Like any other sport, tennis matches also run on a codified set of rules and regulations. Tennis rules for both ATP and WTA matches are pretty much similar. However, in the singles and doubles format, there is a slight change in rules mainly due to the varied court dimensions that players use. Let’s discuss some of the important rules of tennis with a focus on singles matches.
The Tennis Service Rules
All tennis matches start with one of the two players opting to serve and other opting to return. Every player gets 2 serves, called as the first serve and the second serve. If the player hits the net or hit outside the lines on the first serve, he can then use the second serve. If both the serves go wrong, the player is known to have committed a double fault. This is one of the basic tennis rules and results in the loss of serve.
One of the newly formed tennis rules deals with the short clock. As the point is finished and fans settle down, the serving player gets 25 seconds on the shot clock to start his service again. A failure to do so will result in a warning in the first instance. Upon repetition, the player loses his first serve. This rule was recently brought to shorten the tennis matches, and thus, reduce the player’s fatigue.
The Baseline Rally Rules
In a regular tennis rally, the player must hit the ball before it bounces twice on his side of the court. If the ball bounced the second time, the player loses the point. Another important but less known of the tennis rules pertains to a player or his racket touching the net before the ball bounces twice on the opponent’s side. In that case, the player again loses the point even if he many succeed to pass the ball through the opponent’s defense. This happened in one of the most famous tennis matches of the 2013 French Open semifinal to Novak Djokovic.
The Scoring System Rules
Tennis matches have a unique scoring pattern to calculate points. A player with a 2-point advantage wins a tennis game. Tennis scoring cycle includes 0, 15, 30, 40, and Advantage (A). If both the players reach 40-40, it is termed a deuce. Here, one of the two players has to win two back to back points to win the game. This scoring pattern makes some tennis games pretty long and intense.
Finally, all the tennis tournaments function on the knockout pattern except the Nitto ATP season finale. Tennis rules state that with each round the player who loses is eliminated at that very stage. This is how 128 players participating in the initial draw of a Grand Slam are brought down to 2 and finally, the champion stands undefeated. Thus, to win any tennis tournament, a player must win all his matches and remains what is called the last man standing.
These are the basic and most important tennis rules you need to learn as a fan of the game. Do employ them in your tennis matches and practice sessions. This would ensure that you play the game with correct procedures and improve as a player.