Tennis Gameplay

Tennis Rules and Regulations

  • The game  starts with a coin toss. This is to determine which player/team must serve first and which side he/she/they want(s)to serve from.
  • The server must then serve each point from alternative sides on the base line.
    • At no point can the server’s feet be moved to the front of the baseline on the court prior to executing their serve.
  • If the server fails to get their first serve in, he/she may take advantage of a second serve.
  • If he/she fails again, then a double fault will be called and the point would be lost.
  • If the server clips the net but the ball goes in the service area, then let is called and he/she gets to take that serve again without any penalty. If the ball hits the net and fails to go in the service area then out is called and he/she loses that serve.
  • The receiver may stand where he/she wishes upon receipt of the serve. If the ball is struck without the serve bouncing then the server will receive the point.
  • Once a serve has been made, the amount of shots between the players can be unlimited. The point is won by hitting the ball to a point where the opponent fails to return it in the scoring areas.
  • Points are awarded in scores of 15, 30 and 40. (15 = 1 point, 30 = 2 and 40 = 3). 4 points are needed to win a game. If a game lands on 40-40, it’s known as deuce. From deuce:
    • A player needs to win 2 consecutive points to win the game.
    • After winning one point from deuce they player is on advantage.
    • If the player wins the next point they win the game, if he/she loses it goes back to deuce.
  • The first player/team to win 6 games wins the set if there is a margin of 2 games over the opponent. A set will continue until the margin is attained.
  • If the set reaches the score of 5-5, then the first player/team to reach 7 , wins the set.
  • If the set ends up with a score of 6-6,  then a tie-break game shall be played and the first player/tem to reach 7, wins the set. 
  • A match can be played to the best of 3 sets (a player needs to win 2 sets to win the match) or the best of 5 sets (a player needs to win 3 sets to win the match)
  • A player automatically loses the point if  he/she touches the net, distracts his opponent or impedes in anyway. 
  • The ball can hit any part of the line for the point to be called in. If the ball falls outside the line, the ball will be called out.
  • A player loses a point if they fail to:
    • Return the ball in either the correct areas on the court.
    • Hits the net and the ball doesn’t go into opponent’s area
    • Fails to return the ball before it bounces twice in his/her half.
  • The balls in a tennis match are exchanged for new ones, every 6 games.

For a more detailed explanation of the rules of tennis, please visit the International Tennis  Federation (ITF) Website.