[Latest] Tennis History | Rules | Measurements

Lawn Tennis

Tennis is a racket game in which two players or two teams (two players each) send the ball over the net in such a way that the opponent finds it difficult to return legally.

History of Lawn Tennis

Modern tennis has its roots in the old French game of ‘Paume’, for which the rules were written by Walter Clopton utngfield (French) in 1874. 

The first championship took place at Wimbledon, in 1877 and the first International Championships were held in the United States in 1881, in Australia in 1905 and in France in 1925. 

Tennis was a part of the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1896; but it was withdrawn from the Olympics after 1924 but restarted in 1988. 

The tennis governing body, International Tennis Federation (ITF), was formed in 1977. Tennis is played in most countries and players range from 6 years old to a veteran of over 80 years. 

The game is played in Painting of First Wimbledon Championship men singles, women singles, men doubles, women doubles and mixed doubles.

Today it is one of the most sophisticated games played both at amateur and professional levels. The main objective in tennis is to hit the ball across the net into the opponent’s court so that the opponent is unable to return the ball. 

This is how points are scored by the players which lead to the winning of games, sets and matches. Tennis in India  is regulated by All India Tennis Association (AITA) formed in 1920. India has produced many good players in this game. 

Leander Paes had won Olympic silver in 1996 at Atlanta. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes duo (doubles pair) is world ranked in doubles, they have won many grand slams in doubles (men and mixed). Sania Mirza and Somdev Devvarman are upcoming players. India has achieved good status in tennis.

Latest Rules

Choice of Side or Service : The choice of the court that each player will occupy first and who will serve first are chosen by toss.

Service Rules : A player has to deliver the service behind the baseline. It should be served diagonally across  the net. It should land correctly in the opponent’s service court (same side) without touching the top of the net. 

Net touched correct serve is ‘let’ which should be replayed. Server has two chances to deliver the correct service (‘fault’ or ‘one miss’) otherwise loss of point, In the beginning of each game, it is delivered from right side of court.

Return of Service : To return the service, the receiver strikes the ball after one bounce over the net and within the boundaries of the opponent’s court.

During Rally : After the service has been correctly returned, the player may volley the ball (direct hit without bounce) or hit it after its first bounce and the points continue until one player fails to make correct return.  

Point Awarded : Point is awarded if player fails to hit the ball over the net, hits the ball outside the opponent’s boundaries or fails to hit it before it strikes the ground second time on his side of the net.

Win or Game and Scoring : To win a game, a player must win four points and by a margin of two. The scoring goes like ’15, 30, 40′ (Zero is referred to as ‘love’). The server score is called upon first.

Deuce’ and End of Game : If both players reach ’40 all’, the score is said to be ‘deuce’. The game continues until a player achieves first ‘advantage’ and then ‘game’, i.e. ,two point margin for ‘game’.

To Set : As points make-up a game, games make-up a set, and sets make-up a match. The player who wins six games traditionally wins the set (although a two game margin is again required). A player who wins five games cannot win the set before ‘7-5’ (set score).

Tie-Break : It is usually played at six games all, i.e., ‘6 all’ (set score). The tie breaker consists of an odd number of points with     point margin required. But in the 12 points tie breaker the first player to reach 7 points with a margin of two; wins the tiebreaker game and the set, ‘7-6’.

Match : In most of the tournaments, match is played with ‘best-of-three sets’ for men and women. In few tournaments men play with ‘best-of-five-sets’.

Doubles-Match Rules : The same basic principles of play and scoring apply to doubles. Service alternates between two opposing teams. The receiver receives the service on alternate points for that game.

Measurements And Specifications

  • Dimensions of Court

Singles : 23.77 m (78 feet) x 800 m (27 feet) Doubles : 23.77 m (78 feet) X 11 m (36 feet) 

  • Service Line = m (21 feet) from net (including width of lines)
  • Height of Poles = 1.06 m (3 feet 6 inch)
  • Height of Net = .91 m (3 feet) at center
  • Weight of Ball = 57 g ± 1 g (2 ounce) made of rubber
  • Diameter of Ball = 6.3 cm (21/2 inch)
  • Racket = 78 cm (30 inch) long and 31 cm (121/4 inch) wide
  • Width of Lines = 5 cm (except baseline, 7 cm)       
  • Officials = 1 Umpire, 1 Match Referee, 4 to 8 Linesmen, 1 to 4 Ball Boys   


Scoring : In the game of tennis, points are told as 15, 30, 40 and game.

Deuce : If the points are tied at 40 all on both sides, then it is said as ‘deuce’. In this the player has to take two successive points to win the game.

