What are the Rules of Tennis

Tennis is so much more than two people hitting the ball over the net and into the service court. It’s a game with plenty of rules and jargon. So, what are the rules of tennis? How do I understand them?

The set of regulations can get a little complicated for a new player, so we’re going to walk you through the official tennis rules. 

Top 10 General Tennis Rules

general tennis rules
  1. The ball needs to land within the bounds. 
  2. If a player touches the net, he loses a point. 
  3. The athletes or teams can’t carry the ball
  4. Players can’t hit the ball twice.
  5. The receiver has to wait until the ball passes over the net before the receiver can return it.
  6. The player who fails to return a live ball in the service box before it bounces twice loses the score.
  7. You lose a point if the ball makes contact with the athletes. Play tennis and avoid getting a fault.
  8. If the tennis racket leaves the hand, it is considered a penalty on your side.
  9. A ball that bounces on the lines of boundary is okay 
  10. A tennis serve needs to bounce first the receiving player is able to return it.

What’s the Object of the Game?

The sport of tennis is played on a rectangular court.  The sport aims to hit the ball over the net, letting it land within the margins of the tennis court

A tennis match begins with a coin toss. Whoever wins the toss can choose who serves first.

The first person who will serve needs to ensure it lands within the service court. If the serve is out of bounds, then the player loses the point. But how long does a high school tennis game last?

Elements to Consider


A player can play a tennis match on both sides of the court in singles. Meanwhile, it can be played by two players per side in a doubles match. 

The rectangularly shaped court comes with a baseline at the back, services areas with two spaces that go over the net, and it has two tram lines on either side of the court. 

A singles court means you are going to use the inner singles sideline. On the other hand, a doubles match means you are going to use the doubles sideline.

The server needs to land the ball into the service box of the opponent’s court for the play to start. 

The server calls outs the point in tennis scoring to keep everyone updated. It’s the duty of the server in the absence of an official to keep the score

If the server swings and misses it, then it’s a fault.

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You play on a tennis court with four main surfaces.

These surfaces can be made from grass, clay, hard surface, and carpet. 

Depending on the tournament, the surface type varies.

The center mark is responsible for determining the two areas of the tennis court. 

You use a strained tennis racket and a tennis ball. When it comes to racquets, there are different types that you can use based on your skill, such as beginner, intermediate, and advanced, to name a few. 

Tennis equipment


The basic rules of scoring state you need to score four points to win.

It begins with love, meaning zero. (1)If you hit the ball, the first point system is 15, the player wins 30 for the second one, the third point is 40, and the next is the winning point. 

If you and your opponent scores go 40 – 40 on both sides in the game, then a deuce happens. To win a deuce, a tennis player needs to win two points consecutively in a singles match. 

In doubles, the team, whoever scores the point after a deuce, wins the game. If the ball hits the net, you lose one.

Winning the Game

It’s best out of three sets in women. Meanwhile, it’s best out of five sets for men’s matches.

The player who reaches the six games wins the set. In other words, if the opponent’s side wins five games, then you need to win the set 7 – 5.

Having an optimal serve toss is essential to emerging the winner. It’s important to serve in the appropriate service box to avoid an unsuccessful, faulty serve.

To put it simply, win each set, earn more points, have more experience, and you’ll become victorious. As a beginner, you may want to practice tennis drills often so you can get better at playing the game and dealing with pushers, at the same time. .

winning tennis

Wrapping Up the Rules When Playing Tennis

Singles and doubles matches follow all the basic rules of tennis, but the score system is a little bit different in a deuce, which you need to earn a point lead to having the advantage set. 

To win the game of tennis, you need the ball to go over the tennis net and into the service court of your opponent, and remember not to touch the net.

Whether you’re a single-player or team, knowing the rules when playing tennis avoids penalties in your serve and develops your gameplay.


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/word-origin-of-love-in-tennis

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