Rules and description
Tennis is a racket and ball game for two or four players, played on a rectangular court, 78 x 27ft/23.77 x 8l.3m wide (36ft/10.97m for doubles). Players on opposite sides of the court score points by serving or hitting a ball over a 3ft/91.4cm high net which divides the court so it cannot be returned, or by the opponent’s shot landing out of the court or failing to clear the net.
Each point begins with a serve, where the ball is thrown up into the air and hit diagonally across the net to the opponent. The server continues to serve a minimum of four points until a game is won. These four points are called “fifteen”, “thirty”, “forty” and “game”. There must be at least a two-point margin for a game to be won. If the score reaches forty each, “deuce” is called; the first player to secure a two-point margin after this wins the game.
Games are grouped into “sets” with a player awarded a set when they win six games, provided a two-game margin is secured. If the set reaches six games apiece, a tie-break is played. The first player to win seven points in the “tie-break”, with at least a two-point margin, wins the set. Matches are decided on a best of three-set basis, or best of five in major men’s championships.