Tennis Rules (The Extremely Easy Guide)

Even if you’ve been playing for a long time, you might come across a rule or two that you weren’t aware of. If you watch tennis on television, you’ll notice that even the best players in the world have disagreements with umpires over certain rules. When it comes to rules, tennis can be a difficult sport to grasp. These rules can be intimidating to a beginner.

While the list of rules is lengthy, it does not have to be difficult to understand. Furthermore, singles and doubles matches have different rules. Tennis rules cover a wide range of topics, including scoring, violations, court boundaries, time limits, and other aspects of the game.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced tennis player, you should be able to benefit from the information below and feel confident in your knowledge of tennis rules by the end of the article. We’ll go over every tennis rule you need to know in this article.

Court Boundaries & Layout

The basic specifications for a tennis court are shown below. Before diving into the rules of tennis, it’s important to understand how a tennis court is laid out. It will be easier to comprehend the scoring rules and the distinctions between singles and doubles if you do so.

Court Lines

The picture above contains the name of every

line on a tennis court

. This is the purpose of each line:

  • BaselineIt has two functions: 1) A player must stand behind the baseline when serving; and 2) If a player hits a shot that lands beyond the baseline, the shot is considered out, and the player loses the point. The baseline denotes the court’s lengthwise boundary.
  • Doubles Line: The doubles line is only relevant during doubles matches, as the name implies. It makes no difference in singles matches. During a doubles match, it indicates the court’s widthwise boundary.
  • Singles Line: It’s similar to the doubles line, but only for singles matches. Any shot that bounces outside of these lines is considered out, and the player loses a point as a result. In a one-on-one match, this specifies the court’s widthwise boundaries.
  • Center Service Line: This line is aligned with the center markIn the same way that the It divides the court into two halves, one on the left and one on the right. center mark and the service lineThe serve is considered a miss if the player misses the target. It only matters during a player’s serve. A player must serve either to the right or left of this line, depending on the score.
  • Service Line: When combined with the center service lineThe area known as the service line is formed by the service line. service boxA miss occurs when a serve lands beyond the service line. (See the image below). The service line marks the lengthwise boundary of the area in which a player’s serve must land.
  • Center Mark: The sole purpose of this line is to indicate where the serving player must stand before the serve. A server will begin serving a game on the right side of the center mark, then alternate between left and right at each point thereafter. the starting point

Court Areas

When the lines shown above are combined, the areas shown below are formed.

  • Left and Right Service Boxes: For the time being, all you need to know is that a player must alternate each point, hitting the right service box one point and the left service box the next. The areas where players must hit their serves are listed below. We’ll go over it in more detail below. The most crucial aspect you should be aware of right now.
  • Doubles Alley: A doubles match has four players instead of two, so the court is slightly larger. Consider them an “addition” to the singles court. Only during doubles matches are these areas relevant.
  • Total Court Area: Every player’s shot (except serves) must land on a total court area. As previously stated, the doubles court is larger than the singles court.
  • Net Height: Even though the net height isn’t technically an area, it’s worth noting. A player’s shot must clear the net on every attempt. Otherwise, it is considered an error, and a point is deducted.

Tennis Points – How Do They Work?

Now that you have a basic understanding of how a tennis court is laid out, you can move on to learning how the game is played. The first step in the learning process is to identify what you want to learn.

understand what a tennis point is


A tennis match is simply a series of points played in succession. So, how do you go about making a point? And once a player has accumulated enough points, he or she has won the match. A tennis point is, in essence, the most fundamental unit in the tennis scoring system. Every time you see players make a shot, they are attempting to score points.

The player who is serving is referred to as the server. A coin toss is usually used, with the winner getting to choose who serves first. When a tennis match begins, the players must decide which player will serve first. server, and the player not serving is called the receiver.. Players will begin playing the first point after that step is completed.

To do so, the player who begins serving must proceed to his side of the court and take a position behind the net. baselineHe’ll begin on the right side of the room for the first point. .. center mark. He’ll start on the left side on the second and alternate every point after that. The player who is serving must hit his serve in order to start a point successfully (see what a serve is here) on the service box So, if a player is on the right side of the court, she must serve across the net from the right service box, and vice versa. located diagonally across the net from him

The player has hit a double fault if she misses both serves (at the net or outside the service box). On each point, a player has the option of serving two times. If she misses her first serve, she can try again on her second serve to hit the service box. double fault and consequently lost the point. 

The point will have officially begun if the player was able to hit the serve inside the service box. A player can earn a point in one of five ways: Each player’s goal from then on is to hit the ball over the net and into the court area until one of them wins the point. Players can either hit the ball directly into the air or let it bounce once on their court after it has bounced on the service box for the first time.

