The rules of tennis are established by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is a long and detailed Decalogue of how to play tennis respecting the established rules of the game including every detail. These rules are updated when the tennis federation committee designated by the international federation recommends it.
The idea of this article is to explain the rules of tennis in the most straightforward and friendly way so that it is a quick guide for beginning players who have doubts about the main rules to follow on how to play tennis respecting their rules.
Let’s start with the tennis court
The track is a rectangle of 23.77 meters long by 8.23 meters wide. This track is divided in its half by a suspended net with a height in its central part of 0.914 centimeters, and in its ends, its peak will be of 1.07 meters.
As this article pretends to be a quick guide I prefer to include in an image the other measures so that at a glance you can see them with greater precision and clarity.
The rules of tennis (actions of the tennis court or tennis court)
As you can see in the image the track is delimited by lines that we will call ” Track Lines, ” and these are:
The bottom lines: These are the ones that are farthest from the net, i.e., at the ends of the track delimiting the lower part of it.
The service lines are the lines that cross the track perpendicularly to both sides of the network.
The center lines of the serve: They are the lines that start from the center of the net and are united with the lines of serve forming a “T.”
The lateral lines: They are on both sides of the track, are the longest of all and are divided into lateral lines for singles and doubles.
The central mark: It is a small line that is located in the center of the bottom line that marks the limit to execute the tennis service.
The position of the posts of the network:
For doubles matches, the centers of net poles will be located 0.914 m on each side of the doubles line.
For individual matches, if a net of singles is used, the centers of the net posts shall be 0,914 m outside each side of the single line. If a doubling net is used, then the net will be held at the height of 1.07 m by supports called individual sticks whose centers will be 0.914 m outside each side of the individual line.
Fixed permanent fixtures:
These are all obstacles such as background fences, spectator stands, obstacles at the bottom and sides such as advertising you see at high-level matches, objects that may be on the track, The line judges or the position of the respective places, chair of the referee.
In singles matches played with a doubles network, sticks placed in the net to give the statutory height to an individual net are considered accessories.
The tennis ball:
The international tennis federation has specified in the rules of tennis how the ball should be and to avoid confusion publish an official list of tennis balls approved by the ITF.
It is important to mention that if competition is held. The organizer must communicate in advance to the participants the number of balls they will use in the match (2,3,4) and how will the ball exchange policy be if they wish to include it. For Example, every two sets make changes of balls or as they consider.
The tennis rackets:
Tennis rules also regulate tennis rackets according to the ITF guidelines, and for this reason, it has created Appendix II which is quite long, and as this is meant to be a quick guide, I will not treat it. The main brands of tennis rackets, all usually meet the rules of tennis, so it is not necessary to detail them here. These tennis racket brands are Babolat, Wilson, Prince, Head, Yonex, Dunlop, Adidas, Tecnifibre. If I leave any important mark outside, remind me in the comments section to include it, so we will make this article more complete with the passage of time.
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The Point is Lost When:
When the ball goes out of bounds, for example, if you are playing individual and fall in the doubles hall, or for example falls behind the baseline, or in the server falls outside the Corresponding box at that time.
When a player fails to return the ball over the net, and this is left on his side.
When the ball bounces twice in a row in the same field, it is known as a second boat and loses the point if it lets it bounce twice before hitting it.
When the server makes two mistakes or consecutive fouls, it is known as a double fault.
When the ball strikes the player or anything he carries, except his racket, which if he happens he must follow the point and his ball enters the opponent’s track, or he will lose the point.
When the player throws his racket towards the ball and hits it, without it being held by the hand is also considered to lose the point even though it passes the net.
The score in the games:
The games are scored with 0, 15, 30, 40 and Game taking into account that always says the points that have the player that is taking in that game. When a player does not have any points won in that game it is said that he has 0 (zero), then when that same player wins his first point of that game will have the score of 15 (fifteen). When that same player wins his second point The score of 30 (thirty) and when he wins his third point will have the score of 40 (40). If he wins in that same game, a fourth point is made with the game as long as the opponent does not also score 40. It gives this case would not be done with the game but with the advantage score in your favor and if you win the next point immediately. If you do with the game and if you lose is point back to 40-40 both players.
