Welcome to the Tennis (phy141) Wiki!

This page is created by Jermaine Thomas for PHY 141. In this wiki, I will explain the instructions and rules in a tennis match. Then I will explain how to serve a tennis ball during a match.

Basic Tennis Match Rules Edit


In the photo the right, a standard tennis court is pictured. First, I will explain the different points of the court. Then, I will continue to explain the points system. Following the explanation of the points system, I will explain the serving system, which side to serve on at what point, second serves and terminology, including "faults" and "lets".

Let's start with the sidelines. Depending on whether the match is a singles match, (one on one) or a doubles match, (two on two) the sidelines are different. For a singles match, the horizontal sidelines are 27 ft away from each other, and for doubles match the horizontal sidelines are 36 ft away from each other. The baseline, the furthest line parallel to the net, is 39 ft away. The next line, the service line is 21 ft away from the net. Between the service line and the net, are the service courts, which are both 13ft 6in in width and 21 ft in length. In the photo, you can see that the left service court is also known as the advantage court and the right service court is also known as the deuce court.

Next, we're going to explain the point system. Specifically, we're going to explain the terminology game, set, and match, according to The beginning point is called love, the first point is 15 or 5, the second point is 30, the third point is 40, and the fourth point is 45 points or the "game" point. For a game to be complete the player that reached the fourth point must win by at least two points. If not, meaning both players make it to the third point, then the game enters what is called a deuce. To end a deuce and complete the game, one player must win two consecutive points. Each game counts as a number in the competition to win a set. Sets are a group of games played out in the best of six, winning once again, requires winning a two-game margin at minimum. Sets are a part of matches. Which are completed when one person when the majority of sets, 2 out of 3, or 3 out of 5. The number of sets depends on the game, most men's grand slam tournaments are out of 5 sets.

When serving, the first point is always contested from the right baseline. During a serve, the goal is to have the ball land in the opposite serving box on the opponent's court. If the ball lands on the white lines in the opposite service box, it still is in bounds. If not, the ball is called a fault. Since every point allows the server two attempts, you still have 1 chance after the first fault. But if the player faults twice in a row, they lose that point. If a ball were to hit the net, but land in the correct service box it is called a "let". The server is allowed unlimited lets.

How to Serve Edit

In this section of the wiki, we will coach you through serving a tennis ball on the beginners level. First, we're going to explain how to serve a ball in the most basic terms. Following, we're going to explain different tactics to remain safe while playing tennis and health impacts of serving. Then, we'll explain the art of grunting and how it impacts the match. In closing, we will discuss the importance of having fun and self-confidence when playing tennis.

According to, the easiest serve to learn is the flat serve as this serve requires no spin. To perform this serve when the game is at zero points, the play will serve from the right side of the baseline. Be sure to not cross the baseline until after your serve is completed. If the player's foot crosses the baseline, they will be penalized for a foot fault. The player should discreetly line their right shoulder with the direction they would like the ball to travel to, but not too obvious as to tip off the opponent. As the player lines up the foot opposite their dominant hand at the baseline, it's a good idea to bounce the ball a few times to take a breather before serving the ball while gripping the racket with what is called a continental grip. At that point, the player will toss the ball into the air about as high as they can hold the racket, and swing the racket overhead as the ball reaches its apex. As the ball is hit, be sure to follow through by swinging the racket down to your waist.

One of the injuries that can occur in tennis is the decrease in shoulder rotation according to Williams and Hebron. They note in their article on page 15, "but a decrease in dominant shoulder internal and total rotation, in comparison to the non-dominant shoulder, has been found in both junior and senior tennis players"(Williams, Hebron). Williams and Hebron go on to explain that the source of the decrease in the rotation is rooted in the followthrough motion that is necessary for a strong serve (15). Also, as tennis is played in mostly warm weather, it is imperative that players are informed of the risks and prevention strategies associated with cooling strategies to stay safe from heat-related illnesses. Lynch suggests in his article on page 236 that "Drinking cold water alone or sitting in front of a fan without supplemental skin wetting does not provide optimal cooling as low ambient humidity results in the immediate evaporation of sweat even without extra airflow across the skin (Lynch)." Lynch noted specifically that the Australian Open can have intensely warm temperatures, peaking at 44 degrees Celsius, or 111 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many people who watch tennis often wonder why the players grunt so forcefully during matches, and there is many reasons for this. Muller, Jauernig, and Cañal-Bruland say in their article on page 1 that "...our findings provide strong support for the multisensory integration account by demonstrating that grunt intensity systematically influences judgments of ball trajectory." That means that the main reason that players grunt while serving the ball is simply to distract their opponents. For examples of the best tennis grunts in history, please follow the link to watch more!

The last piece that is imperative to playing tennis well is being confident and having a good time while you do it! "Coaching Tennis Successfully," wrote tips in their book within chapter three that gives coaches tips to ensure their younger players enjoy their time on the team. Page 20 in the book explains that the perfect mix between skill and challenge is a way to strike the balance in sports that will equate to children having a good experience. Meaning, that while it is important to make the children work hard and widen their skillset, it is also important to have the kids do something they already enjoy which is also equivalent to positive reinforcement. Another factor that comes into play when playing tennis is the type of court you play on. Kilit and Arlslan researched the difference between playing on clay courts compared to hard courts and grass courts. They are quoted on page 149 by saying, "Our results demonstrated that playing tennis matches on clay court surface induced more perceived enjoyment response, but less perceived exertion compared to hard court" (Kilit, Arlslan).


Photo 1:

Paragraph two:

Paragraph three:

Paragraph four:

Paragraph six:

Paragraph seven: Williams, K., & Hebron, C. (2018). The immediate effects of serving on shoulder rotational range of motion in tennis players. Physical Therapy in Sport, 34, 14-20.doi:10.1016/J.PTSP.2018.08.007

Paragraph seven: Lynch, G. P., Périard, J. D., Pluim, B. M., Brotherhood, J. R., & Jay, O. (2018). Optimal cooling strategies for players in Australian Tennis Open conditions. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 21(3), 232-237. doi:10.1016/J.JSAMS.2017.05.017

Paragraph eight: Müller, F., Jauernig, L., & Cañal-Bruland, R. (2019). The sound of speed: How grunting affects opponents’ anticipation in tennis. PLoS ONE14(4), 1–10.

Paragraph nine: Coaching tennis successfully. (2004). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Paragraph nine: Kilit, B., & Arslan, E. (2018). Playing tennis matches on clay court surfaces are associated with more perceived enjoyment response but less perceived exertion compared to hard courts. Acta Gymnica, 48(4), 147–152. Retrieved from,ip&db=s3h&AN=134154127&site=eds-live&scope=site

articles Edit

Need help building out this community?

You can also be part of the larger Fandom family of communities. Visit Fandom's Community Central!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.