Main Body

2. Rules

Tennis has many intricate rules and regulations. The USTA has done a nice job of teasing out the most basic rules and explaining them in a short illustrated overview, along with presenting many resources to improve your game.
Below are some basic rules you will need to know:

  • Tennis players play in a Match. Within the match there are Sets, which in turn consists of Games.
  • A match can be played to the best of 3 sets or 5 sets. A player must win by 2 sets to win the match.
  • Tennis can be played in singles which is 1 player vs 1 player or doubles is a format of 2 players vs 2 players.
  • Scoring in a game can often be confusing, key terms such as love or deuce are not used in other sports and therefore are not familiar to most people. Checkout the following table to understand how to score in tennis.
Scoring Terms Points
No Point Love
First Point 15
Second Point 30
Third Point 40
Fourth Point Game
Deuce Tied at 40-40
  • Players stand at opposite ends of the net. Players will change ends at the end of the first, third, and odd game of each set.
  • The server starts from the right half of the court in every game.
  • The ball is allowed one bounce on each side and remains in play from the moment of service to when it lands out of bounds. If the ball touches the line it is considered in.

Checkout the website to learn all of the USTA rules in more depth.

Feeling overwhelmed by all those rules? Click here for illustrations of rules by USTA.


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Ch.1 - Tennis Copyright © by UGA PEDB Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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