How to play tennis

  • Raluca G 

Tennis is a popular and enjoyable sport that can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. This article will cover everything you need to know to start playing tennis, including the rules, equipment, and techniques.


To play tennis, you will need some basic equipment, including a tennis racquet, tennis balls, appropriate shoes, and comfortable clothing. Let’s take a closer look at each of these items:

  • Tennis racquet: A tennis racquet is a long, narrow frame with a tightly strung netting that is used to hit the ball. Racquets come in a variety of sizes, weights, and materials, so it’s essential to find the one that suits you best.
  • Tennis balls: Tennis balls are typically yellow in colour and are used to play the game. They are made of rubber and covered in felt.
  • Shoes: Tennis requires a lot of running, jumping, and lateral movement, so it’s essential to have appropriate shoes. Tennis shoes have a sturdy sole and are designed to provide support and stability.
  • Clothing: Tennis players typically wear comfortable, lightweight clothing that allows for a full range of movement.

Rules of Tennis

Now that you have your equipment let’s take a closer look at the rules of tennis. The game is played on a rectangular court that measures 78 feet long and 36 feet wide. The court is divided into two halves by a net, and each half is called a “court.”

The game begins with a serve, which is hit from behind the baseline and must land in the opposite court. The server gets two attempts to make a legal serve. If the serve is not legal on the first attempt, the player gets another try.

Once the ball is in play, the objective is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court without the ball bouncing twice. If the ball lands outside the court, hits the net, or bounces twice, the point goes to the opponent.

Scoring in Tennis

Scoring in tennis can be a bit confusing, but it’s not too difficult once you understand the basic rules. A game is won when a player reaches four points and is at least two points ahead of their opponent. The points are scored as follows:

Love: 0 points

15: 1 point

30: 2 points

40: 3 points

Game: 4 points (if you are ahead by at least two points)

If both players reach 40 points, it’s called “deuce,” and the game continues until one player is ahead by two points.

Tennis Techniques

Tennis requires a combination of physical skill and mental strategy. Here are some basic techniques to help you get started:

1. Grip: Hold the racquet with a comfortable grip, using your dominant hand. There are several types of grips, including the Eastern, Western, and Continental.

2. Serve: The serve is one of the most important shots in tennis. Stand behind the baseline, toss the ball in the air, and hit it with a smooth, fluid motion.

3. Forehand: The forehand is a powerful shot that is hit with the dominant hand. Make sure to keep your eye on the ball and swing the racquet in a smooth, fluid motion.

4. Backhand: The backhand is a shot that is hit with the non-dominant hand. Practice your footwork and focus on keeping your wrist firm.

5. Volleys: Volleys are shots that are hit before the ball bounces on your side of the court. To execute a volley, step forward toward the net and use a short, compact stroke to hit the ball back over the net. This is a great shot to use when your opponent hits a weak or short ball.

6. Overheads: Overheads are shots that are hit when the ball is high in the air above your head. To execute an overhead, move quickly to get under the ball, and use a smooth, powerful swing to hit the ball over the net. This shot is often used to put away an easy ball that your opponent has hit high in the air.

7. Footwork: Footwork is a critical part of tennis, and it’s essential to be able to move quickly and efficiently around the court. Practice moving forward, backwards, and side to side, and focus on keeping your feet light and quick.

8. Strategy: Tennis is not just about hitting the ball back and forth – it’s also about strategy. Pay attention to your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and try to hit shots that will force them out of their comfort zone. Use a mix of shots, including slices, topspin, and lobs, to keep your opponent off-balance.

9. Mental Game: Tennis can be a mentally challenging sport, and it’s essential to stay focused and positive. Try to stay in the present moment and not get too caught up in mistakes or missed shots. Visualize yourself hitting the ball well and focus on your breathing to stay calm and centred.

In addition to these techniques and strategies, it’s also important to practice regularly and play with other people who are at or above your skill level. This will help you improve your game and learn new skills and strategies.

Finally, remember to have fun! Tennis is a great sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re playing competitively or just for fun, focus on enjoying the game and the process of getting better.

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