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Tennis is a
racket sport Racket sports are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 1560, Pieter Bruegel the Elder File:Paul Cézann ...
that can be played individually against a single opponent (
singlesSingles may refer to: * Single persons and associated businesses and discussions Film and television * Singles (miniseries), ''Singles'' (miniseries), a 1984 Australian television series * Singles (1992 film), ''Singles'' (1992 film), written and ...

singles
) or between two teams of two players each (
doubles Doubles may refer to: * Doubles (food), a Trinidadian sandwich * Badminton#Doubles, a match with two players a side * Double (baseball), a two-base hit * Doubles (tennis), a match with two players a side * Doubles (bells), a ringing method rung on ...

doubles
). Each player uses a
tennis racket A racket or racquet is a sports implement consisting of a handled frame with an open hoop across which a network of strings or catgut is stretched tightly. It is used for striking a ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of ...

tennis racket
that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional s ...

ball
covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...

court
. The object of the game is to manoeuvre the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball validly will not gain a point, while the opposite player will. Tennis is an
Olympic Olympic or Olympics may refer to Sports Events * Olympic Games, international multi-sport event held since 1896 ** Summer Olympic Games ** Winter Olympic Games * Ancient Olympic Games, ancient multi-sport event held in Olympia, Greece between 77 ...
sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis originated in
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Ro ...

Birmingham
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis. It had close connections both to various field (lawn) games such as
croquet Croquet (french: croquet; ( UK) or ( US)) is a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to partic ...

croquet
and
bowls Bowls, or lawn bowls, is a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some ca ...

bowls
as well as to the older racket sport today called
real tennis Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of s" – is the original from which the modern game of (originally called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court tennis in the United States, formerly roy ...
. The rules of modern tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that until 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the
tiebreak In game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 1560, Pieter Bruegel the Elder File:Paul Cézanne, 1892-95, ...
in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point-challenge system, which allows a player to contest the
line call Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Lines (film), ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * The Line (2017 film), ''The Line'' (2017 film) * The Line (2009 film), ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line ...
of a point, a system known as
Hawk-Eye Hawk-Eye is a computer vision Computer vision is an interdisciplinary scientific field that deals with how computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatic ...
. Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is also a popular worldwide spectator sport. The four
Grand Slam Grand Slam or Grand slam may refer to: Games and sports * Glossary of contract bridge terms#S, Grand slam, winning category terminology originating in contract bridge and other whist family card games Auto racing * Grand Chelem or Grand S ...
tournaments (also referred to as the Majors) are especially popular: the
Australian Open The Australian Open is a tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Doubles, double ...
played on
hard court Hard may refer to: * Hardness Hardness (antonym: softness) is a measure of the resistance to localized induced by either mechanical or . In general, different materials differ in their hardness; for example hard metals such as and are harde ...
s, the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de Tennis), officially known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, sing ...
played on red
clay court A clay court is a tennis court A tennis court is the venue where the sport of is played. It is a firm rectangular surface with a low net stretched across the centre. The same surface can be used to play both matches. A variety of surfaces ...
s, Wimbledon played on
grass court A grass court is one of the four different types of tennis court A tennis court is the venue where the sport of is played. It is a firm rectangular surface with a low net stretched across the centre. The same surface can be used to play both ...
s, and the US Open also played on hard courts.


History


Predecessors

Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th century northern
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand.
Louis X of France Louis X (4 October 1289 – 5 June 1316), called the Quarrelsome, the Headstrong, or the Stubborn (french: le Hutin), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France ruled from the establishment of the West Francia, Kingdom of th ...

Louis X of France
was a keen player of ''
jeu de paume ''Jeu de paume'' (, ; originally spelled ; ), nowadays known as real tennis, (US) court tennis or (in France) ''courte paume'', is a ball-and-court game that originated in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: li ...

jeu de paume
'' ("game of the palm"), which evolved into
real tennis Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of s" – is the original from which the modern game of (originally called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court tennis in the United States, formerly roy ...
, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century". In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe. In June 1316 at
Vincennes Vincennes (, ) is a Communes of France, commune in the Val-de-Marne Departments of France, department in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the Kilometre Zero, centre of Paris. It is one of the most densely populated municip ...

Vincennes
, Val-de-Marne, and following a particularly exhausting game, Louis drank a large quantity of cooled wine and subsequently died of either
pneumonia Pneumonia is an inflammatory Inflammatory may refer to: * Inflammation, a biological response to harmful stimuli * The word ''inflammatory'' is also used to refer literally to fire and flammability, and figuratively in relation to comments t ...

pneumonia
or
pleurisy Pleurisy, also known as pleuritis, is inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that ...

pleurisy
, although there was also suspicion of poisoning. Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player known by name. Another of the early enthusiasts of the game was King
Charles V of France Charles V (21 January 1338 – 16 September 1380), called the Wise (french: le Sage; la, Sapiens), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, frenc ...
, who had a court set up at the
Louvre Palace The Louvre Palace (french: Palais du Louvre, ), often referred to simply as the Louvre, is an iconic building of the French state located on the Rive Droite, Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, occupying a vast expanse of land between the Tuiler ...

Louvre Palace
. It was not until the 16th century that s came into use and the game began to be called "tennis", from the term ''tenez'', which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an
interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling or reaction. It is a diverse category, encompassing many different parts of speech, such as exclamations ''(ouch!'', ''wow!''), curses ...
used as a call from the server to his opponent. It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors, where the ball could be hit off the wall.
Henry VIII of England Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for Wives of Henry VIII, his six marriages, including his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon ...
was a big fan of this game, which is now known as
real tennis Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of s" – is the original from which the modern game of (originally called "lawn tennis") is derived. It is also known as court tennis in the United States, formerly roy ...
. An epitaph in , written circa 1705, read, in part: During the 18th and early 19th centuries, as real tennis declined, new racket sports emerged in England. The invention of the first
lawn mower A lawn mower (also known as a mower, grass cutter or lawnmower) is a machine utilizing one or more revolving blades to cut a grass surface to an even height. The height of the cut grass may be fixed by the design of the mower, but generally is ...

lawn mower
in Britain in 1830 is believed to have been a catalyst for the preparation of modern-style grass courts, sporting ovals, playing fields, pitches, greens, etc. This in turn led to the codification of modern rules for many sports, including lawn tennis, most football codes, lawn bowls and others.


