An Overview of the Basics of Tennis

Mark Izydore
3 min readMay 7, 2022


Tennis is a sport where two players (singles) or two pairs of players (doubles) use slickly strung rackets to smash a ball of a specific size, weight, bouncing it over a net on a rectangular court. The game was formerly known as lawn tennis because it was played on grass courts in the Victorian era. Tennis is organized and played according to regulations set by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the sport’s global governing body.

The game’s origins may be traced back to a 12th-century French handball game known as jeu de paume (“game of the palm”), from which a complicated indoor racket-and-ball game known as genuine tennis evolved.

The modern game of tennis’s most rapid growth as a participant and spectator sport began in the late 1960s when major championships were opened to both professionals and amateurs. This growth continued in the 1970s when television channels of the expanding pro tournament circuits and the rise of some notable players broadened the game’s appeal.

The objective of the game of tennis is to hit the ball over the net and place it within the court’s borders in such a way that your opponent is unable to return the ball. Every time an opponent cannot return the ball within the court, the other player gains a point.

A singles match is played with one player on each side, while a doubles match is played with two players on each side. A baseline (at the back), service areas (two places just over the net where a successful serve must land), and two tram lines (on either side) make up the rectangular court. When playing singles, players will be on the inner tram line, and players will be on the outer tram line when playing doubles.

Grass, clay, hard surface, and carpet are the four main surfaces on which a game of tennis can be played. Each competition will stick to a single surface type throughout. A stringed racket and a tennis ball are all the necessary equipment.

To win a tennis match, a player must score four points. The points are 15 ( one point), 30 (two points), and 40 (three points), with the fourth resulting in the winning point and the game’s conclusion. If the score is 40–40, it is called a deuce. When a game reaches deuce, players must win by a margin of at least two points.

Tennis regulations change (though essentially identical) for singles and doubles matches. The general rules of tennis include the ball must land within boundaries; if a player strikes the ball outside of bounds, they will lose a point. Players and teams cannot touch the net or posts or cross over to the other team’s side.

The ball cannot be carried or caught with the racket by the players or teams. Players are not allowed to strike the ball twice. Players must wait until the ball has passed over the net before returning it. A player loses a point if they do not return a live ball before it bounces twice. Also, it is a penalty if the ball strikes or touches the players.

A penalty is imposed if the racket leaves the player’s grasp or verbal abuse occurs. Any ball that bounces on the boundary lines is considered a good ball. Before the receiving player can return a serve, it must first bounce.



Mark Izydore

Based in both Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and Jupiter, Florida, Mark Izydore has served CJ Consultants in Jupiter as a co-manager since 2020.