We’ve already discussed both basics of tennis courts, as well as important tennis serves that you will use while playing tennis. Now, we want to take some time to review the rules of tennis so that you can get out on the court and start playing. If you have a backyard court, you’ll find that learning tennis will provide you with all kinds of benefits. Our expert team at Utah Court Surfacing is proud to offer superior court-related services to keep your tennis court in the best possible shape.
The Basic Rules of Tennis
There are detailed, complex rules for tennis, especially if you intend to play tennis professionally. However, we intend to go over the basic rules that you need to know to start playing tennis. These rules should be enough to allow you to get out there and start playing. Ultimately, the first thing you need to know is how to score a point.
Starting the Match
At the very beginning of the match, the players will decide which player will start the match with serving. This is most often completed with the use of a coin toss. The winner of the coin toss will get to decide who starts serving for the match. The individual that is serving is referred to as the server while the other player is referred to as the receiver. Once this order has been established, the first point will go into play.
The First Point
The server starts standing behind the baseline of the tennis court. For the first point, the player will begin on the right side of the center mark. For the next point, the player will start on the left side. The sides will alternate with each point. A successful point start involves the server hitting their serve on the service box, which is the area that is located over the net, diagonally from the server. For each point, the server will be allowed two serves. If they miss each serve, the server has hit a double fault, which loses the player the point. If the serve has successfully hit within the service box, the point starts.
After the point has started, each player will focus on hitting the ball over the net and inside the designated court area. This will proceed until one player wins the point. Once the ball has initially bounced on the service box, players are able to either let the ball bounce once on their court or hit the ball directly in the air.
Ways to Win a Point
In general, there are 5 different ways that a tennis player can win a point during a tennis match. If their opponent misses both of their serves, they will be awarded the point. They are also awarded a point if the opponent hits a shot over the net but outside of the designated court area or misses a shot at the net completely. A player will also be awarded a point if they hit a shot past their opponent or hit a shot that bounces twice on the opponent’s court before they hit it.
Tennis Scoring System
While understanding how to win a point is important, it is similarly important to understand how tennis matches are scored. This is a fairly unique counting system, so it is important to spend some time reviewing this system. The points will accumulate until a game is won. After enough games are won, a set will be won. The winning of multiple sets will result in winning the match. Tennis points don’t follow a typical “1, 2, 3, 4” structure. Instead, tennis points are counted by 1, 15, 30, and 40. The score of the server is always listed first in the score. So, if the server wins the first point, the score will be 15 x 0. If they lose the first point, the score will then be listed as 0 x 15.
Once a tennis player has reached 40 points and scores another point, they will win the game. However, this is where things can get a little complicated. If each player is tied at 40 points, they will have to score two points to win the game. This has to be a 2 point margin, not just 2 points total. When the score is 40 x 40, the next point will be counted as Ad. That will make the score Ad x 40. If they lose the next point, however, the score goes back to 40 x 40. If they win the next point, they will win the game.
After a Player Wins a Game
Though this may seem counterintuitive, winning a game is not the complete match. Once the first game has been one, the point score will be restored to 0 x 0. At this point, the receiver and server switch roles. This process continues until one of the players has won 6 games. Winning 6 games means that a complete set has been won. However, a similar thing applies here as applies to winning a game. If each player has 5 games, the first one to 7 games will win the set. If they tie again at 6 games each, a tiebreak will be necessary.
Tiebreaks are games that are designed to break a tie between players during a tennis match. This is counted differently from typical tennis games. Rather than counting 1, 15, 30, 40, the points will be counted in a typical numerical fashion. The player that reaches 7 points first will win the tiebreak game. However, if they are tied at 6 x 6, a 2-point margin will be necessary to win the game. It is also important to note that tiebreaks will involve the server and receiver switching roles after each point. In most tournaments, winning 2 sets will win the match overall.