According to Britannica, the online source, the game of Tennis was originally known as “lawn tennis” and the idea behind it was that two players, opposing each other, or double players (2 on each side) using their tennis racquets, hit the ball, of a specific size, material, and weight, which is meant to bounce over the net that is placed in the center of the court. After which points are awarded to each player.
From multiple different strokes to multiple different courts, this is a fascinating game of strategy and clever movements to weaken your opponents and put them in a vulnerable position to your advantage, to get those points. There are rules to the game that creates a more organized structure and the players are supposed to play according to these rules, which typically are implemented by the governing body of the sport, the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Further information can be found online.
In the Beginning
If you’re a sports enthusiast, sometimes it’s good to know where the sport originated from or how it came about. Although with this one there is a dispute regarding this, and no one really knows how and when it was invented. It was officially recognized as a sport back in the early ‘70s and introduced by a popular person back in the 1800s when a book was written about it and its rules, however, there were other similar sports being played at the time.
The first tennis club was established in England by a gentleman known as Harry Gem, and this was still in 1872. This came about as a progressive sport from badminton; however, the courts were different, and in any case, they were both patented.
The first team competition established was the famous “Davis Cup” dubbed the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy originally, in Great Britain in the 1900s. Both women and men played the game successfully and won multiple awards. Thereafter it became a highly popular game played by many and introduced into schools and recreational facilities for both adults and children.
For any enthusiast, knowing how to play the game is a good form of activity and can get people lots of awards and scholarships when taken seriously. Of course, one can also play it as a hobby or a day time leisure activity with friends or family as well. This article touches on a few tips for beginners for when they want to learn how to play the game, including some information on the strategies used by professionals, the different types of strokes, and ultimately the point system that is in involved in the game for when you play tournaments or competitions of any kind.
How to Play the Game?
Any typical tennis court will have the dimensions of 78 by 27 feet (23.8 by 8.2 meters) for singles and 78 by 36 feet (23.8 by 11.0 meters) for doubles. As mentioned earlier, there is a net placed in the center of the court, the height of which is usually 3 feet, supported on each side by posts that are slightly longer at about 3.5 meters.
Back in the day when it first originated, it was played on a lawn, made of grass, but as the game progressed people found it better to play on the tougher ground made of clay or synthetic materials or asphalt and some may have artificial grass or “turf” https://www.ccgrass.com/how-to-choose-tennis-turf/.
The tennis ball that is used to play the game, is created out of a pressurized rubber core covered with high-quality material such as cloth made from a combination of nylon and wool. When tournaments happen these balls because they go soft after several hits, they are changed on a regular basis to keep them tough and better to play with, and in keeping their outer surface uniform, makes for a fair play.
These are usually colored white or yellow and when created are tested for bounce rates, for instance, they must bounce at a height of at least 58 inches on concrete flooring. In terms of the racquet used to play the game, there was not much in the rule book when it first began and the options were spaghetti wire or double-strung wire racquets. In time, this changed to include a rule in the books, stating that the appliance needs to consist of a frame that can be created from any type of sturdy materials such as wood, the fiber of plastic and the strings must be interlaced, to cross over and under each other.
Rules and Principles of The Game
Before beginning any match, the decider is based on any opponent tossing a coin to decide on who will serve and who will side. The winner of the coin toss may decide this and if he picks serve then the opponent will get a side and vice versa. The serving is done by both players in an alternating concession, one after the other.
Once begun, the player who serves first should be standing on the right-hand side of the court (his/her right), and both of their feet must be behind the baseline of the court. They then hit the ball towards the opposite end across the court to the opponent’s right-hand side. A “let” is when the ball hits the net while serving it, and as such needs to be replayed. The person serving is only allowed one fault, which means the ball can either fall into the net or outside of the court. If they fault more than once, they lose a point.
