How to play tennis is a new skill that has to be developed with the proper practice. A solid understanding of how to play tennis is necessary to acquire the skill set needed for tennis.


Tennis is a unique game that consists of many parts in order to be successful. Tennis for beginners involves the tennis technique, footwork, strategy, mental game and fitness.

All of these areas of how to play tennis must be mastered in order to achieve good results on the tennis court. For a tennis beginner, how to play better tennis is often a demanding and physically tiring task. But with the proper physical and mental training, how to play tennis for beginners will soon be an inherent skill.

Basic Rules of How To Play Tennis

In order to know how to play tennis, a good understanding of the tennis rules and court dimensions of the game must be understood. Tennis is played between two players, this is called singles or two teams of two players, four in all, this is called doubles. Play starts when the player whose turn it is to serve attempts to hit a ball into play. Play will then continue should the receiver manage to return the ball back to his opponent. This phase is called a rally. The point is contested between the players. This rally continues until either the ball lands out of play, or hit’s the net without managing to pass over to the opponents side or bounces twice before a player can return it to his opponent. The primary rule is that a player can only hit the ball once before returning it to his opponent.

The point is won by either player whose opponent causes one of these actions to happen: Points are played for until one player wins a game by accumulating four points with a difference of at least two over his opponent. Games are won once one player has won 6 games to win a set or if necessary, continues as the rules require that a set can only be won by a two clear games margin over the opponent for example: (7-5 games). Matches are made up of 3 or 5 sets. Once a player has won 2 sets in a 3 set match, or 3 sets in a 5 set match play is then concluded and the winner declared because the opponent cannot catch the winner so the match is finished without all the sets being played.

Tennis Scoring: Tiebreaker

The tennis scoring is an essential element tennis for beginners should know about. If we win six games by a margin of two or more, then we have won the set. And if suppose both of us have reach 6-6 each, then we have to continue to reach 2 points to win the game, that is we have to continue to try to reach the margin of 2, for example: 8-6, 9-7, etc. Or, we can play tie-break to decide the winner. This choice is determined to be in advance in the Tournament play, but in some recreational play, we can choose whichever option appeals to us at the moment.

In the tennis tie-breaker, the standard tie-breaker point is 7, that is best of 7. We have to win two points by a margin. If supposing, we receive the game preceding the tie-break, then we have to serve the first points of the tie-break, starting from the right. The opponent then serves the next two points. The first point from the left and the second from the right. Both players have to continue serving the two points per turn. These tie-breaker points are counted as 1, 2, 3, etc. When the points reach a total of 6 and each multiple of six, then we can switch ends of the court.

When we want to start a new set, then we must have our previous set ended with an odd numbered total of games. The tie-break is counted as one game. We can switch ends after every odd game through each set. If we want to begin a new set we must have received the previous set from the last game or we must have received first in the tie-breaker which will determine which player will serve.

Tennis Points

As a beginner learning how to play tennis, they must also understand the way a tennis point is scored. A tennis player can serve from the left side of the baseline for the second point of the game and the opponent can continue to alternate right and left to start with each point of the game. If supposing we win the first point, then at the start of next point, the score must be announced first. For example like “15 all” or “15 love”. The points will be like this love-0, then 15, 30, 40 if we win the points and if our opponents also get point till 40 then it becomes Deuce. And in case we get a point after the Deuce, then it becomes Advantage. Then after Advantage, if we win the point then we win the game. And if we lose a point after the Advantage, then it will again go to Deuce and then continue.

The Tennis court

how-to-play-tennis-for-beginnersIf a player wants to know how to play tennis, the tennis court dimensions is essential to learn. The shot selection and strategy behind lies in knowing the tennis court and it’s geometry. Tennis for beginners starts with a key understanding of the tennis court.

Let’s take a walk around the tennis court to get familiar with the layout. The net divides the court into two equal sides, the net is stretched tight. It is slightly lower in the center, with a drop of a little more than 10 centimeters if stretched out correctly. If we move from the net to the parallel line furthest from the net we come to the baseline. The player serves from the baseline to hit the ball into play.