Origins of the modern game

Between 1859 and 1865
Harry Gem Major Thomas Henry Gem (21 May 1819 – 4 November 1881), known as Harry Gem, was an English lawyer, soldier, writer and sportsman. Alongside his friend Augurio Perera, he is credited as a lawn tennis pioneer.Rowley, Andrew,Gem, Thomas Henry (1 ...
, a solicitor and his friend
Augurio Perera Juan Bautista Luis Augurio Perera (c.1822 – after 1889), known as Augurio Perera, was a Spanish-born merchant and sportsman based in England, credited alongside his friend Harry Gem, Major Harry Gem as a lawn tennis pioneer.Rowley, Andrew,Gem, T ...
developed a game that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game
pelota Pelota (Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the ...
, which they played on Perera's
croquet Croquet (french: croquet; ( UK) or ( US)) is a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to partic ...

croquet
lawn in
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Ro ...

Birmingham
in England.Tyzack, Anna
The True Home of Tennis
''Country Life'', 22 June 2005
In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club on Avenue Road,
Leamington Spa Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa or simply Leamington (), is a spa town A spa town is a based on a (a developed ). Patrons visit spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word ''spa'' is ...
. This is where "lawn tennis" was used as a name of activity by a club for the first time. In ''Tennis: A Cultural History'', Heiner Gillmeister reveals that on 8 December 1874, British army officer
Walter Clopton Wingfield Major Walter Clopton Wingfield (16 October 1833 – 18 April 1912) was a Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, ind ...
wrote to Harry Gem, commenting that he (Wingfield) had been experimenting with his version of lawn tennis “for a year and a half”. In December 1873, Wingfield designed and patented a game which he called ''sphairistikè'' ( el, σφαιριστική, meaning "ball-playing"), and was soon known simply as "sticky" – for the amusement of guests at a garden party on his friend's estate of
Nantclwyd Hall Nantclwyd Hall is a 17th-century Grade II* listed buildings in Denbighshire, Grade II* listed mansion near the village of Llanelidan, Denbighshire, Wales,
, in Llanelidan, Wales. According to R. D. C. Evans, turfgrass
agronomist Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plant Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, co ...

agronomist
, "Sports historians all agree that
ingfield Ossett Town Association Football Club was an English association football, football club based in Ossett in West Yorkshire. History Ossett Town AFC were formed in 1936 when, during a public meeting, the Mayor of the Borough of Ossett charged J ...
deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis."J. Perris (2000
Grass tennis courts: how to construct and maintain them
p.8. STRI, 2000
According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, poles, rackets, balls for playing the game – and most importantly you had his rules. He was absolutely terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had very good connections with the clergy, the law profession, and the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874."
CNN. Retrieved 21 September 2011
The world's oldest annual tennis tournament took place at Leamington Lawn Tennis Club in Birmingham in 1874. This was three years before the
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, also known as the All England Club, based at Church Road, Wimbledon, London, England, is a private members' club. It is best known as the venue for the Wimbledon Championships The Championships, ...
would hold its first championships at Wimbledon, in 1877. The first Championships culminated in a significant debate on how to standardise the rules. In the US in 1874
Mary Ewing Outerbridge Mary Ewing Outerbridge (February 16, 1852 – May 3, 1886) was an American woman who imported the lawn game tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) o ...
, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda with a sphairistikè set. She became fascinated by the game of tennis after watching British army officers play. She laid out a tennis court at the
Staten Island Cricket Club The Staten Island Cricket Club (SICC) is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at eac ...
at Camp Washington, Tompkinsville,
Staten Island Staten Island () is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use o ...

Staten Island
, New York. The first American National championship was played there in September 1880. An Englishman named O.E. Woodhouse won the singles title, and a silver cup worth $100, by defeating Canadian I. F. Hellmuth. There was also a doubles match which was won by a local pair. There were different rules at each club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one normally used in New York. On 21 May 1881, the oldest nationwide tennis organization in the world was formed, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (now the
United States Tennis Association The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national Sport governing body, governing body for tennis in the United States. A not-for-profit organization with more than 700,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop t ...
) in order to standardize the rules and organize competitions. The US National Men's Singles Championship, now the US Open, was first held in 1881 at the
Newport Casino The Newport Casino is an athletic complex and recreation center located at 186–202 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England region of the U ...

Newport Casino
,
Newport, Rhode Island Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island Rhode Island, also known as Aquidneck Island, is an island in Narragansett Bay in the state of Rhode Island, which is named after the island. The total land area is , which makes it the largest is ...
. The US National Women's Singles Championships were first held in 1887 in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
. Tennis also became popular in France, where the
French Championships The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de Tennis), also called Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks at the Stade Roland Garros, Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France, beginning in late May each year. The v ...
dates to 1891 although until 1925 it was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. Thus, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the
Australian Open The Australian Open is a tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Doubles, double ...
(dating to 1905) became and have remained the most prestigious events in tennis. Together these four events are called the Majors or ''Slams'' (a term borrowed from
bridge A bridge is a structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules t ...

