What are the rules of tennis?

Although it seems like something as simple to play as hitting a ball, the truth is that tennis has some complex rules, especially for newcomers to this world. In fact, its regulations cover all aspects of the game, from the characteristics of the court to the rackets, the balls or the way it is scored.

If you have seen a tennis match on television, you have surely realized how complex this sport can be. And although we all practically know what tennis is, the same does not happen with the knowledge we have of its rules. An issue that can be somewhat difficult to understand for those uninitiated in this sport. For this reason, we have summarized this complex regulation for you, making it easier for you to understand it.

the tennis court

The first aspect covered by the tennis rules is the characteristics of the court. The tennis court must be rectangular, 23.77 meters long by 8.23 ​​wide. A piece of land divided in half and where a net 91.5 centimeters high is placed in its central part, on posts 107 centimeters high. This track can be made of different materials, such as cement, albero or grass. To take care of this last type of terrain, it is enough to resort to the best electric lawnmower you can find. By the way, there is no established height for the grass, although it is key that its characteristics are the same throughout the pitch.

Within the measurements of a tennis court, there are also those of its interior sections. Among them are the doubles corridors, located along the track and with a width of 1.37 meters, measured from the outer sides of it. This leaves an area of ​​8.23 ​​meters wide between the two corridors, that of the playing area. For its part, the service line is placed 6.4 meters from the net and covers the space between the doubles corridors and is divided in half. These would be the basic elements of a tennis court.

the tennis ball

Another essential element to play tennis is the ball. This must be spherical, have a diameter of 6.35 to 6.67 centimeters and be yellow with a white stripe, which improves its visualization. These balls are made from a blend of natural rubber and other materials in a molded, pressurized design. Once the core of the ball is made, it is covered with the classic yellow cloth, which gives it its final image.

Within the tennis regulations established by the international federation, other aspects are included, such as the number of balls available in each match, as well as how often new balls must be used.

The tennis raquet

As with the balls, the rackets are also essential. This racket is one of the points that has aroused the most controversy in terms of regulation, since any change in its structure or stringing can influence the various phases of the game, such as serving or hitting tennis..

If you want to know more, you can consult the extensive appendix that the ITF has developed in this regard, where the characteristics that competition rackets must meet are established. 

the tennis service

Once we have the court, the racket and the ball, the game can begin, which always begins with the tennis serve. The player chosen for this first serve is chosen by lottery. In this phase of the game, the serving player and the receiving player are placed on opposite sides of the serving zone, as you may have already seen on television.

To make the serve, the player has 25 seconds. The server must throw the ball into the opponent’s service zone, executing the serve from behind the bottom line of the court, which cannot be stepped on, and over the net. The player has two attempts to execute the serve correctly. The server will keep the serve until the end of the game, passing the server to return and the receiver to serve.

when the point is lost

Within the basic rules of tennis it is essential to mention in which situations the player loses a point in favor of his opponent. This annotation occurs when a player is not able to pass the ball over the net towards the opponent’s court, when it bounces a couple of times on the ground or when the player sends the ball out of the playing area, as For example, it occurs if the ball lands in the doubles lane in a singles match or beyond the baseline of the opponent’s court. The point is also lost if a double fault is incurred during the serve.

The tennis score

As a last question, it is time to talk about tennis scoring. This score is based on the tennis set, which itself is made up of games. This tennis game has a specific score. Instead of using 0, 1, 2, etc., the figures 0, 15, 30, 40 and game are used. Therefore, if a player wins by 2 points to 0, then the result of the game at that moment would be 30 to 0. As an exception to the above, if the game is tied at 40, the next point won will be called advantage. If that same player adds another point, he will win the game. Remember that to win a game it is necessary to have more points than the opponent with a difference of 2.

Regarding the set, to win it it is necessary to score six games, with a difference of two. Unlike games, if there is no difference and there is a tie at 6, then a tennis tie break is used. In this phase of the set, it will be necessary to win at least seven points with a difference of two to score the same. If there is a new tie at six, points continue to be added until a player achieves that difference of two. This system applies to all sets except the last, where the obligation to win with two games difference is maintained.

This brings us to how long a tennis match lasts. Compared to other sports such as football or basketball, tennis does not have a fixed time duration. What is established in advance is the number of sets that must be played, 3 or 5. If 3 sets are played, two must be won to win the match. If the match is to 5 sets, it will be necessary to score 3 to win the match. So as long as that result is not achieved, the game can go on as long as necessary.

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