Tennis is a game played amongst a team of one player each or amongst two teams with two players each. The match between single players is referred to as the singles and the match played between two teams is known as the doubles. The required equipment includes a stringed racquet, net and a rubber ball. The color of the ball varies but is mostly yellow. The game involves striking the ball over the net into the opponent’s court with the help of the stringed racquet.
Usually a flat, hard and grassy surface that is rectangular in area is used for playing tennis. The standard playing area used for the singles and the doubles is 78 feet by 27 feet and 36 ft by 10.97 m respectively. The net divides the court into two equal halves. The length of the net is around 3 ˝ feet at the posts and around 3 feet in the middle. Apart from the mentioned area clear space is also left around the corners so that players can reach overrun balls easily during the game.
There are three basic tennis court surfaces namely the clay surface, the hard surface and the grass surface. The material used for the surface is the determinant of the bounce and speed of the ball, which in turn determines the level of the play.
The teams interface on the opposite sides of the net. The player who serves is the server and the other is the receiver. The serve is made when the receiver is ready, and then the service keeps alternating amongst the two sides. The server is positioned behind the baseline and between the sidelines, whereas the receiver can start from either side.
Each game awards points and the number of games played comprises a set. On the average three sets are played in a tennis match, but more than three sets can be played like for e.g. in the Wimbledon and the French and US Opens were five sets are played.
The repertoire of a qualified tennis player includes eight shots, a few of which been briefly explained. The serve is the starting shot of the game. The ball is tossed into the air and hit by the racquet, over the net to the opposing player’s side.
For a right-handed player forehand is a stroke starting from the right side of the body and progressing across to the left side. Whereas a backhand stroke begins from the left side of the body and continues towards the right side.
Then comes the volley which is the motion made in the air, close to the net just before the bounce of and the hitting of the ball.
Tennis Tournaments are often organized keeping in mind the gender specifications and the number of players playing. Men’s singles, women's singles and the doubles are the commonly conformed tournaments. Amongst these the doubles can be further sub categorized as doubles, which includes two players of the same sex on each side, and as the mixed doubles which include a member of each sex on either side.