When the ball gets to the opponent, he returns it with the same hit of the racquet, done before it hits the ground, and over the net without hitting it outside of the court. This act of hitting it before it bounces to the ground is known as “volleying the ball”. When training it is always best to choose the equipment that you are most comfortable with, including the racket and the ball, some of the best balls for tennis training can be found in sports stores or online from reputable sources, and buying a few is our best bet, as with training one will play a lot and the ball may go through wear and tear depending on the surface you play on.
How to Win A Game of Tennis?
In order to win the game of tennis, anyone player must win 4 points by a margin of 2. So, the basic scoring will be 15,30,40. The explanation for this has never been found, nevertheless, three points equal to 40. There is some jargon that you will need to get used to as well, for instance, “Love” is a term that was derived from l’oeuf, the French word for “egg.” Refers to 0 or Zero, or “deuce” which is the term referred to both players the same score of 40 points.
When calling out the scores, the person who served first gets the first score readout so if it is 30-15 then 30 is the server’s score and 15 his/her opponent’s score. This means, 2 points to 1 point (1 point is 15 and 2 points is 30). There is no limit to how many times a game can go to “deuce” as mentioned above, however, sometimes a no-ad system is used which entails the first player to reach four points wins the game. In basic terms, points make up a game, multiple games make up a set and these sets will make up a match. The traditional logic is that the first player to win all 6 games, is the ultimate winner of the tournament.
When playing a tournament, such as the Davis Cup, men typically play a game a match consisting of the best of five, and the women will play the best of three matches or sets. In other forms of tournaments, this can be flexible where men can also play three sets instead of five, for instance at the Olympics competitions.
When players are playing in doubles, the same rules and principles apply for scoring. Serving will alternate between the two teams, this must be decided in the begging as to whom will serve first in the team. Once the decision has been made the server will alternate the two sides of the court in each game and serve from there across the court.
Technique of Playing
As with every game, the more you practice the better you get at it, and it’s the same with tennis. A lot of players both professional and beginners, usually study the different techniques involved in the hitting to get the best out of their swing. These can vary widely from one game to the next and from one court to the next as well.
The best tip to note is that in any game, the server usually has the best advantage. Reasons for this are:
1. If proper angle, spin, and power are combined, the player can win at just the initial serve, which will be called the “ace”, this is when the opponent does not reach the ball in time to hit it back. The server can use this to win points outright by hitting it in such a manner that is required a weak return. Also known as an “easy kill”. On smoother and faster surfaces, the server can take advantage and deliver his serve to the net, because near the net the opponent is vulnerable in returning the shot.
2. A net serve gives the server an upper hand in the game, because of the position, the return will either be a weak one rendering it a “net serve” or go out of the court.
So, if you use the initial serve effectively, you will always remain ahead of your opponent. The best ones deliver their serves in varying ways. The patterns change from time to time keeping the other player on their toes and finding it hard to anticipate where the ball will come from. It is also good to deliver it as hard as possible, using strength and swift movements. Another way you can take advantage is by spinning the hit or giving it a kick.
Throughout history, the style of players has changed, along with the different surfaces of the courts as well. no two players will play the same and this is what makes them unique and on top of their skills. Building your own unique ways of playing is what will help you win those competitions or tournaments every time. Keeping the opponent surprised and moving as fast and strategically as possible usually does the trick. Between groundstrokes, serve-and-volley, and short games, players have kept with the competitive streaks and made millions out of games.
There are several different types of strokes to learn as well, these will range from, the lob, volley, drive, an overhead smash, a drop shot, and half volley, all besides the serve. You would decide at the moment which one will help you make the best of it, some are used defensively, especially when you’re in a vulnerable position for instance near the net, while others may be used offensively to put the other person in a vulnerable position.
The most forceful of all the strokes are the “overhead smash”, where you need to take a leap in order to smash the ball to the other side in a quick movement. Sometimes leaving the other person off-balance and you win the point. It is ultimately a game of a mix of strategy and skills, but with regular practice, one can get the hang of it in no time. So, to be able to play it well, not only does your equipment matter but also how you play, on what surface you are playing, and what type of opponent, will all affect the end results.
Learning from online videos, joining a club for those your age, and even practicing yourself in public arenas is a good start to learning any game properly.