How Tennis is Played: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners


Hey readers, welcome to the ultimate guide on how tennis is played! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your tennis journey, this article will provide you with all the essential information you need to understand and enjoy this exciting sport. So grab a racquet, a ball, and let’s dive in!

The Basics of Tennis

The Court

Tennis is played on a rectangular court divided into two halves by a net. The court is typically made of clay, hard court, or grass. The baseline, the line at the back of the court, is 27 feet from the net, while the service line, the line in front of the baseline, is 21 feet from the net.

The Equipment

The primary equipment for tennis is a racquet and a ball. The racquet is made of a rigid frame with strung wire and a handle. The ball is made of rubber or foam and is covered with felt.

Playing the Game


The game starts with a serve. The server stands behind the baseline and hits the ball over the net into the opposite service court. The serve must land diagonally opposite the server and bounce before the receiver hits it.

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The receiver tries to return the serve by hitting it back over the net and into the opposite half of the court. The return can be a groundstroke, where the ball is hit after it bounces, or a volley, where the ball is hit before it bounces.

Game Play


The game of tennis is played in sets. Each set consists of six games. To win a game, a player must score four points. Points are scored when the opponent fails to return the ball, hits the ball out of bounds, or commits a fault.


The player with more games at the end of the set wins the set. The first player to win two sets wins the match. If the score is tied at 6-6, a tiebreaker is played to determine the winner of the set.

Advanced Techniques


Groundstrokes are the most common type of shot in tennis. They are typically hit after the ball bounces. There are two main types of groundstrokes: the forehand and the backhand.

Serve and Volley

The serve and volley is a strategy in tennis where the server comes to the net after hitting the serve and attempts to volley the return. This tactic is used to take control of the point and put pressure on the opponent.

Table Breakdown: Court Dimensions

Court Surface Baseline Length Service Line Length
Clay 78 feet 60 feet
Hard Court 78 feet 60 feet
Grass 86 feet 78 feet


There you have it, readers! This comprehensive guide covers the essentials of how tennis is played. From the basics of the court and equipment to advanced techniques, this article provides a solid foundation for understanding and enjoying this thrilling sport.

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If you’re eager to learn more about tennis or explore other sports-related topics, be sure to check out our other articles!

Additional info about service

toss the ball up

Lift the ball in the air, using either hand, at least as high as the shoulder and not higher than the maximum height allowed.

Hit the ball when it falls

Use your racket to hit the ball when it’s between your waist and shoulder.

Additional info about fault

serve mistakes

A fault occurs when the server fails to get the ball into the correct service court, hits the net, or fails to hit the ball at all.

foot fault

A foot fault may be called if the server’s foot touches the baseline before they hit the ball.

Additional info about court

the baseline

The baseline is the line at the back of the court. A player must hit the ball before it bounces twice past the baseline.

service line

The service line is the line that runs parallel to the net, dividing the court into two halves.

Additional info about equipment


A tennis racket is a strung frame used to strike the ball. Players can choose rackets with different head sizes, weights, and grip sizes to suit their playing style.

tennis ball

Tennis balls are made of rubber and covered with felt. They are designed to bounce consistently and withstand the impact of repeated hitting.

Additional info about technique


A forehand is a stroke where the player hits the ball with the palm of their hand facing forward.


A backhand is a stroke where the player hits the ball with the back of their hand facing forward.

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Additional info about scoring


A game is won by the first player to reach four points and be ahead by at least two points.


A set is won by the first player to reach six games and be ahead by at least two games.

Additional info about strategy

serve and volley

Serve and volley is a strategy where the player serves and then moves to the net to volley the opponent’s return.

baseline play

Baseline play involves staying at the back of the court and hitting groundstrokes until an opportunity arises to hit a winning shot.