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How To Play Tennis

The bacics - learning how to play the game of tennis:

Tennis is played between two players or teams.
Each "set" is defined as playing a single period until there is a winner.  In match play, multiple sets are played to determine the winner of a "match."

Tennis can be played in the following format:
Singles - Between two individual players.
Doubles - Between four players, two to each side (all women or all men).
Mixed doubles - Between four players, two to each side (male/femal teams).

One player starts each set as the server, and the opposing player is the receiver.

To start each point, the server stands behind his baseline, between the center mark and the sideline (see Anatomy of the Tennis Court).  The receiver may stand ready to return the serve anywhere behind his side of the net.

A legal serve requires that the ball leaves the server's racquet and travels over the net without touching it, and into the diagonally opposite service court.



If the ball does hit the net during a serve, but lands in the receiver's court, then this is called a let service, which stops play, but does allow the server to re-attempt his serve.  If the serve goes over the net, but does not land within the receiver's service court, this is called a fault, and then provides the server with one more chance to serve successfully.

If the second serve is also faulty, this is called a double fault and the receiver wins the point. 

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