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The Game

THE GAME The Court

Tennis can be played as an individual contest between two players or a Tennis is played on a court, the size of which is specified by the
team game between two pairs of players. Each match is composed of a International Tennis Federation (ITF). See Figure 3.1.
series of points which form a game; a number of games that form a set;
and finally a number of sets which form a match. Major mens The Game Categories
championships are played on a best of five sets basis;... virtually all ladies The game may be played as either singles or doubles, and is divided into
matches are the best of three set basis. the following categories:-
Equipment Mens and womens singles and doubles
Mixed doubles
Other than the court, the dimensions of which are laid down by the
International Tennis Federation (ITF), all other equipment is elective, ie. These are the official tournament categories, but at school level there is
the individual or school selects according to personal taste, style and no necessity to adhere to such strict divisions.
budget. Whatever equipment is chosen it must be suited for the purpose. The Score
It must comply with safety standards and should enhance the players
ability to perform in the game. It must, therefore, meet their individual In tennis each player takes it in turn to serve, and unlike some games
needs. All equipment is produced by commercial companies and service is a right which does not have to be won. The scoring system in
marketed and sold in a competitive environment. It is, therefore, very easy tennis is divided into points, games and sets. To win a game the player(s)
to be taken in by slick marketing and lured into buying equipment which must win 4 points with a margin of 2 points over an opponent. In the
is totally unsuited to the players needs. Unless you are absolutely event of both players having 3 points, play continues until one has won 2
confident in your own knowledge and understanding of rackets, balls, points successively. The first player to win six games wins the set, except
footwear and sports clothing SEEK advice. Contact BSTA. (For address that the player must win by 2 clear games. In the event of the score
see end of module). reaching 6 games all the normal procedure is for the tie-break to come
into effect.
Calling the Score
The tradition of predominantly white clothing is still the general rule at
most clubs, but schools, sports and leisure clubs often permit play in The score is called as:
other, suitable, garments irrespective of the colour. 1st point 15
2nd point 30
If both players have 3 points the score is called as deuce, with the next
winning point being called as advantage server or advantage receiver,
Centre Mark
as appropriate. If the same player wins the next point they win the game.
36 0 (10.97m) If the opponent(s) win it the score returns to Deuce.


The Tie Break

Service Line In the event of a prolonged set where the score reaches six games all the
tie-break comes into effect. In the past a single set has lasted over two
hours! To prevent excessive demands on time and to satisfy the demands
of TV and court booking time a tie-break is played. In the tie-break the
player or pair who win 7 points (with a 2 point margin) win the tie-break
and set. Tie-breaks are scored numerically (ie. 1, 2, 3, and not 15, 30, 40)
and the set score will be recorded as 7-6.
Net Net For further details refer to the ITF Rules of Tennis.

Figure 3.2: The Scoring System
Centre Service Line

30 (0.914m) 30 (0.914m)
Mark for Singles Post

Mark for Singles Post

21 0 (6.40m)

Points Points: love zero

78 0 (23.77m)

Game 30
Set Advantage
Service Line
27 0 (8.23m) Match Game


Tie-break first player to 7 points or 2 points ahead after 6 all

Set first player to 6 games or 2 games ahead after 5 all. Tie-
Centre Mark breaker is played at 6 games all.
Example of match score Smith beats Jones 6-1, 6-7
4 6 (1.37m) Baseline 4 6 (1.37m) (tie-break 8-10), 7-5.
Figure 3.1