bridge
rather than
baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at ...
). In 1913, the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF), now the
International Tennis Federation The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a sys ...
(ITF), was founded and established three official tournaments as the major championships of the day. The World Grass Court Championships were awarded to Great Britain. The
World Hard Court Championships World Hard Court Championships was an annual major tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis mat ...
were awarded to France; the term "hard court" was used for clay courts at the time. Some tournaments were held in Belgium instead. And the
World Covered Court Championships The World Covered Court Championships were part of a series of three major world championships sanctioned from 1913–1923 by the International Lawn Tennis Federation The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the Sports governing body, governi ...
for indoor courts was awarded annually; Sweden, France, Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland and Spain each hosted the tournament. At a meeting held on 16 March 1923 in Paris, the title 'World Championship' was dropped and a new category of Official Championship was created for events in Great Britain, France, the United States, and Australia – today's Grand Slam events. The impact on the four recipient nations to replace the ‘world championships’ with ‘official championships’ was simple in a general sense: each became a major nation of the federation with enhanced voting power and each now operated a major event. The comprehensive rules promulgated in 1924 by the ILTF, have remained largely stable in the ensuing eighty years, the one major change being the addition of the ''
tiebreak In game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 1560, Pieter Bruegel the Elder File:Paul Cézanne, 1892-95, ...
'' system designed by
Jimmy Van Alen James Henry Van Alen II (September 19, 1902 – July 3, 1991) was an American tennis official. He is best known for being the founder of the International Tennis Hall of Fame The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode ...
. That same year, tennis withdrew from the Olympics after the 1924 Games but returned 60 years later as a 21-and-under demonstration event in 1984. This reinstatement was credited by the efforts by the then ITF President
Philippe Chatrier Philippe Chatrier (; 2 February 1926 – 22 June 2000) was a French tennis player. After his playing career ended, he became a journalist, and was then involved in sports administration. He was president of the French Tennis Federation for 20 yea ...
, ITF General Secretary David Gray and ITF Vice President Pablo Llorens, and support from IOC President
Juan Antonio Samaranch Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, 1st Marquess of Samaranch (; 17 July 1920 – 21 April 2010) was a Spanish sports administrator under the Franco regime (1973–1977) who served as the seventh President of the International Olympic Committee ( ...
. The success of the event was overwhelming and the IOC decided to reintroduce tennis as a full medal sport at Seoul in 1988. The
Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a Single-elimination tournament, knock-out format ...

Davis Cup
, an annual competition between men's national teams, dates to 1900. The analogous competition for women's national teams, the
Fed Cup The Billie Jean King Cup is the premier international team competition in women's tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of ...
, was founded as the Federation Cup in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ITF. In 1926, promoter C. C. Pyle established the first professional tennis tour with a group of American and French tennis players playing exhibition matches to paying audiences. The most notable of these early professionals were the American
Vinnie Richards Vincent "Vinnie" Richards (March 20, 1903 – September 28, 1959) was an American tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two ...
and the Frenchwoman
Suzanne Lenglen Suzanne Rachel Flore Lenglen (; 24 May 18994 July 1938) was a French tennis Tennis is a racket sport Racket sports are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 &ti ...
. Once a player ''turned pro'' he or she was no longer permitted to compete in the major (amateur) tournaments. In 1968, commercial pressures and rumours of some amateurs taking money under the table led to the abandonment of this distinction, inaugurating the
Open Era The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sport with more complex rules. Most ...
, in which all players could compete in all tournaments, and top players were able to make their living from tennis. With the beginning of the Open Era, the establishment of an international professional tennis circuit, and revenues from the sale of television rights, tennis's popularity has spread worldwide, and the sport has shed its middle-class English-speaking image (although it is acknowledged that this stereotype still exists). In 1954, Van Alen founded the
International Tennis Hall of Fame The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, United States. It honors both players and other contributors to the sport of tennis. The complex, the former Newport Casino, includes a museum, grass tennis courts, and an ...

International Tennis Hall of Fame
, a non-profit museum in Newport, Rhode Island. The building contains a large collection of tennis memorabilia as well as a hall of fame honouring prominent members and tennis players from all over the world.


Equipment

Part of the appeal of tennis stems from the simplicity of equipment required for play. Beginners need only a racket and balls.


Rackets

The components of a tennis racket include a handle, known as the grip, connected to a neck which joins a roughly elliptical frame that holds a matrix of tightly pulled strings. For the first 100 years of the modern game, rackets were made of wood and of standard size, and strings were of . Laminated wood construction yielded more strength in rackets used through most of the 20th century until first metal and then composites of carbon graphite, ceramics, and lighter metals such as titanium were introduced. These stronger materials enabled the production of oversized rackets that yielded yet more power. Meanwhile, technology led to the use of synthetic strings that match the feel of gut yet with added durability. Under modern rules of tennis, the rackets must adhere to the following guidelines; * The hitting area, composed of the strings, must be flat and generally uniform. * The frame of the hitting area may not be more than in length and in width. * The entire racket must be of a fixed shape, size, weight, and weight distribution. There may not be any energy source built into the rackets. * The rackets must not provide any kind of communication, instruction or advice to the player during the match. The rules regarding rackets have changed over time, as material and engineering advances have been made. For example, the maximum length of the frame had been until 1997, when it was shortened to . Many companies manufacture and distribute tennis rackets. Wilson, Head and Babolat are three of the most commonly used brands; however, many more companies exist. The same companies sponsor players to use these rackets in the hopes that the company name will become more well known by the public.


Strings

There are multiple types of tennis strings, such as natural gut, synthetic stings, made from materials such as
nylon Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymerSynthetic polymers are human-made polymers, often derived from petroleum oil. From the utility point of view they can be classified into three main categories: thermoplastics, ela ...

nylon
,
kevlar Kevlar (para-aramid) is a heat-resistant and strong synthetic fiber Synthetic fiber or synthetic fibre (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, ...
, or
polyester Polyester is a category of polymers that contain the ester functional group in every repeat unit of their main chain. As a specific material, it most commonly refers to a type called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Polyesters include natural ...


Natural gut

The first type of tennis strings available were natural gut strings, introduced by Babolat, until synthetic strings were introduced in the 1950s. Natural gut strings are still used frequently, by players such as Roger Federer. They are made from
cow Cow Cattle, or cows (female) and bulls (male), are the most common type of large domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the ...

cow
intestines, and provide increased power, and is easier on the arm than most strings.


Synthetic

Most synthetic strings are made from nylon, such as synthetic gut and multifilament strings. Synthetic gut cheap to buy, and is used widely by many recreational level players, for its all round performance, while multifilament strings are created to mimic natural gut more closely by weaving together fibres, but is generally more expensive than their synthetic gut counterparts. Polyester strings allow for more spin on the ball than any other string, due to their firm strings, while keeping control of the ball, and this is why many players use them, especially higher player ones. Kevlar tennis strings are highly durable, and are mostly used by players that frequently break strings, because of they maintain tension well, but these strings can be stiff on the arm.


Hybrid strings

Hybrid stringing is when a tennis racket is strung with two different strings for the mains (the vertical strings) and the crosses (the horizontal strings). This is most commonly done with two different strings that are made of different materials, but can also be done with two different types of the same string. A notable example of a player using hybrid strings is Roger Federer, using natural gut strings in his mains and polyester strings in his crosses.


