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Tennis is one of the most popular games played in the world, one of the reasons behind this is the fact that more or less anybody can play the game. Any age, any sex and at any level, tennis can be played simply as a social activity or it can be played at an extremely high level competitively.

The origins of the game are slightly blurred, but the modern game as we know it today seems to be firmly established in Europe. The scoring and terms used to play the game are a trifle bemusing but in this article we hope to qualify some of them for you.

Master The Scoring

Tennis is a game constructed of games, sets and matches. Traditionally, a player must win 6 games to win a set, and to win a match you must win three sets out of five (in ladies tennis two out of three).

Each game begins with 0 (love). The first point earned by a player is called 15, the second 30 and the third is 40. If the server has earned 40 points while his opponent has 30 or less, then he can win the game by winning the next point.

If both players have 40 points, then the score is called “deuce” and they must keep playing until a player wins by two.

You must win a set by two games, so if you and your opponent are playing at 6-5, then you must win the next game to beat him 7-5. If he wins the next game, then you are stuck at 6-6 and a tiebreaker has to be played.

To start a point you must first serve the ball, start by standing on the deuce side of the court behind the baseline and serve the ball to the box that is diagonally opposite you. You have two chances to put the ball in play.

If you don’t get the first attempt in play it is called a fault, and if you do the same on the second attempt then it is called a double fault and you lose the point.

If the ball hits the net and then bounces into the service box, then this is called a let and you can play the point over again. But if the ball hits the net and bounces into your side of the court or out of play the it is a fault.

Winning A Point

Play until someone hits a winner or commits an error. A winner means that the ball bounces in the court but your opponent can’t hit it back. An error means that you either hit the ball out of play or into the net.


If the score is level at 6 games each a tiebreaker must be employed to decide the set.

It starts with the player who did not serve the previous game, they then serve once. The opposite player then serves twice, for the rest of the tiebreak each player serves two points.

The tiebreak ends when a player reaches 7 and is leading the other player by 2 points. If a player reaches 7, and the other player is at 6, then they have to continue to play until the winner beats the other by 2 points.

Once you have mastered the above then you can start to learn how to play the shots and strategies needed to win a game.

If you would like to get involved with learning to play tennis, why not talk to our friendly team today.

We offer individual or group lessons for both adults and children alike. Book your court now online!