In the middle of this line is a short center mark which is important when the player is ready to serve. Half way between the baseline and the net is another parallel line, this is the service line, and you will notice it is not as wide as the baseline.

To the right and left of the service line is a line that runs vertically from the baseline to the net, this is the limit of the singles sideline.

The service box is where the server will aim to hit the ball to make it’s first bounce in the receiver’s part of the court. As this serve needs to be as accurate as possible, beginners learning tennis should practice their accuracy as often as they are able.

learn-to-play-tennisAs a tennis beginner it is best to concentrate on just getting the ball in the service area, later on they can focus on better placements leading to more skill. The player can then work on increasing speed and spin and other more advanced techniques.
The lines on the extreme left and right of the tennis court are the doubles sidelines; they mark the width of the tennis court when a doubles match is being played.

How to Prepare for a Game of Tennis

When getting ready to play tennis, the beginner should consider their clothing. Many players prefer to wear comfortable shorts or a short sports skirt for a female player if the climate is favorable. A short sleeved sports shirt is recommended and sports or tennis shoes are very important to maintain grip when on court. The apparel should be comfortable and allow for maximum movement.

The tennis beginner now needs to select a suitable racket. The important criteria for a beginner tends to be different than for a more experienced player. Good advice should be from the tennis coach, if available. Essentially, the player should comfortably be able to grip the handle of the racket to hold it firm when hitting the ball. There are many rackets designed for tennis for beginners. It would be advisable to select a racket with a larger head as it offers more power and a larger sweet spot. The tennis balls are made of rubber and covered in felt.

Tennis for Beginners and The play sequence for a tennis point

how-to-play-tennis-sharapovaThis is where tennis for beginners really begins. Knowing the tennis scoring system and how a typical tennis point is played will be crucial in tennis for beginners.

The sequence of play is as follows; one player is elected the server, that player will continue to serve until the game is decided then the serve will pass to the opponent in singles this alternation continues until the match is decided. In doubles, the serve passes between the two teams with each player taking a turn at serving in a fixed rotation.

When ready to serve, the server will aim to hit the ball into the service area diagonally opposite his position on the service line. The first serve, for example is served from right side to the receiver’s right side service.
For subsequent points, the server alternates between right and left until the game is concluded and service passes to the opponent. The server can stand anywhere behind the baseline and between the centre mark and the sideline. The receiver can stand anywhere on their side of the net.

The server throws the ball into the air and may hit it overhand or underhand, some tennis beginners prefer the latter method to start with. The ball needs to land in the service area; this also includes the lines that mark its dimensions, without hitting the net. If it hits the net but also lands in the service area, the server is permitted to serve again. The receiver can only return the ball after it has bounced correctly in the service area. The server loses the point if after two attempts the ball does not land in the receiver’s service area. Play continues until one player has accumulated four points and at least two more than his opponent.

Skills Development for Tennis Beginners

In order for tennis beginners to develop their tennis skills, apart from practicing their serve, the two most important ground strokes are the forehand and the backhand. The forehand and backhand needs to be practiced as often as possible. As the player becomes more skilled, additional tennis strokes can be added as well as the refinement of the tennis technique. Right from the start, the tennis beginner needs to concentrate on how to play tennis by developing the right technique for the strokes. This will make the ball easier to control, while making the direction of the shot more successful and physically less tiring.

Beginners should pay close attention to their positioning on the court when receiving. They should attempt to always be able to reach the ball at the correct distance for the return. Always consider the position of the opponent, where are they moving from and where to. As the beginner grows in confidence, there is the possibility to become more of a shot maker controlling the shots in the rally and the opponents ability to respond.

These basics of how to play tennis are good starting points for where a beginner can learn the basics of the game of tennis. Tennis will be a journey with ups and downs and with obstacles in the way of your goals. By following a steady path to improve, a tennis beginner can learn how to play tennis in a fast and easy manner.