Balls

Tennis balls were originally made of cloth strips stitched together with thread and stuffed with feathers. Modern tennis balls are made of hollow
vulcanized rubber Vulcanization (British: Vulcanisation) refers to a range of processes for hardening rubbers. The term originally referred exclusively to the treatment of natural rubber with sulfur Sulfur (in traditional laity, lay Commonwealth English ...
with a
felt Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including Cashmere wool, ca ...
coating. Traditionally white, the predominant colour was gradually changed to optic yellow in the latter part of the 20th century to allow for improved visibility. Tennis balls must conform to certain criteria for size, weight,
deformation Deformation can refer to: * Deformation (engineering), changes in an object's shape or form due to the application of a force or forces. ** Deformation (mechanics), such changes considered and analyzed as displacements of continuum bodies. * Defo ...
, and bounce to be approved for regulation play. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) defines the official diameter as . Balls must weigh between . Tennis balls were traditionally manufactured in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
. Although the process of producing the balls has remained virtually unchanged for the past 100 years, the majority of manufacturing now takes place in the
Far East The Far East is a term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nati ...

Far East
. The relocation is due to cheaper labour costs and materials in the region. Tournaments that are played under the ITF Rules of Tennis must use balls that are approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and be named on the official ITF list of approved tennis balls.


Manner of play


Court

Tennis is played on a rectangular, flat surface. The court is 78
feet The foot (plural: feet) is an anatomical Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemist ...
(23.77 m) long, and wide for singles matches and for doubles matches. Additional clear space around the court is required in order for players to reach overrun balls. A net is stretched across the full width of the court, parallel with the baselines, dividing it into two equal ends. It is held up by either a cord or metal cable of diameter no greater than . The net is high at the posts and high in the centre. The net posts are outside the doubles court on each side or, for a singles net, outside the singles court on each side. The modern tennis court owes its design to Major
Walter Clopton Wingfield Major Walter Clopton Wingfield (16 October 1833 – 18 April 1912) was a Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, ind ...
. In 1873, Wingfield patented a court much the same as the current one for his stické tennis (sphairistike). This template was modified in 1875 to the court design that exists today, with markings similar to Wingfield's version, but with the
hourglass An hourglass (or sandglass, sand timer, sand clock or egg timer) is a device used to measure the passage of time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, ...

hourglass
shape of his court changed to a rectangle. Tennis is unusual in that it is played on a variety of surfaces.
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,
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, and
hard court Hard may refer to: * Hardness Hardness (antonym: softness) is a measure of the resistance to localized induced by either mechanical or . In general, different materials differ in their hardness; for example hard metals such as and are harde ...
s of concrete or asphalt topped with acrylic are the most common. Occasionally carpet is used for indoor play, with hardwood flooring having been historically used.
Artificial turf Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. However, it is now being used on residential lawns and commerc ...
courts can also be found.


Lines

The lines that delineate the width of the court are called the baseline (farthest back) and the service line (middle of the court). The short mark in the centre of each baseline is referred to as either the hash mark or the centre mark. The outermost lines that make up the length are called the doubles sidelines; they are the boundaries for doubles matches. The lines to the inside of the doubles sidelines are the singles sidelines, and are the boundaries in singles play. The area between a doubles sideline and the nearest singles sideline is called the doubles alley, playable in doubles play. The line that runs across the centre of a player's side of the court is called the service line because the serve must be delivered into the area between the service line and the net on the receiving side. Despite its name, this is not where a player legally stands when making a serve. The line dividing the service line in two is called the centre line or centre service line. The boxes this centre line creates are called the service boxes; depending on a player's position, they have to hit the ball into one of these when serving. A ball is out only if none of it has hit the area inside the lines, or the line, upon its first bounce. All lines are required to be between in width, with the exception of the baseline which can be up to wide, although in practice it is often the same width as the others.


Play of a single point

The players or teams start on opposite sides of the net. One player is designated the ''server'', and the opposing player is the ''receiver''. The choice to be server or receiver in the first game and the choice of ends is decided by a coin toss before the warm-up starts. Service alternates game by game between the two players or teams. For each point, the server starts behind the baseline, between the centre mark and the sideline. The receiver may start anywhere on their side of the net. When the receiver is ready, the server will serve, although the receiver must play to the pace of the server. For a service to be legal, the ball must travel over the net without touching it into the diagonally opposite service box. If the ball hits the net but lands in the service box, this is a ''let'' or ''net service'', which is void, and the server retakes that serve. The player can serve any number of let services in a point and they are always treated as voids and not as faults. A fault is a serve that falls long or wide of the service box, or does not clear the net. There is also a "foot fault" when a player's foot touches the baseline or an extension of the centre mark before the ball is hit. If the second service, after a fault, is also a fault, the server ''double faults,'' and the receiver wins the point. However, if the serve is in, it is considered a legal service. A legal service starts a ''rally'', in which the players alternate hitting the ball across the net. A legal return consists of a player hitting the ball so that it falls in the server's court, before it has bounced twice or hit any fixtures except the net. A player or team cannot hit the ball twice in a row. The ball must travel over or round the net into the other players' court. A ball that hits the net during a rally is considered a legal return as long as it crosses into the opposite side of the court. The first player or team to fail to make a legal return loses the point. The server then moves to the other side of the service line at the start of a new point.


Scoring


Game, set, match


= Game

= A
game A game is a structured form of play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content serv ...
consists of a sequence of
points Point or points may refer to: Places * Point, Lewis, a peninsula in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland * Point, Texas, a city in Rains County, Texas, United States * Point, the NE tip and a ferry terminal of Lismore, Scotland, Lismore, Inner Hebrides, ...
played with the same player serving. A game is won by the first player to have won at least four points in total and at least two points more than the opponent. The running score of each game is described in a manner peculiar to tennis: scores from zero to three points are described as "love", "15", "30", and "40", respectively. If at least three points have been scored by each player, making the player's scores equal at 40 apiece, the score is not called out as "40–40", but rather as "deuce". If at least three points have been scored by each side and a player has one more point than his opponent, the score of the game is "advantage" for the player in the lead. During informal games, advantage can also be called "ad in" or "van in" when the serving player is ahead, and "ad out" or "van out" when the receiving player is ahead; alternatively, either player may simply call out "my ad" or "your ad" during informal play. The score of a tennis game during play is always read with the serving player's score first. In tournament play, the chair umpire calls the point count (e.g., "15–love") after each point. At the end of a game, the chair umpire also announces the winner of the game and the overall score.