The objective of the game is that one of the players or the pair of doubles is made with six games won to win a set, and if they win two sets they are made with the match if the best of three sets are played. In case they equate to 5 games (5-5), they would be the first to win two consecutive games in a row to win 7-5 and get the set. If they equate to six games and have been determined before the match, they play Tie-Break sets have to resolve the tie with a Tie-Break. It starts from scratch by counting the points as 1,2,3,4. So the First player to win 7 points wins the set in the form of Tie-Break whenever there are 2 points above the opponent (example: 7.3, 7-5, 8-6, 12-10, etc), the game Of the tie-break will continue until that margin of two points is reached above one of the other,
Next, I invite you to see a historical Tie-Break between Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, and thus you will see how a tie-break can be even greater than 7 points until achieving the difference of 2 points one of the two players.
The player to whom he draws in the tie-break will be the server of the first point of the tie-break game. The next two points will be served by the opponent or opposites (in doubles, the player of the opposing team to which he will serve later). After this, each player or team will alternately serve two consecutive points until the end of the tie-break game (in doubles, the rotation of the service within each team will continue in the same order maintained during the set).
The player or team he touches first serve in the tie-break game will be the subtractor (the one who returns the serve) in the first game of the next set.
If before the game it has been agreed that Tie-Breaks will not be played but “Sets of Advantage” will be played, this means that the first player or pair of doubles who wins six games wins the set, but as long as they win with a minimum of 2 Games over the rival. It is that if they go 5-5, it will be that they win the next two consecutive and finish 7-5, but if they equalize to 6-6, there is no tie-break because it has been determined by the organizers of the tournament and it will be who wins 8 -6 in this case. As you see these sets can make eternal.
But for eternal matches, I share with you the longest game in tennis history, 11 hours and 5 minutes of the game and so you see how a tie-break can be extended well above the 7 points that are established until the difference is made Of 2 points above the rival there is no end of it.
The rules of tennis establish that a game can play the best of three sets, i.e., win the first to win two sets or can play the best of five sets, i.e., the first to win three sets wins the match. In the longest game in history was a Wimbledon match where he plays the best of 5 sets and here Isner wins his third set in the fourth set of the game. He wins it in a Tie-Break that ends 70-68 for Isner.
The server (the one that takes out) and the subtractor (the one that returns the serve) will be placed each of opposite sides of the network. The server is the first to hit the ball and put it into play, and the subtractor is the one prepared to return the ball taken out by the server.
The rules to be taken into account by the server are:
Always start by performing the first service or take the game from the right of the central mark.
The score that is sung in the first place in the game is that of the server or server, that is to say, who is taking out.
It will alternate the start of each point with the service from the right and left of the central mark.
The server cannot step on or enter the play area before hitting the ball in the service. If this situation occurs, he is sanctioned with a “lack of foot” in that ball.
The server cannot let the ball drop to perform the service, i.e. the service is a blow that runs without a boat.
The server cannot remove while the subtractor is not ready.
You have 25 seconds to make the serve.
In doubles, each player must serve during a complete game, and each team alternates the service shifts. A player on the same team cannot take two turns in a row.
At the end of the “game,” the server becomes subtractor and the subtractor in the server and thus alternately in all subsequent games.
To choose who draws and who remains in the first game of the game is to draw, this draw can be done by the referee or the players themselves. You can throw a coin for the raffle or do it by turning the racket, and each chooses M or W in the case of a Wilson racket for example or Up or Down with other brands.
The side changes will be made at the end of the first game, the third, the fifth game and consecutive odd games of each set. Another way to remember very easy if there is the change of side or not is to add your games and those of your rival, and if you give an odd number, there is a change of side. It will also change sides at the end of each set unless the total number of games in that set is even so that the change will be made at the end of the first set of the next set.
In the Tie-Break, the side change will occur after every 6 points.
The balls that fall in the lines are considered sound as if they fell on the track.
The balls that touch the net during the throw and fall in the correct box must be repeated that opportunity of withdrawal, with this I mean that if it happens in the first serve is repeated and you are still two servers, and if you happen in the second serve, He only has that second serve. If on the other hand, it touches the net after taking out and falls outside the box of serve is considered bad and will have to take the second serve if that was the first or will commit double fault if it was his second serve.
If during the point dispute (the service is not included in this section) it touches the net and enters the court. It is considered good and must continue to play so the respondent to that ball should try not to throw twice or lose the point. If you touch the net and go off-piste, it is considered bad, and you will lose the point.
From the page of history: Best tennis players in history
So far, I finish with this quick guide to tennis rules, so that beginner player who wants to know the most important aspects know how to play tennis without skipping the basic rules of the game.
If somebody wants to contribute some rules of the tennis but that there has not included, welcome it and so we are completing the article with the comments of all.
A powerful hug and I hope this quick guide helps those who are starting in tennis.