a fair and competitive atmosphere. Let’s unravel these rules together.


Essential tennis equipment includes a racket and a tennis ball. The racket shouldn’t exceed 29 inches in length or 12.5 inches in width. The ball should be yellow or white, with a diameter between 2.57 to 2.70 inches.

Serving Rules

The serve initiates the game. The server must stand behind the baseline, between the center mark and the sideline. The server gets two chances to make a successful serve.

Scoring System

Understanding tennis’s scoring system can be a bit challenging initially, but it becomes second nature with time. The scoring proceeds in the order of “love,” “15,” “30,” “40,” and “game”.

Game, Set, and Match

A game comprises multiple points, a set contains several games, and a match includes numerous sets. A player must win at least six games to win a set, and two sets to win the match.

Deuce and Advantage

If both players reach 40 in the same game, it’s called a ‘deuce.’ The first player to score after a deuce gains the ‘advantage.’ If the same player scores again, they win the game.

Rules of Play

Let’s delve into the specifics of playing the game.

In or Out

A ball is considered ‘in’ if any part of it touches the line marking the boundaries of the court. It is ‘out’ if it falls outside these lines, strikes a permanent fixture, or hits the net and falls back on the server’s side.


In tennis, a variety of situations can lead to a ‘fault.’ These include failure to serve correctly, serving from the wrong position, or if the ball touches anything other than the opponent’s racket after the serve.

Tiebreak Rules

A ‘tiebreak’ is used when the score in a set is 6-6. It’s a mini-game where the first player to reach 7 points with a margin of at least 2 points wins the set.

Code of Conduct

Respect for the opponent, the umpire, and the spectators is fundamental in tennis. Any violation of this code can result in penalties, including forfeiture of the game.

Concluding Thoughts

In tennis, the thrill of the game and the respect for the rules go hand in hand. Familiarizing yourself with the rules not only elevates your game but also deepens your appreciation for this beautiful sport.

Thanks for journeying through this comprehensive guide on tennis rules. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just getting started, we hope you found this insightful and helpful. Keep hitting those lines, and remember – it’s not just a game, it’s tennis.

“In tennis, the player is his own judge. Of all games, tennis is the one most akin to life.” – Unknown