Category: Basic Tennis Rules

Read about: Basic Tennis Rules

Player Loses a Point

The point is lost for any of the following reasons.

a. The player serves two consecutive faults.

b. The player does not return the ball in play before it bounces two times.

c. The player returns the ball in play so that it hits the ground. Or before it hits the ground the player hits an object outside the correct court.

d. The player returns the ball in play so that, before it bounces, it hits a

permanent fixture.

e. The receiver returns the serve before it bounces.

f. The player deliberately carries or catches the ball in play on the racket or

deliberately touches it with the racket more than once.

g. The player (or racket whether in the player’s hand or not), or anything

which the player is wearing (or carrying) touches the net, net posts/singles

sticks, cord or metal cable, strap or band, or the opponent’s court at any time

while the ball is in play.

h.  The player hits the ball before it has passed the net.

i.  The ball in play touches the player or anything that the player is wearing (or

carrying) except the racket.

j. The ball in play touches the racket when the player is not holding it.

k.  The player deliberately and materially changes the shape of the racket when

the ball is in play.

l. In doubles, both players touch the ball when returning it.

A Good Return in Tennis

It is considered a good return in tennis if:

  1. The ball touches the net, net posts (or single sticks), net cord, net strap, or net band and then passes over them and hits the ground inside the correct court.
  2. The ball in play has hit the ground inside the correct court and has spun, or been blown back over the net.
  3. The player reaches over the net and plays the ball into the correct court without touching the net.
  4. The ball is returned outside the net posts (either above, or below net level) and lands in the correct court. This rule applies even if the ball touches the net post, but lands in the correct court.
  5. The ball is returned under the net cord between the singles stick and adjacent net post and hits the ground inside the correct court.
  6. The player’s racket passes over the net after hitting the ball into the correct court.
  7. The player hits the ball in play, which hits another ball lying in the correct court.

Tennis Rules on Hindrance

If a player is hindered in playing the point by a deliberate act of the opponent(s), the

player shall win the point.

However, the point shall be replayed if a player is hindered in playing the point by

either an unintentional act of the opponent(s), or something outside the player’s own

control (not including a permanent fixture).


An unintentional double hit is not a hindrance.

It is not a hindrance if a player stops playing a point because he believed his opponent is being hindered. In this case the player loses the point.

If a ball in play hits a bird, this is considered a hindrance and the point is replayed.

It is not considered a hindrance if a ball, or other object, which was on the player’s side of the court at the beginning of the point hinders play.

In doubles the server’s partner may stand anywhere on their side of the net (inside, or outside of the court lines). However if a player is creating a hindrance to the opponent the hindrance rule is to be observed.

Foot Fault

During the service motion, a server may not:

  1. Change position by walking or running. Although slight movements of the feet are allowed.
  2. Touch the baseline, or the court, with either foot.
  3. Touch the area on the other side of an imaginary extension of the sideline.
  4. Touch the imaginary extension of the center mark with either foot.

If the server commits any of these actions, a foot fault may be ruled.

foot fault

no foot fault

The Serve

Before the service motion, the server must stand at rest, with both feet behind the baseline (in between the center mark and the sideline). The server then releases the ball by hand and must hit it before the ball reaches the ground. The service motion is complete once the racket either hits or misses the ball. A player who only has the use of one arm may use the racket to toss the ball.