The frame of the tennis racket, including the handle and strings, shall be free of any device which makes it possible to materially change the shape of the racket.
The frame must also be free of any device that allows the racket to materially change the weight distribution that would allow it to alter the swing of inertia. The physical properties of the racket may not be changed deliberately to affect the performance of the racket during the playing of a point. No energy source may be built into, or attached to, the racket that affects the playing characteristics. The racket must be free of any device that may provide communication, advice or instruction (either visible or audible) to the player during a match.
Dimensions for Tennis Rackets
- Length: the frame of the tennis racket shall not exceed 29 inches (73.7 cm) in overall length, including the handle.
- Width: the frame of the tennis racket shall not exceed 12.5 inches (31.7 cm) in overall width.
- Hitting Surface: the hitting surface shall not exceed 15.5 inches (39.4 cm) in overall length and 11.5 inches (29.2 cm) in overall width.
The hitting surface of the tennis racket is defined as the main area of the stringing pattern which is bordered by the where the strings enter the frame. The hitting surface shall by flat and consist of a pattern of crossed strings. The stringing pattern must be generally uniform and not less dense in the center than in any other area.
The racket must be designed and strung so that the playing characteristics are identical on both faces. The racket must be free of attached objects, protrusions and devices, other than those used to limit or prevent wear or vibration, or to distribute weight for the frame.
Objects used to prevent wear or vibration, or to distribute weight for the frame must be reasonable in size and placement for such purposes.
It takes four points to win a game. It takes 6 games to win a set. It takes either 2 or 3 sets to win a match (depending on what has been pre-arranged).
The following is tennis scoring “lingo”:
No point – “Love”
First point – “15”
Second point – “30”
Third point – “40”
Fourth point – “Game”
The server’s score is always called first. If the score is 40 – 30 the server needs one more point to win the game. But if the receiver wins the next point, the score is now called “deuce”. Each player now needs to win 2 more points to win. If the server wins the next point the score is “advantage server”, or “ad in”. If the receiver wins the next point the score is “advantage receiver”, or “ad out”. If the player with “advantage” wins the next point they win the game. If the player without “advantage” wins the next point, the score reverts to “deuce”. The score can go back and forth from “advantage” to “deuce” until one player wins 2 points in a row.
If a ball gets damaged, or broken, during play, the point is to be replayed. If a ball becomes soft, but not broken, the point does not need to be replayed.
Ball changes, if any, can be made either:
- After an agreed odd number of games. If this is the case the first ball change in the match is to take place 2 games earlier than the rest of the match to allow for the warm-up. A ball change shall not take place at the beginning of a tie-break game. In this case, the ball change is delayed until the beginning of the second game of the next set.
- At the beginning of a set.
Tennis event organizers must announce prior to the event:
- The number of balls for play (2, 3, 4 or 6)
- The ball change policy, if any.
Permanent fixtures are items such as fences, chairs, umpire stand, lights and spectators. If the ball touches, or hits, a permanent fixture after it has landed in the correct court, the player who hit the ball wins the point. If the ball touches a permanent fixture before it has hit the ground, the player who hit the ball loses the point.
The ball is considered to be in play when the server hits the ball until the point is finally decided, unless a fault or let is called.
If a ball touches a line, it is considered to be the same as hitting the space inside that line.