All About Tennis

The game of tennis originated in the late 1800’s and has since become a popular sport for people in not only America, but across the world.  Tennis can be played with either two people, which is called singles, or four people, which is called doubles.  

Equipment:

If you are just starting out, tennis does not require a lot of equipment and therefore it is easy to begin playing.  A proper pair of shoes, a racquet and a few tennis balls is really all you need.  Athletes that have been playing longer, though, may require more equipment.  They may choose to customize the grip or strings of their racquets to increase the power of their swing.  Tennis shoes have also been made to have flat soles and a wide front bottom to offer greater support.  An array of tennis attire is available, including customized tennis skirts and shorts for players that hold tennis balls while they play.  On a bigger scale, tennis court windscreens come in handy for both residential and commercial courts.  Tennis windscreens help keep debris from wind and other weather off the courts for the players.  In the event one has to practice the sport inside, gym divider curtains for high schools or community gyms can help tennis balls from interrupting other sports that may be played in the same vicinity. 

Rules:

For singles tennis, the court is 78 feet long by 27 feet wide and for doubles; the side alleys are used to make the court bigger, 78 feet long by 36 feet wide to be exact.  There is a net that divides the two sides and the opponents stand on opposite sides during a match.  There are various lines on a tennis court that designate service boxes, the baseline and out of bounds.

One player starts off as the server and serves the ball to his or her opponent while standing behind the court’s baseline.  The ball must be served diagonally and hit within the opponent’s service box.  At this point the ball is returned by the opponent and must land within the bounds of the opposite court.  If the ball cannot be returned properly, the point is given to the server.  Typically matches are played best out of three or five sets.  In order for a player to win a game, they have to have gained at least four points and have beaten their opponent by at least two points.  Scoring in tennis is a bit tricky because for zero points they say “love,” then the first point is called “fifteen,” then “thirty,” then “forty.”

Where to Watch:

Tennis is also a great spectator sport.  Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world, generally begins in late June and is held in England.  This tournament attracts millions of television viewers annually.  There are several other tournaments during the year, such as the U.S. Open and the French Open, also known as the Roland Garros.  But tennis lovers may often overlook the matches that are happening right in their own community.  There are some very talented players that play in both high school and college that you can watch in a match at various times of the year.  
 

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