= Set

= A set consists of a sequence of games played with service alternating between games, ending when the count of games won meets certain criteria. Typically, a player wins a set by winning at least six games and at least two games more than the opponent. If one player has won six games and the opponent five, an additional game is played. If the leading player wins that game, the player wins the set 7–5. If the trailing player wins the game (tying the set 6–6) a ''
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'' is played. A tiebreak, played under a separate set of rules, allows one player to win one more game and thus the set, to give a final set score of 7–6. A tiebreak game can be won by scoring at least seven points and at least two points more than the opponent. In a tiebreak, two players serve by 'ABBA' system which has been proven to be fair. A "love set" means that the loser of the set won zero games, colloquially termed a "jam donut" in the US. In tournament play, the chair umpire announces the winner of the set and the overall score. The final score in sets is always read with the winning player's score first, e.g. "6–2, 4–6, 6–0, 7–5".


= Match

= A
match A match is a tool for starting a fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because the con ...
consists of a sequence of sets. The outcome is determined through a best of three or five ''sets'' system. On the professional circuit, men play best-of-five-set matches at all four
Grand Slam Grand Slam or Grand slam may refer to: Games and sports * Glossary of contract bridge terms#S, Grand slam, winning category terminology originating in contract bridge and other whist family card games Auto racing * Grand Chelem or Grand S ...
tournaments, Davis Cup, and the final of the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
and best-of-three-set matches at all other tournaments, while women play best-of-three-set matches at all tournaments. The first player to win two sets in a best-of-three, or three sets in a best-of-five, wins the match. Only in the final sets of matches at the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de Tennis), officially known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, sing ...
, the Olympic Games, and
Fed Cup The Billie Jean King Cup is the premier international team competition in women's tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of ...
are tiebreaks not played. In these cases, sets are played indefinitely until one player has a two-game lead, occasionally leading to some remarkably long matches. In tournament play, the chair
umpire An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization or government A government is the system or group of peop ...

umpire
announces the end of the match with the well-known phrase "''Game, set, match''" followed by the winning person's or team's name.


Special point terms


= Game point

= A ''game point'' occurs in tennis whenever the player who is in the lead in the game needs only one more point to win the game. The terminology is extended to sets (set point), matches (match point), and even championships (championship point). For example, if the player who is serving has a score of 40–love, the player has a triple game point (triple set point, etc.) as the player has three consecutive chances to win the game. Game points, set points, and match points are not part of official scoring and are not announced by the chair umpire in tournament play.


= Break point

= A ''break point'' occurs if the receiver, not the
server Server may refer to: Computing *Server (computing) In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and dev ...
, has a chance to win the game with the next point. Break points are of particular importance because
serving Serving may refer to: * Serving size A serving size or portion size is the amount of a food or drink that is generally served. A distinction is made between a portion size as determined by an external agent, such as a food manufacturer, chef, ...
is generally considered advantageous, with servers being expected to win games in which they are serving. A receiver who has one (score of 30–40 or advantage), two (score of 15–40) or three (score of love–40) consecutive chances to win the game has ''break point'', ''double break point'' or ''triple break point'', respectively. If the receiver does, in fact, win their break point, the game is awarded to the receiver, and the receiver is said to have ''converted'' their break point. If the receiver fails to win their break point it is called a ''failure to convert.'' Winning break points, and thus the game, is also referred to as ''breaking serve'', as the receiver has disrupted, or ''broken'' the natural advantage of the server. If in the following game the previous server also wins a break point it is referred to as ''breaking back''. Except where tiebreaks apply, at least one break of serve is required to win a set (otherwise a two-game lead would never occur).


Rule variations

* No ad : From 'No advantage'. Scoring method created by
Jimmy Van Alen James Henry Van Alen II (September 19, 1902 – July 3, 1991) was an American tennis official. He is best known for being the founder of the International Tennis Hall of Fame The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode ...
. The first player or doubles team to win four points wins the game, regardless of whether the player or team is ahead by two points. When the game score reaches three points each, the receiver chooses which side of the court (advantage court or deuce court) the service is to be delivered on the seventh and game-deciding point. Utilized by
World Team Tennis World TeamTennis (WTT) is a mixed-gender professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tenni ...
professional competition, ATP tours, WTA tours, ITF Pro Doubles and ITF Junior Doubles. * Pro set : Instead of playing multiple sets, players may play one ''pro set''. A pro set is first to 8 (or 10) games by a margin of two games, instead of first to 6 games. A 12-point tiebreak is usually played when the score is 8–8 (or 10–10). These are often played with no-ad scoring. * Match tiebreak : This is sometimes played instead of a third set. A match tiebreak (also called ''super tiebreak'') is played like a regular tiebreak, but the winner must win ten points instead of seven. Match tiebreaks are used in the
Hopman Cup The Hopman Cup is an international eight-team indoor hardcourt Image:hardcourt tennis court curtiss park saline michigan.JPG, Tennis hardcourt, Curtiss Park, Saline, Michigan A hardcourt (or hard court) is a surface or floor on which a sport is ...
, Grand Slams (excluding Wimbledon) and the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
for mixed doubles; on the
ATP ATP may refer to: Companies and organizations * Association of Tennis Professionals * American Technical Publishers * ', a Danish pension * Armenia Tree Project * Association for Transpersonal Psychology * ATP architects engineers office * ATP ...
(since 2006),
WTAWTA may refer to: Organizations *Washington Trails Association *Waskahegan Trail Association, the management board for the Waskahegan Trail *Water Transit Authority, former name of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority ...
(since 2007) and
ITF ITF may refer to: * Indian Territorial Force, part of the Indian Army during British India * Industry Technology Facilitator, oil industry organization * Integrated test facility, for testing a production system with dummy data * Interleaved 2 of 5 ...
(excluding four
Grand Slam Grand Slam or Grand slam may refer to: Games and sports * Glossary of contract bridge terms#S, Grand slam, winning category terminology originating in contract bridge and other whist family card games Auto racing * Grand Chelem or Grand S ...
tournaments and the
Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a Single-elimination tournament, knock-out format ...

