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Basic rules of tennis



Check out our guide to tennis singles

A two-player game is known as a singles match.

Players use the narrower singles court.

The player who plays the ball first is the server and the person who returns it is the receiver.

Players swap serve every game and change ends every other game.

There is no penalty for serving out of turn but as soon as the mistake is discovered, the correct player must begin serving.

The right to be server or receiver or the choice of ends is decided by tossing a coin or spinning a racket.

The winner of the toss can choose one of four options:

  • To serve, in which case the opponent can choose ends

  • To receive, in which case the opponent can choose ends

  • The end of the court at which he or she wishes to begin the match, in which case the opponent can choose to serve or receive

  • To ask the opponent to choose




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