Want to know the basics of how to play tennis? Whether you are new, or have played before but need some refreshments, you are in the right place.
Tennis can seem complicated, with a unique scoring system that includes words like ‘love’ and ‘deuce’.
But playing tennis is really simple, and here we break it down into steps to help you get started right away.
Playing Tennis in 3 Simple Steps
Before you begin – Singles or Doubles. You can play tennis 1v1 (Singles) or 2v2 (Doubles). If you are playing Singles, any ball hitting the Singles Sideline (in Doubles Alley) is out of bounds. For Doubles, you can use the full court.
Deliver the ball over the net, across the court, to the Deuce Court Service box (the box to your left, and your opponent’s right). Allows you 2 attempts per delivery to get the ball to Court Service.
If the ball hits the Net but still lands in the correct Service Box, it is called “Let,” and allows you to deliver another. If it is on your first delivery, it allows you 2 more attempts. If in your second, another test allows you.
Press the ball back and forth until one of you or the net reaches it. A ball will only be called if it falls completely out of the boundary line. If the ball touches any part of the line, it is still inside.
The first point is awarded to the player who does not hit the ball outside the game. For the second point of the game, you will serve from the left side of the court, to your opponent Ad Box Service Box (as seen below in the image).
Alternate delivery from the right and left sides of the court after each point is earned. If you are confused about which part of the court you should serve, here is a helpful tip:
You always serve from the right side of the court (or Deuce Court) for the first service, if the score is tied, or if the total number of points earned (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, not 15, 30, etc.) is an equal number.
Otherwise, you deliver from the left side of the court (or Ad Court).
Step 2 – Scoring points
The game starts with “Love everyone,” meaning both players or teams have 0 points. Here is a breakdown of the tennis scoring system.
0 points = “Love”
1 point = 15
2 points = 30
3 points = 40
4 points = 45
Before each delivery, the player delivering calls the score, starting with their own score. For example, if you have 2 points, and your opponent is zero, you will call, “30 – Love.”
If you are tied to 40, call, “Deuce.” It was called Deuce Point. Since you must win 2 points in Tennis, a player or team must win 2 more consecutive points to win the game.
If you win at Deuce Point, it will be your advantage, and you will be called “Ad-In.” Then you just need to win another point to win the game.
If your opponent wins at Deuce Point, call “Ad-Out.” And then your opponent needs another point to win the game.
To win the game, a player must score 45 points and / or win their Ad-In point.
Step 3 – Game, Set, Match
If you are just playing for fun, you can stop after the game, or start again.
But officially in tennis, there are many games in one set, and a number of sets to win a match. Usually it is something like Best of 6 games wins a set, and Best of 3 sets wins the battle.
Depending on the contest, these numbers will vary.
You can play the best 5 game sets, best 3 game sets, or whatever suits your availability and endurance.