A tennis tutorial: How to play and what to watch

A tennis tutorial: How to play and what to watch

A tennis tutorial: How to play and what to watch The Ultimate Lineup

Tennis is a sport that has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world for over a century. It is a game that requires skill, agility, and endurance. Tennis can be played individually or in teams of two and is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. The sport has a rich history and has produced some of the most iconic athletes in the world of sports.  Let’s take a look at this worldwide sport.

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player or team that wins the greatest number of sets wins the match. A set consists of a sequence of games played with alternating service and return roles. A game consists of a sequence of points played with the same player serving, and is won by the first player to have won at least four points and at least two points more than their opponent. The scoring system is different for singles and doubles matches.

Game:  A standard game consists of a minimum of 4 points. The score of the server is called first, and goes as follows:

No point = “Love” | First point = “15” | Second Point = “30” | Third Point = “40” | Fourth Point = “Game”

For example, if the server wins the first point, the score is “15 – Love”. If the receiver wins the first point, the score will be “Love – 15”. The game is won when a player wins 4 points with at least 2 clear points. If each player wins three points, the score will be “40-40”. This is known as “DEUCE”. After Deuce, the score will be “ADVANTAGE” to the player who wins the point. If that same player wins the next point, they will win the game. If they lose the point, the score will return to Deuce.

Set:  A Set consists of 6 Games and is won by the first player to reach 6 games, with at least a 2 game lead.

At the start of a set, Player A will serve for the duration of the first game. The players will then switch ends of the court, and Player B will then commence serving. After this, the player will continue to switch ends every 2 games.  If a set goes to 5-5, the set will be extended to 7.  If the set reaches 6-6, the winner of the set will be determined in a “Tie break”.

Tie Break: In a Tie break, a player must win 7 points with at least a 2 point lead. The first player to win the 7 points, provided there is a margin of two points over the opponent, will win the Tie break and the Set. Regarding the serve, Player A will serve for the first point, with the serve alternating every two points after that.

Match: A regular match will usually be played to the best of 3 sets, with either player requiring 2 sets to win the match.  The format/length of a match will depend on the event played. In professional matches, men’s and women’s matches are played to the best of 3 sets.

Hundreds of tennis tournaments are held all over the world each year, but there are four major tournaments in tennis, collectively known as the Grand Slam. The Grand Slam tournaments attract the most talented tennis players from around the world.   An athlete who manages to take all four Grand Slam titles is said to have a “Grand Slam.”

The term “Grand Slam” in reference to these four major tournaments has been used since 1933.  The four Grand Slam tournaments are: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. The tournaments are spread out across the year. The Australian Open was first held in 1905, in Melbourne, Australia. It is traditionally held in January, during the peak of summer in the southern hemisphere.  The French Open was established as a national tournament in 1891, becoming international in 1925. It is held in May/June in Paris. In June/July, the major tournaments hop across the English Channel to England for The Championships, Wimbledon, which has been held since 1877. The US Open, established in 1881, happens in New York City in September.

Some of the most famous tennis players include Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer.

Learn more about the rules for tennis and the current tournaments:


Tennis Scoring: Points, Sets & Games | Tennis Rules | USTA