  1. If your opponent misses two consecutive serves (double fault)
  2. If the opponent misses a shot at the net, the game is over.
  3. If your opponent hits a shot that goes over the net but out of bounds – either long or wide –
  4. If the player makes a shot that goes over her opponent’s head, she is declared the winner.
  5. If a player hits a shot that bounces twice on the opponent’s court before the opponent can hit it, the player receives a bonus point.

Tennis Let Rules

In tennis, a racquet is a piece of equipment that is Another crucial tennis rule is the concept of lets.

let is short for let’s play again, and it can occur in one of two ways. First and foremost, a letIf a player’s serve hits the net and bounces inside the correct service box, this can happen. If this is the case, the player will be given the opportunity to retake the same serve.

The second occurrence of a let Whether or not the If there is any type of interference between two points, this will occur. letIt can be called out by either player or the umpire if it is caused by a spectator yelling outside the court, a second ball entering the court, or a crazy fan streaking the court. If this is the case, let The point is replayed, with the server receiving his two serves back.

Tennis Scoring Rules

After you’ve figured out how tennis points work, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

the most complex part of the tennis rules: the scoring systemWe’ve put together a detailed explanation of how the scoring system works ( .. you can check it here), so we’ll keep this article short and sweet.

When a player succeeds, The first step is to grasp the fact that tennis employs a rather unusual counting system. points, his points will accumulate until he wins a game. Once the player has won a sufficient number of games, he will be awarded a setWhen a player wins several sets, he has finally won the game. match.. Keep in mind that the scoring system follows this pattern as you read the next few paragraphs:

Point→ Game → Set → Match

They are added to the scoreboard once they have earned points. As previously stated, players can earn a point in five different ways. If he loses the first point, his score is 0 x 15 (the server’s score is always counted first). Tennis points are counted as 0, 15, 30, and 40 instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, as in other sports. So, if the serving player wins the first point of the game, the score becomes 15 x 0.

When a player reaches 40 points and wins another point, he has won a game. game. When both players are tied at 40 x 40 (also known as 40 x 40), deuce), the first player to score a two-point margin wins the game. game. For example, if the score is 40 x 40, the counting sequence is 40 x 40. 40 → Ad → Game. If the score is Ad x 40 and Ad loses a point, the score is reset to 40 x 40.

The point score resets to 0 x 0 after a player wins a game, and the server and receiver roles are switched. When a player wins six games in a row, he is considered a winner. Players continue to accumulate games until one of them wins six. setIf the score is tied at 5 games apiece, the first player to win 7 wins the game. setIf the players are still tied at 6 games apiece, they must play a tiebreaker game. tiebreak

A tiebreak The tiebreak is won by the first player to reach a total of 7 points, and thus the game. is a unique game that is played to break a tie between two players (hence the name). In a tiebreak, the point scoring system differs from other games (0, 15, 30, 40), and you should count the points using the standard numerical system (0, 1, 2, 3,…). set. In a tiebreak, if the players are tied at 6 points apiece, the first player to gain a 2-point advantage wins the tiebreak.

During a tiebreak, the serving turns are also different. After that, until the tiebreak is over, each player will serve for two points. The first player to serve earns one point, and then the players switch roles. The player who began the tiebreak as the receiver takes over as the server for the new set.

In most tournaments, The match is won by the first player to win two sets.A player must win three sets to win a match in the Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and US Open).

If you were able to comprehend the preceding rules, it means you have a good grasp of the subject. You’ve figured out about 85% of the tennis rules so far.Things should get a lot easier from here on out, and you’ll be done in no time. If you still don’t understand how the scoring system works, we’ve created a video tutorial that explains everything. !!

Changeover Rules

This isn’t done at random, as the players must adhere to the rules. If you’ve ever watched a tennis match, you’ve probably noticed that players alternate between one side of the net and the other.

changeover rules

These rules must be followed by all players in order for the game to be fair. Players switch sides to ensure they have equal exposure to the conditions, such as when one side of the court has more wind or is facing the sun.

When a match begins, players will switch sides once the first game is completed. During the first changeover of the set, players are not allowed to sit down, but they may drink a sip of water or quickly grab something from their bag. They’ll switch sides every time the sum of the game scores is odd (21, 30, 43, 65) from then on. Players get to sit in their chairs and take a timed break before switching sides, with the exception of the first changeover of each set (10).

They will only switch sides if the final set has an odd number of games (61, 63, 76) in it. When a set is completed, the players are given a set break. They are free to sit in their chairs and even use the restroom if necessary. After sitting down, if the game sum was even, the players will return to the same side.

Clock Rule

When it came to serving, some players used to take too long between points, and the clock rule was able to put an end to that. The clock rule, which was designed to make tennis matches faster, is one of the most recently developed rules.

