Basic things to know about tennis
Tennis is the kind of sport that doesn’t require much equipment. In fact, finding the right equipment can oftentimes be the easiest part of getting ready to play the sport. What can be more difficult is finding the right partner to play with and learning the skills needed to do well. Tennis is a sport of precision and endurance, neither of which can be learned in a day. With the proper training, however, anyone can become a good—even great—tennis player. The rules of the game are fairly straightforward, and vary only slightly for doubles games.
First, in choosing a partner, it is recommended you select someone who is on-par with you. Select someone who plays close to your own ability or someone slightly better. It is best to select a challenging opponent rather than someone whom you will easily win against.
After you choose a partner, the rules of the game are fairly simple. In tennis, two people stand on opposite sides of a tennis court, rackets in hand. One person starts off the game, called a ‘match,’ by serving the ball to the other side. During the serve, the ball must fall within the opposite square on the other side of the net. The other player must return the ball to the server before it bounces a second time. The two opponents volley the ball back and forth until one of them misses or until the ball falls out of bounds. At that point, the ball is out of play and the person who won the rally gets a point. This continues until the end of the match, with the players switching service back and forth after each ‘game.’
Scoring can be one of the most confusing aspects of tennis because it uses a non-traditional scoring system. Matches are composed of sets and sets are composed of games. Games are won when a player scores four points, or wins four rounds of rallying. The first point is called 15, the second is 30, the third is 40 and the fourth is 1. Zero points is considered ‘love.’ When both the serving player and his opponent score 40 within one game, the score is considered “deuce” and either player must score an additional two points to win the game.
Professional tennis matches are played in either sets of three or five. Men’s tennis is played to five sets, and women’s tennis is played to three. Generally, a player wins if they win six matches in a set. However, the player can only win the set if they win by a difference of two. In some cases, the match can last as long as it takes for this to happen. The longest match ever played was in 2010 at Wimbledon, when John Isner faced off against Nicolas Mahut in a match whose last set ended in a 70 to 68 score! So, as you can see, matches are sometimes played to extreme lengths until one player wins over the other by a difference of two.
The scoring system and the rules of tennis may take a little time to get used to, but it is all worth it in the end. Tennis is a game of strategy and endurance and people who can master these aspects can become great players.
Kent Wrotham - About Author:
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