Tennis is a sport that’s played by hitting a ball with a racket and it can be played individually (singles) or in doubles. It’s played on a court with prescribed dimensions and they are different for singles and doubles. Points are awarded to a player or a team every time the opponent doesn’t manage to return the ball correctly within the court.

Tennis match
Tennis Match

Tennis is well known as an Olympic sport and its played at all ages and society levels. When it started out, it was known as lawn tennis and in Britain its still often referred as such. However, at the moment, tennis is played on several different surfaces.

Tennis History

According to historians a game that had a similar play style appeared in Northern France during the 12th century. Although back then the ball was struck with the palm of the hand. It was Louis X of France who was the first to start constructing indoor courts because he didn’t like to play the game outside. At some point during the 16th century, rackets started being used and the game became known as Tennis.

Modern tennis first emerged somewhere between 1859 and 1965. At that time, Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera combined elements from different sports and created what was known as “lawn tennis”. They also started the first tennis club. In the following years it was Walter Clopton Wingfield, a British army officer who made the sport more popular.

Tennis History
1914 International Lawn Tennis Challenge

He created nets, poles, rackets, and balls for playing tennis and he sent the all around the world. On top of that, they were playing by the rules he came up with. In 1874, the first tournament was held at the Leamington Lawn Tennix Club in Birmingham. Three years later the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club organized a tournament at Wimbledon. This tournament finished with a large debate on how some of the rules need to be changed and standardized.

Tennis Rules

The rules in tennis largely depend on what type of game you are playing, on what type of court, and other important factors. To begin with, lets cover the basics of tennis play, and what you need to do in order to win a match.

How to Play

The goal is to hit the ball with the racket and send it to the other side. The ball must hit the opponents field, and it keeps going back and forth until one of the players doesn’t hit the ball or makes a mistake.

Depending on the tournament, a tennis match can be composed of 2 or 3 sets. Sometimes a player needs to win 2 sets to end the game, but on the big tournaments, the player needs to win 3 sets. During a set, the goal is to to reach 6 won gems first. To win a set, the player must have at least 2 more gems than the other player.

For instance, if the set is 5:5, additional gems will be played until one of them wins by a margin of 2. In this case, 7:5 would win a won set for one of the players. On the other hand, if the set is 6:6, something called a “tie break” is played. Its like an extra game and whoever wins it, wins the set.

Tennis Rules
Tennis Court Rules

The rule count of each game goes as follows: 15, 30, 40. For the first point the player gets 15, then it goes to 30, then 40 and the next one wins the gem. If both players get 40, it is called deuce and the gem can’t be won until one of them gains an advantage of 2 points.


In a tennis match, there are different types of judges and there are around 12 of them. The judges are divided into a chair judge, network judge, center line and side judges, service judges and serve judges. Each of them has a special task during the match.

  • Chair Judge – This is the main judge and he is commanding the whole match. He takes care of the score and can reverse other judge’s decisions. On top of that, he can give warnings, suspensions, and take away points.
  • Network Judge – Checks whether the ball touched the net during a serve. At the moment, most tournaments use an electronic device as an additional aid.
  • Service Judge – There are two service judges. They make sure the players don’t step on the service lines when they serve.
  • Serving Judge – This judge is located a bit further back and he sees if the player’s serve hasn’t left the service line.
  • Central Line Judge – Two central line judges make sure that the serve hits the correct side of the court.
  • Line Judges – There are four line judges, two at both sides of the court. They make sure that the service entered the service area, and notify the chair judge if it doesn’t.
  • Court Judge – This is a judge that can suspend the game because of bad weather. He can also disqualify a player if he does something unsportsmanlike.

Besides the judges, you will notice there are several ball catchers around the court. They make sure there are no balls on the playing field, and they give the balls to the players.

Tennis Court

Tennis is played on a rectangular field that’s measured in two ways, depending if its a singles or a doubles match. For singles the measurements are 23,77 meters length and 8,23 meters width. For doubles only the width changes to 10,97 meters.

Court Dimensions

The field is divided by a net and there is space of 6,4 meters on each side of the net. This space is divided in two and is known as the service area. Tennis courts have different surfaces where matches are played.


The soil on a clay court is composed of clay and brick dust, among other things. Its the slowest court, both for the players who are running and the ball when it hits the ground. Depending on the attributes of a tennis player, this court can bring them an advantage or a disadvantage.

Clay Court
Clay/Earth Tennis Court


This is definitely a faster court compared to the clay one. However, there are often small irregularities because the ball can react unnaturally when it hits the grass.

Grass Court
Grass Tennis Court


This tennis court is better known as hard floor. Its also faster than the clay court and it can be made from different materials. There are examples of hardcourts being made from cement, tartan, asphalt, and even wood.

Tennis Hard Floor

Tennis Tournaments

There are a couple of different categories of tournaments when it comes to tennis. The main rankings are calculated in the ATP ranking where the first tennis player is the best player for that year. Also, people can bet on all tournaments and the variations for tennis bets are way too many. Sports Betting on tennis is very popular all around the world.

The best and most important tournaments are called “Grand Slam”. There are 4 Grand Slams in total (Rolland Garros, Australian Open, US Open, and Wimbledon). All the best tennis players aim to win all 4 tournaments in a single year. That’s the single greatest achievement a tennis player can obtain.

Besides the Grand Slams, there are other tournaments like the 1000 Masters, 500 Masters, and 250 Masters. The names these tournaments carry explain the number of points a player gets if he wins the tournament.

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