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How To Play Tennis - Tennis Introduction

Dec 11, 2007
Always wanted to learn how to play tennis, but have no idea where to begin? The best way to learn is to take a few classes or find a friend who knows how to play and hit the courts. But, if you're afraid of looking like a novice, look over these basic rules and game tips before hitting the courts:

-The basic equipment needed: a racquet, tennis balls, and a tennis court.

-The lines painted on the court are: Service Lines: The closest parallel lines to the net (on either side of the net). Baseline: The parallel line furthest from the net is called the baseline. The Alleys: The two long strips on both sides of the court, perpendicular to the net.

In singles tennis, the alleys are considered "out" so, if the ball bounces in them, it does not count. But, in doubles play, the alleys are "in."

-Each game starts with a serve. The serving player starts behind the baseline on his right-hand side of the court and hits the ball into the service box (the box on the opposite side of the court between the alley and the middle court) on the other side.

-The ball must bounce once in this box for it to be considered a good serve.

-A server always gets two tries to hit the box.. If he misses both times, his opponent gets a point.

-If the serve goes in, the person returning must hit the serve either before it bounces (if he knows that the ball would be in) or after it bounces once. If it bounces more than once, the server gets one point.

The person returning must hit the ball over the net, and it can bounce anywhere on the opponent's side of the court.

-The two players hit the ball back and forth until one person misses -The person who did not miss gets a point.

-The server switches sides for every serve.

-A player wins a game after scoring at least four points and wins by two.

-The next game, the other person serves and they continue to switch off, game after game, until someone wins the set. Generally, to win a set, a player must win at least six games, and two more than his opponent.

-A match is made up of a number of sets with player with the most sets winning the match.

Remember, this is only a basic way to play tennis, there are many other strategies and rules to learn to play a "real" professional style game. Regardless, just batting a few balls around can be fun and a great way to exercise!
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