The game of tennis is typically played between two players in a singles game, or two players in a doubles game. Tennis is also played on different courts such as clay courts, grass courts courts, courts made of hard or artificial grass courts.

Matches that are standard types

Singles is a game played by two players against each other, generally two women or two men however games between a man and woman can be played on a more informal basis or even as an exhibition.

Doubles is played by two teams comprising 2 players, and is most typically all female or male. It is played on a larger court than singles games: it covers the space in the alley (tramlines in British terms) while singles games do not. Two players on the receiving side swap places after every point played (one on the net, and the other at the baseline, getting ready to serve again).

mixed Doubles is played in the same way as doubles but only one player and one female player per team. This kind of tennis is uncommon in the professional world due to the fact that the women’s and the men’s tour are arranged independently (by both the ATP and WTA respectively). However there are of the four Grand Slam tournaments hold a mixed doubles event, along with the doubles for women and men which feature several of the players. Also, there is an annual mixed national team tournament, called the Hopman Cup, which includes mixed doubles matches. There have also been mixed doubles competitions during the Summer Olympics in various instances (In 1900, and from 1920 until 1912, and then in 2012).

Although players gradually become becoming less competitive in singles in the end of their 20s and 30s, they may compete in doubles or mixed doubles (as shown by Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe who were doubles champions during their late 40s).

Other kinds of matches

Canadian doubles

If three players are on hand and there are three players available, the rules can be adjusted to allow for a mismatch to ensure one player doesn’t necessarily have to be significantly superior to those in the double group. A single player is able to enter a doubles court , while the two-player team is the singles court.

Australian doubles / American doubles

A non-sanctioned and informal form of tennis. It is played using the same rules as Canadian doubles, however in this variation players are able to change their court position at the end of each match. This means that each player plays both singles and doubles during an entire match while the singles player is always serving. The styles of scoring vary, but the most popular approach is to give a value of two points for each game which means that the server gets the entire point if holds serve as well as the doubles team taking one point in the event of breaking. All over in the United Kingdom (particularly England) and Australia the format is generally called “American doubles”, whereas in South Africa you would call it “American singles”, or cut-throat tennis. It’s also played in the Caribbean

Wheelchair tennis

It is played in singles and doubles formats by players who are wheelchair bound. The major distinction in the two forms is that the ball could bounce twice before it gets hit. The second bounce could be off the court. The the four Grand Slam tournaments include wheelchair tennis.

Tennis with visual impairment

The sport of tennis for the visually impaired (also called “blind tennis” in Japan as well as its country of origin and it is also known as “sound tennis” is some regions around the globe) is played in 4 categories of classification. The B1 (blind) category demands that players wear blindfolds and plays with special balls which emit a sound when they come into hitting the courts. The courts are usually smaller court and lower net than normal tennis. Up three bounces can be allowed prior to return of the ball. Although sound tennis isn’t included in ITF, ATP, and WTA tournaments A world-class event is held every year and the world rankings are released for female and male players who have different degree of disabilities.
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There has been an improvement in tennis training that utilizes the use of balls with low compression and, in some instances, modified court dimensions. Organisations across the globe are beginning to employ ball sizes with lower compression and smaller court sizes as a means to connect with younger tennis players who are interested in the sport of tennis. The use of ball with low compression and court sizes that have been modified are intended to ease the transition towards becoming an experienced or competitive tennis player. The balls with low compression are colored differently to show the compression level. Beginners and young players will likely discover the game is easier to master because the balls don’t bounce as high, or travel in the same manner than “normal” balls. The smaller courts that have been modified help in covering the court or getting the shot of the opponent also easier.

Tennis court

An tennis court is in which tennis can be played. It’s a rectangular, firm surface that has a net that runs across the center. The same surface is suitable to play doubles or singles matches. Different surfaces are available to make courts for tennis each one with distinct particular characteristics that affect the play way that the sport.


The dimensions of courts for tennis are determined and controlled through the International Tennis Federation (ITF) the governing body. They are laid into the annually published “Rules of the Game” document. The court measures approximately 78 feet (23.77 metres) long. Its size can be 27ft (8.23 meters) in singles games, and 36 feet (10.97 metres) for doubles matches. The line of service measures 21 feet (6.40 meters) away from the net. A larger area in the court to allow players to hit overrun balls to an overall length that is 60 inches (18 metres) in width as well as 120 feet (37 metres) long. The net spans the entire length of the court in line with the baselines, splitting in two equally parts. The net measures 3 feet six inches (1.07 metres) tall at the posts in addition, it is three inches (0.91 metres) high in the middle. Net posts measure three inches (0.91 metres) beyond in the courts for the doubles players on either side, or for singles nets three inches (0.91 meters) outside the court for singles on each side.

Courts with smaller courts

In the ITF’s Play and Stay campaign promotes playing on smaller courts, with slow red, orange green, and red balls for smaller children. This allows children to have more time and control , so they can rally, serve and score in the initial lesson. They can also play on courts designed to accommodate their body. The ITF has specified that the competitions for children 10 and under play with “Orange” courts 18 m (59 feet) long and 6.4 meters (21 feet) wide. Children under eight years of age is play in “Red” courts that are 11 meters (36 feet) in length and 5.5 metres (18 feet) wide. The net is 0.8 meters tall in the middle.

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