Tennis Basics

In order to understand how tennis is played, you must first understand the structure of the court. Tennis is played on a clay, grass or hard-court court that is typically 78 feet long and 27 wide. Occasionally the surface is constructed out of concrete or asphalt, and Indoor tennis is typically carpeted. Each surface generates a different result of the game in a special way. Clay courts normally have a ball that travels at a slower place and when contacting the ground, the ball produces a fairy good bounce with more spin. Hard courts are similar except they usually have a fast-pace ball with no spin after making contact with the ground. Grass courts are typically the exact opposite. The ball will be fast- paced and when it makes contact with the ground the ball produces a more spastic bounce. Indoor carpeted courts typically have a very fast-paced ball with a true but low bounce. Each court is marked with lines that designate areas for the game. The lines that run horizontally along the back of the court are called the base lines. These lines indicate how far the court extends to. Service lines are located half way within the court marking where the player should serve from.

The small dash in between each baseline is called the center mark, and it is used to distinguish the two halves (and service boxes) of a tennis court. Lastly, each court is aligned with extra space so the players can reach overrun balls. For both men and women matches, a game is determined through the best 3 out of 5 sets. In order to win a set the first player must win at least four points in total and at least two points more than his or her opponent. The point system is very specific to tennis; Zero is described as “love,” and two through four is “fifteen”, “thirty”, and “forty.” If each player has won three points, the score is than described as “deuce.” At the start of each match the score is announced by the chair umpire or judge and the match begins. The score of a tennis match during play is always read with the serving player’s score first. After a match, the score is always read with the winning player’s score first. At the end of a game, the chair umpire also announces the winner of the game and the overall score.

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