Service : In each game, one player performs all the services. It is the delivery of ball to begin the rally. It is done diagonally in the opponent’s court. Maximum two chances are given for delivery of service. 

Set : It is a series of games. The winner of 6 games wins the set.

Advantage : The first player who wins a point after deuce is also known as ‘Ad’ 

Foot-Fault : The server shall not touch the base line while both the feet should be on ground.

Ace : The service which is unreturned by opponent.

Let : Service is considered let if it touches the net, strap or band whereas it lands correctly or the receiver is not ready.

Order of Service : The server of first game shall receive all services in the next game and so on.

Change of Ends : Except in the first game, the player changes the ends after every two games.

Number of Sets : For men there are best of five sets and for women there are best of three sets.

Surface of Court : Court can be laid down over various surfaces like clay, grass, concrete (cemented), synthetic or rubber pasted.

Backspin : In a stroke variation where ball spins back and it has slow speed after the bounce.

Break : S\men opponent wins the game in which he is receiving the services. 

Topspin : A variation of stroke in which ball spins in forward direction. The ball goes high and speedily after  åe bounce.

Slice : A stroke of volley in which direct coming ball is played near the net and it lands close to net in opponent’s court.

Cross-Court : A stroke in which ball goes diagonally in opponent’s court.

Down the Line : A shot in which ball lands close to the sideline.

Drive : A powerful ground-stroke hit with extra force.

Error : If a player does a mistake during game.

Overhead : A shot which is hit above the head high coming ball.

Set-Point : The last point to win the set.

Match-Point : The last point to win the match.

Tie-Break : When the score is six all on both sides then tie-break is played.

Fundamental Skills

Serve : This is the stroke that starts play. The server stands behind the baseline and has two tries to send the ball into the diagonally opposite service court. The first serve in the match is made from the right side of the court and the players then change sides after each point.

Ground Stroke : They are usually played from the baseline. It is used during rallies to provide a powerful and accurate attack. It can be played forehand or backhand.

Volley : These strokes are made before the ball touches the ground. Volleys are usually made from close to the net. Half volley is played to the low coming ball before it bounces.

Lob : It is a stroke in which the ball is sent high and far so that it bounces close to the baseline. It should be hit sufficiently high to pass over the opponent beyond his reach. It is usually played when the opponent is close to the net.

Smash : This powerful overhead stroke is in response to a lob and leaves little opportunity to respond.

Grip : There are many variations of grips, like continental, western and two-handed grip (manually used for backhand strokes).

Important Personalities, Tournaments And Venues

Important Personalities


(a) Arjuna Award Winners : R. Krishnan (1961), Naresh Kumar (1962), Jaidip Mukerjea (1966), Premjit Lall

(1967), Vijay (1974), Ramesh Krishnan (1978), Km Nirupama Mankad (1979), Anand Amritraj (1984), Leander Paes (1998), Mahesh Bhupathi (1995), G.N. Natekar (1996), Asif Ismail (1997), Akhtar Ali (2000), Sandeep Kirtane (2001), Sania Mirza (2004), Somdev Devvarman (2()11), Saket Myneni (2017), Rohan Bopanna (2018), Divij Sharan (2020).

(b) Dhyan Chand Award : Zeeshan Ali (2014), Shiv Prakash Mishra (2015), Nandan P.Bal (2020).

(c) Dronacharya Award : Naresh Kumar (2020).

(d) Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award Winners : Leander Paes (1999), Sania Mirza (2015).


Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Serena Williams, Venus Williams (USA), Boris Becker, Steffi Graf (GER), Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova (CZE), Ivan Lendl (CZE), Pat Cash (AUS), Rafael. Nadal (Spain), M. Sharapova (Russia), R. Federer (Switzerland), Novak Djokovic (Serbia).

Important Tournaments 

Olympic Games, Wimbledon, French Open, US Open, Australian Open, Davis Cup, Gold Cup, ATP (ranking).

Important Venues 

Wimbledon (England), Hamburg Stadium (Germany), St. Lucie Stadium, Paris Stadium (France), DLTA Stadium (N, Delhi), CLTA Stadium (Chandigarh), Gandhi Ground (Amritsar), Jassowal Tennis Academy (Ludhiana), HLTA Stadium (Hyderabad), R,K, Khanna Stadium (Chennai).

Also Read: Handball History, Rules, Measurements

Final Words

From the above article you learnt about rules, tennis, measurements and many more about kabaddi. We hope that you will get success by giving exams based on tennis.

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