Davis Cup
) tours for doubles and as a player's choice in USTA league play. * Fast4 : Fast4 is a shortened format that offers a "fast" alternative, with four points, four games and four rules: there are no advantage scores, lets are played, tiebreakers apply at three games all, with it being first to five points with a "sudden death" point at four points all, and the first to four games wins the set. In the event of a no advantage deuce, the receiver gets to choose the service side. If a let occurs, the point continues as normal, and the non-receiver (in a doubles game) is permitted to return the serve. When players swap sides, they are not permitted to sit down and must be ready to play within sixty seconds. Between sets, players are permitted to sit down, and must be ready to play within ninety seconds. Another, however informal, tennis format is called
Canadian doubles Canadian doubles, similar to cutthroat tennis, is a method of playing tennis with three players. It pits two players against one player on the court at the same time. The only major rule variation between Canadian doubles and traditional doubles ...
. This involves three players, with one person playing against a doubles team. The single player gets to utilize the alleys normally reserved only for a doubles team. Conversely, the doubles team does not use the alleys when executing a shot. The scoring is the same as for a regular game. This format is not sanctioned by any official body. "Australian doubles", another informal and unsanctioned form of tennis, is played with similar rules to the
Canadian doubles Canadian doubles, similar to cutthroat tennis, is a method of playing tennis with three players. It pits two players against one player on the court at the same time. The only major rule variation between Canadian doubles and traditional doubles ...
style, only in this version, players rotate court position after each game, each player taking a turn at playing alone against the other two. As such, each player plays doubles and singles over the course of a match, with the singles player always serving. Scoring styles vary, but one popular method is to assign a value of 2 points to each game, with the server taking both points if he or she holds serve and the doubles team each taking one if they break serve.
Wheelchair tennis Wheelchair Tennis is one of the forms of tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Do ...
can be played by able-bodied players as well as people who require a wheelchair for mobility. An extra bounce is permitted. This rule makes it possible to have mixed wheelchair and able-bodied matches. It is possible for a doubles team to consist of a wheelchair player and an able-bodied player (referred to as "one-up, one-down"), or for a wheelchair player to play against an able-bodied player. In such cases, the extra bounce is permitted for the wheelchair users only.


Officials

In most professional play and some amateur competition, there is an officiating head judge or chair
umpire An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization or government A government is the system or group of peop ...

umpire
(usually referred to simply as the umpire), who sits in a raised chair to one side of the court. The umpire has absolute authority to make factual determinations. The umpire may be assisted by line judges, who determine whether the ball has landed within the required part of the court and who also call foot faults. There also may be a net judge who determines whether the ball has touched the net during service. The umpire has the right to overrule a line judge or a net judge if the umpire is sure that a clear mistake has been made. In past tournaments, line judges tasked with calling the serve were sometimes assisted by electronic sensors that beeped to indicate an out-of-bounds serve; one such system was called "
Cyclops In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, the Cyclopes ( ; el, Κύκλωπες, ''Kýklōpes'', "Circle-eyes" or "Round-eyes"; singular Cyclops ; , ''Kýklōps'') are giant one-eyed creatures. Three groups of Cyclopes can be distinguished ...
". Cyclops has since largely been replaced by the
Hawk-Eye Hawk-Eye is a computer vision Computer vision is an interdisciplinary scientific field that deals with how computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatic ...
system. In professional tournaments using this system, players are allowed three unsuccessful appeals per set, plus one additional appeal in the tiebreak to challenge close
line call Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Lines (film), ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * The Line (2017 film), ''The Line'' (2017 film) * The Line (2009 film), ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line ...
s by means of an electronic review. The US Open,
Miami Masters The Miami Open (also known as the Miami Masters, and currently branded as the Miami Open presented by Itaú for sponsorship reasons) is a tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of te ...
,
US Open SeriesThe US Open Series is the name given by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to a series of North American professional tennis tournaments leading up to and including the US Open (tennis), US Open. It is part of the "North American hard court ...
, and
World Team Tennis World TeamTennis (WTT) is a mixed-gender professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tenni ...
started using this challenge system in 2006 and the
Australian Open The Australian Open is a tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Doubles, double ...
and Wimbledon introduced the system in 2007. In clay-court matches, such as at the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de Tennis), officially known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, sing ...
, a call may be questioned by reference to the mark left by the ball's impact on the court surface. The referee, who is usually located off the court, is the final authority about tennis rules. When called to the court by a player or team captain, the referee may overrule the umpire's decision if the tennis rules were violated (question of law) but may not change the umpire's decision on a question of fact. If, however, the referee is on the court during play, the referee may overrule the umpire's decision. (This would only happen in Davis Cup or Fed Cup matches, not at the World Group level, when a chair umpire from a non-neutral country is in the chair).


Junior tennis

In tennis, a junior is a player under 18 who is still legally protected by a parent or guardian. Players on the main adult tour who are under 18 must have documents signed by a parent or guardian. These players, however, are still eligible to play in junior tournaments. The
International Tennis Federation The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a sys ...
(ITF) conducts a junior tour that allows juniors to establish a world ranking and an
Association of Tennis Professionals The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is the governing body of the men's professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between tw ...
(ATP) or
Women's Tennis Association The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) is the principal organizing body of women's professional tennis. It governs the WTA Tour The WTA Tour is a worldwide top-tier tennis Tennis is a racket sport Racket sports are game with separat ...
(WTA) ranking. Most juniors who enter the international circuit do so by progressing through ITF, Satellite, Future, and Challenger tournaments before entering the main circuit. The latter three circuits also have adults competing in them. Some juniors, however, such as Australian
Lleyton Hewitt Lleyton Glynn Hewitt (born 24 February 1981) is an Australian semi-retired professional tennis player and former world No. 1. He is the most recent Australian to win a men's singles Grand Slam title. In November 2001 Hewitt became the younges ...
and Frenchman
Gaël Monfils Gaël Sébastien Monfils (; born 1 September 1986) is a French professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two playe ...
, have catapulted directly from the junior tour to the ATP tour by dominating the junior scene or by taking advantage of opportunities given to them to participate in professional tournaments. In 2004, the ITF implemented a new rankings scheme to encourage greater participation in doubles, by combining two rankings (singles and doubles) into one combined tally. Junior tournaments do not offer
prize money Prize money refers in particular to naval prize money, usually arising in naval warfare, but also in other circumstances. It was a monetary reward paid in accordance with the prize law of a belligerent state to the crew of a ship belonging to th ...
except for the Grand Slam tournaments, which are the most prestigious junior events. Juniors may earn income from tennis by participating in the Future, Satellite, or Challenger tours. Tournaments are broken up into different tiers offering different amounts of ranking points, culminating with Grade A. Leading juniors are allowed to participate for their nation in the Junior Fed Cup and Davis Cup competitions. To succeed in tennis often means having to begin playing at a young age. To facilitate and nurture a junior's growth in tennis, almost all tennis playing nations have developed a junior development system. Juniors develop their play through a range of tournaments on all surfaces, accommodating all different standards of play. Talented juniors may also receive sponsorships from governing bodies or private institutions.