Players have 25 seconds between the end of one point and the start of the next, according to the clock rule. After that, the player will lose a serve if he or she takes more than 25 seconds to begin a point. A player receives a warning the first time he or she exceeds the 25-second limit. The receiver must play at the same speed as the server.

Tennis Violations

A violation can result in fines, the loss of points, games, and matches, as well as tournament suspension. Violations are governed by a different set of rules. The major tennis organizations (Association of Tennis Professionals, International Tennis Federation, United States Tennis Association) all have a similar code of conduct, and a player who acts in violation of it is considered to have broken it.

The most frequent tennis violations are:

  • Ball Abuse: When a player hits a ball outside of the point aggressively and purposefully, whether the ball stays on the court or is hit outside the court
  • Racket or Equipment Abuse: When a player hits or throws his racket or other equipment aggressively.
  • Physical Abuse: When a player physically abuses a teammate, an umpire, a spectator, or a member of the staff
  • Verbal Abuse: When a player verbally abuses a teammate, an umpire, a spectator, or a member of the staff
  • Audible Obscenity: If a player says any audible obscenity loudly and clearly enough for others to hear it, regardless of the language,
  • Visible Obscenity: If a player makes an obscene gesture in front of other players,
  • Best Efforts: When a player does not put forth her best effort, it is clear that she is not trying to win the game.
  • Coaching: When a coach gives a player instruction during a game, he is not permitted to do so (see this article for full details)
  • Timing Violation: If a player does not follow the rules governing the match’s rhythm, such as breaking the clock rule or taking too long to return from the restroom, he will be penalized.

If a player commits one of the above violations, the punishments usually follow this pattern: Tennis is regarded as a very refined sport, and players should conduct themselves accordingly. While the above-mentioned rules are the most common, there are others as well.

  • 1st Violation = Warning
  • 2nd Violation = Point Penalty
  • 3rd Violation & Any Subsequent Ones = Game Penalty

Doubles Rules

Second, serving turns in doubles are handled differently. Some rules for doubles are different from those for singles. In a doubles match, however, the same player should not serve twice in a row. So, if player A and player B were playing doubles against player X and player Y, a sample serving rotation would be A, X, B, Y, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, A, X, For one thing, the doubles alleys, as previously mentioned, extend the court. Each doubles pair will serve and receive in the same manner as they would in a singles match. When a set is finished, the players can choose to switch serving turns, which means that a player from a doubles pair could serve last in one set and first in the next.

Once the set begins, the players must remain on those sides until the set is completed. Another rule is that before the set begins, the doubles team must decide who will be responsible for receiving serves on the left and right sides of the court. When a set is finished, players must choose whether or not to switch sides.

Finally, a player’s partner can stand anywhere on the court while serving. Professional tennis players may choose to stay on the same side of the court as the server, whereas beginners usually cover the opposite side.

Unusual Tennis Rules

Many people are unaware of some of the rules listed below, but they do exist. You will be a step ahead of every other tennis player if you understand them.

  • Can’t Touch The Ball The player loses a point if the ball makes contact with any body part or other material. – Although it is usually assumed, a player can only hit the ball to the other side with his racket.
  • Can’t Touch The Net – A player is not allowed to touch another player while a point is in play. The player loses the point if he makes contact with the net, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
  • The racket must make contact with the body of the player.– When hitting a shot, a player’s racket must make contact with his body. Even if the ball is out of reach and the player manages to throw his racket, hit the ball with it, and get the ball onto the opponent’s court, the point is still forfeited because the racket did not touch his body.
  • Players Can’t Make Any Noise If an umpire discovers a violation of this rule, – Tennis players are allowed to grunt, but they are not allowed to make distracting noises. hyndrance This will result in the player who made the noise losing the point.
  • Can Hit The Ball Around The Net A player, on the other hand, cannot hit a shot through the net (that is, if the net has a hole in it and the ball goes through it). This shot is not only legal, but it is also highly skilled. – As long as the shot lands on the opponent’s court, a player can hit a shot around the net.
  • No Ad Rule: This format is intended to make matches go more quickly. The receiving pair in a doubles match gets to choose which player will receive the serve. When a game’s point score is 40 x 40, the player who wins the next point wins the game.

Final Thoughts

Despite the fact that it was a lot, you made it to the end. If you have any additional questions about tennis rules, please leave them in the comments section below and we will respond as soon as possible! If you know the rules listed above, you know more about tennis than the majority of the population.

I had the opportunity to compete in junior and professional tournaments all over the world, and in 2015, I started as the #1 player for Pepperdine University, a fantastic division 1 school. I’ve had the opportunity to play against new generation greats such as Christian Garin, Cameron Norrie, and Kyle Edmund. Oh, and I did once have lunch with Brad Gilbert. I’m very interested in the mental and technical aspects of the game.

Stef Work
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