Tennis is an exhilarating sport. It takes stamina, energy and skill to become a worthy opponent, though the basics of tennis are fairly easy to learn. Tennis teachers will take the player through the different ways to hold a racket and show them how to achieve shots which hit the right spot on the tennis court, making it hard for their opponent to hit back accurately. The whole game of tennis is based on accuracy of shots and the ability to catch the opponent unaware.
The first player will put the ball into action in the game. The serve is important. The racket is held in front of the player, the ball is thrown into the air and the player brings the racket up to hit it into the opposite site of the net. If the ball is served from the right, then the left hand side square of the court is aimed for. This is important, since if the ball does not hit its target, the service is deemed faulty and may just give points to the opponent should the same error be repeated.
The way to find out what the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent are is to serve either as far back from the net as possible, or as near to it as possible and watch the response of the opponent. Watch out for their weak spots as these are your strengths.
Service takes place on alternate sides of the court. This also shows the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent as their backhand may be less strong than a full on shot.
Backhand is when the ball is hit by bringing the racket in front of you and hitting the ball with the back end of the racket.
This is where the racket stays on the right hand side (for right handed players) and simply swipes the ball.
The term “love” is used to denote zero. If one player wins a point, then the increments which are used to describe that point would be 15 (for the first point), 30 (for the second point), 40 for the third point, advantage when points are even and an advantage is gained, and then deuce when both opponents have the same score. It may sound archaic but once you get a hang of the scoring, it really is quite simple. When the player has learned how the scoring works, they will also note that professional games are divided into sets of games, where the overall winner will be the one who has won the most games. A game is played as part of a set. A set is played as part of a match. Thus the expression “game, set and match” denotes that the winner won their game, their set and indeed the match.
It’s important that a player learns how hard to hit an oncoming ball. If the ball falls outside of the court, then the opponent wins the points. Often when a ball is hit hard, the tendency is to hit it hard in return though this often causes inaccuracy which leads to points being gained by the opponent. The swing used is important as well as the angle of the racket. Skilled players are able to set the ball into a spin which is unpredictable to the opponent and can gain advantage by doing so. If you look at the angle of the racket in this video of a professional player, it becomes obvious that the angle used is one which causes the ball to spin, whereas a straight hit would be more predictable.
Another tactic often employed in tennis is that a player hits the ball to the opposite side of the court so that the opponent has to run in order to hit it back. This is good practice, providing that the length of the hit is estimated correctly. Bringing the opponent to the net and then hitting a ball hard so that they have to backtrack to hit it is a trick often used in major games.
Of course, it would be impossible to give a complete guide within the length of an article, though the beginner’s guide above outlines the things that the player needs to learn in order to start playing tennis. Learning to serve, to aim accurately and to respond to an opponent’s hit are all part and parcel of this game and can be learned. Having a friendly and patient opponent when starting helps considerably and choosing a coach who has the right temperament to make your learning enjoyable as well as stretching your limits helps to discipline you. It’s a great sport and one that both men and women participate in worldwide.