Match play


Continuity

A tennis match is intended to be continuous. Because stamina is a relevant factor, arbitrary delays are not permitted. In most cases, service is required to occur no more than 20 seconds after the end of the previous point. This is increased to 90 seconds when the players change ends (after every odd-numbered game), and a 2-minute break is permitted between sets. Other than this, breaks are permitted only when forced by events beyond the players' control, such as rain, damaged footwear, damaged racket, or the need to retrieve an errant ball. Should a player be deemed to be stalling repeatedly, the chair umpire may initially give a warning followed by subsequent penalties of "point", "game", and default of the match for the player who is consistently taking longer than the allowed time limit. In the event of a rain delay, darkness or other external conditions halting play, the match is resumed at a later time, with the same score as at the time of the delay, and each player at the same end of the court as when rain halted play, or as close to the same relative compass point if play is resumed on a different court.


Ball changes

Balls wear out quickly in serious play and, therefore, in
ATP ATP may refer to: Companies and organizations * Association of Tennis Professionals * American Technical Publishers * ', a Danish pension * Armenia Tree Project * Association for Transpersonal Psychology * ATP architects engineers office * ATP ...
and
WTAWTA may refer to: Organizations *Washington Trails Association *Waskahegan Trail Association, the management board for the Waskahegan Trail *Water Transit Authority, former name of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority ...
tournaments, they are changed after every nine games with the first change occurring after only seven games, because the first set of balls is also used for the pre-match warm-up. In
ITF ITF may refer to: * Indian Territorial Force, part of the Indian Army during British India * Industry Technology Facilitator, oil industry organization * Integrated test facility, for testing a production system with dummy data * Interleaved 2 of 5 ...
tournaments like
Fed Cup The Billie Jean King Cup is the premier international team competition in women's tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of ...
, the balls are changed after every eleven games (rather than nine) with the first change occurring after only nine games (instead of seven). An exception is that a ball change may not take place at the beginning of a tiebreaker, in which case the ball change is delayed until the beginning of the second game of the next set. As a courtesy to the receiver, the server will often signal to the receiver before the first serve of the game in which new balls are used as a reminder that they are using new balls. Continuity of the balls' condition is considered part of the game, so if a re-warm-up is required after an extended break in play (usually due to rain), then the re-warm-up is done using a separate set of balls, and use of the match balls is resumed only when play resumes.


On-court coaching

A recent rule change is to allow coaching on court on a limited basis during a match. This has been introduced in women's tennis for
WTA Tour The WTA Tour is a worldwide top-tier tennis tour for women organized by the Women's Tennis Association. The second-tier tour is the WTA 125K series, and third-tier is the ITF Women's Circuit. The men's equivalent is the ATP Tour. WTA Tour tourna ...
events in 2009 and allows the player to request her coach once per set.


Stance

Stance refers to the way a player prepares themselves in order to best be able to return a shot. Essentially, it enables them to move quickly in order to achieve a particular stroke. There are four main stances in modern tennis: open, semi-open, closed, and neutral. All four stances involve the player crouching in some manner: as well as being a more efficient striking posture, it allows them to isometrically preload their muscles in order to play the stroke more dynamically. What stance is selected is strongly influenced by shot selection. A player may quickly alter their stance depending on the circumstances and the type of shot they intend to play. Any given stance also alters dramatically based upon the actual playing of the shot with dynamic movements and shifts of body weight occurring.


Open stance

This is the most common stance in tennis. The player's feet are placed parallel to the net. They may be pointing sideways, directly at the net or diagonally towards it. This stance allows for a high degree of torso rotation which can add significant power to the stroke. This process is sometimes likened to the coiling and uncoiling of a spring. i.e. the torso is rotated as a means of preloading the muscular system in preparation for playing the stroke: this is the coiling phase. When the stroke is played the torso rotates to face forwards again, called uncoiling, and adds significant power to the stroke. A disadvantage of this stance is that it does not always allow ‘for proper weight transfer and maintenance of balance’ when making powerful strokes. It is commonly used for forehand strokes; double-handed backhands can also be made effectively from it.


Semi-open stance

This stance is somewhere between open and closed and is a very flexible stance. The feet are aligned diagonally towards the net. It allows for a lot of shoulder rotation and the torso can be coiled, before being uncoiled into the shot in order to increase the power of the shot. It is commonly used in modern tennis especially by ‘top professional players on the forehand’. Two-handed backhands can also be employed from this stance.


Closed stance

The closed stance is the least commonly used of the three main stances. One foot is placed further towards the net with the other foot further from it; there is a diagonal alignment between the feet. It allows for effective torso rotation in order to increase the power of the shot. It is usually used to play backhand shots and it is rare to see forehand shots played from it. A stroke from this stance may entail the rear foot coming completely off the floor with bodyweight being transferred entirely to the front foot.


Neutral stance

This is sometimes also referred to as the square stance. One foot is positioned closer to the net and ahead of the other which is behind and in line with it. Both feet are aligned at a 90 degree angle to the net. The neutral stance is often taught early because ‘It allows beginners to learn about shifting weight and rotation of the body.’ Forehands and backhands may be made from it.


Shots

A competent tennis player has eight basic shots in his or her repertoire: the serve, forehand, backhand, volley, half-volley, overhead smash, drop shot, and lob.


