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Tennis is a vigorous sport, similar to badminton, that is played on an indoor or outdoor court with a ball and racquet. It is believed to have originated with the British in the late 1800’s, from the sports badminton, squash racquets and English court tennis. Tennis can be played by two people, one person on each side of the court, or singles, or four people, two people on each side of the court, or doubles.
The Tennis Court
A tennis court is a flat surface separated by a net. The court can be asphalt, wood, turf, composite, clay, grass or concrete. It is marked with two sets of lines for singles or doubles play. Singles court is 78 feet long and 27 feet wide and doubles is 36 feet apart.
Tennis rackets vary in shapes and sizes, however, maximum tournament measurements are 29 inches long and 12.5 inches wide. The body of the racquet was originally made of wood, but newer racquets are made of lighter, sturdy materials such as carbon fiber, aluminum and graphite. The handle of the racquet contains a leather or rubber grip with vibration dampening design for ease and comfort when hitting the ball. The head of the racquet is comprised of slender, intertwining threads of nylon, gut or other material, and is generally no larger than 11.5 inches wide and 15.5 inches long.
A tennis ball is 2.6 inches round and is made of inflated, hollow rubber material covered in wool. A tennis ball is generally yellow, however, there are various other colors available.
How to Play Tennis
The goal of tennis is to hit the ball back and forth until the opponent fails to hit the ball back into the opposite court.
The game begins with the serve. The initial serve is hit from the right angle of the court diagonally into the opposite side of the court. After the initial point, the serve is made from the left side of the court and then alternates after each serve.
The server’s goal is to toss the ball into the air and hit it into the opposite side of the court before the ball hits the ground, generally in an overhand motion. If the ball fails to enter the other side of the court, hits the net or goes out of court bounds, it is considered a fault. After a fault, the server serves again, however, if the second serve also results in a fault, also known as a double fault, a point is awarded to the opponent. If the racquet misses the ball, it is called and Ace.
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