Grip

A grip is a way of holding the racket in order to hit shots during a match. The grip affects the angle of the racket face when it hits the ball and influences the pace, spin, and placement of the shot. Players use various grips during play, including the Continental (The "Handshake Grip"), Eastern (Can be either semi-eastern or full eastern. Usually used for backhands.), and Western (semi-western or full western, usually for forehand grips) grips. Most players change grips during a match depending on what shot they are hitting; for example, slice shots and serves call for a Continental grip.


Serve

A serve (or, more formally, a "service") in tennis is a shot to start a point. The serve is initiated by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it (usually near the apex of its trajectory) into the diagonally opposite service box without touching the net. The serve may be hit under- or overhand although underhand serving remains a rarity. If the ball hits the net on the first serve and bounces over into the correct diagonal box then it is called a "let" and the server gets two more additional serves to get it in. There can also be a let if the server serves the ball and the receiver isn't prepared. If the server misses his or her first serve and gets a let on the second serve, then they get one more try to get the serve in the box. Experienced players strive to master the conventional overhand serve to maximize its power and placement. The server may employ different types of serve including flat serve, topspin serve, slice serve, and kick (American twist) serve. A reverse type of spin serve is hit in a manner that spins the ball opposite the natural spin of the server, the spin direction depending upon right- or left-handedness. If the ball is spinning counterclockwise, it will curve right from the hitter's point of view and curve left if spinning clockwise. Some servers are content to use the serve simply to initiate the point; however, advanced players often try to hit a winning shot with their serve. A winning serve that is not touched by the opponent is called an "ace".


Forehand

For a right-handed player, the forehand is a stroke that begins on the right side of the body, continues across the body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the left side of the body. There are various grips for executing the forehand, and their popularity has fluctuated over the years. The most important ones are the ''continental'', the ''eastern'', the ''semi-western'', and the ''western''. For a number of years, the small, frail 1920s player Bill Johnston was considered by many to have had the best forehand of all time, a stroke that he hit shoulder-high using a ''western'' grip. Few top players used the ''western'' grip after the 1920s, but in the latter part of the 20th century, as shot-making techniques and equipment changed radically, the ''western'' forehand made a strong comeback and is now used by many modern players. No matter which grip is used, most forehands are generally executed with one hand holding the racket, but there have been fine players with two-handed forehands. In the 1940s and 50s, the Ecuadorian/American player
Pancho Segura Francisco Olegario Segura (June 20, 1921 – November 18, 2017), better known as Pancho "Segoo" Segura, was a leading tennis player of the 1940s and 1950s, both as an amateur and as a professional. In 1950, 1951, and 1952, as a professional ...
used a two-handed forehand to achieve a devastating effect against larger, more powerful players. Players such as
Monica Seles Monica Seles (; hu, Szeles Mónika, ; sr, Моника Селеш, Monika Seleš; born December 2, 1973) is a retired professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis ...

Monica Seles
or France's
Fabrice Santoro Fabrice Vetea Santoro (born 9 December 1972) is a retired French tennis player from Tahiti. Successful in both singles and doubles, he had an unusually long professional career, with many of his accomplishments coming toward the end of his caree ...

Fabrice Santoro
and
Marion Bartoli Marion Bartoli (; born 2 October 1984) is a French former professional tennis player. She won the 2013 Wimbledon Championships singles title after previously being runner-up in 2007 Wimbledon Championships, 2007, and was a semifinalist at the 201 ...

Marion Bartoli
are also notable players known for their two-handed forehands.


Backhand

For right-handed players, the backhand is a stroke that begins on the left side of their body, continues across their body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the right side of their body. It can be executed with either one hand or with both and is generally considered more difficult to master than the forehand. For most of the 20th century, the backhand was performed with one hand, using either an ''eastern'' or a ''continental'' grip. The first notable players to use two hands were the 1930s Australians
Vivian McGrath Vivian Erzerum Bede "Viv" McGrath (17 February 1916 – 9 April 1978) was a tennis champion from Australia. Along with John Bromwich, he was one of the early great players to use a two-handed backhand. His name was pronounced "McGraw". Biog ...
and
John Bromwich John Edward Bromwich (14 November 1918 – 21 October 1999) was an Australian tennis player who, along with fellow countryman Vivian McGrath, was one of the first great players to use a two-handed backhand. He was a natural left-hander, though ...
, but they were lonely exceptions. The two-handed grip gained popularity in the 1970s as
Björn Borg Björn Rune Borg (; born 6 June 1956) is a former world No. 1 tennis player from Sweden. Between 1974 and 1981, he became the first man in the Open Era to win 11 Grand Slam singles titles (six at the French Open The French Open (french: ...

Björn Borg
,
Chris Evert Christine Marie Evert (born December 21, 1954), known as Chris Evert Lloyd from 1979 to 1987, is an American former world No. 1 tennis player. She won 18 Grand Slam singles championships and three doubles titles. She was the year-ending world ...

Chris Evert
,
Jimmy Connors James Scott Connors (born September 2, 1952) is an American former world No. 1World number 1 or world no. 1 refers to the highest world ranking in several competitive sports: *List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players, in men's tennis * ...
, and later
Mats Wilander Mats Arne Olof Wilander (; born 22 August 1964) is a former List of ATP number 1 ranked players, world No. 1 tennis player from Sweden. From 1982 to 1988, he won seven Grand Slam (tennis), Grand Slam singles titles (three at the French Open, three ...

Mats Wilander
and
Marat Safin Marat Mubinovich Safin ; tt, Марат Мөбин улы Сафин, Marat Möbin ulı Safin (born 27 January 1980) is a Russian retired world No. 1World number 1 or world no. 1 refers to the highest world ranking in several competitive spor ...

Marat Safin
used it to great effect, and it is now used by a large number of the world's best players, including
Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic ( sr-cyr, Новак Ђоковић, translit=Novak Đoković, ; born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian professional tennis player. He is currently ranked as List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 by the Assoc ...

Novak Djokovic
,
Rafael Nadal Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport Racket sports are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 &tim ...

Rafael Nadal
and
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player. She has won 23 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the All-time tennis records – ...

Serena Williams
. Two hands give the player more control, while one hand can generate a slice shot, applying backspin on the ball to produce a low trajectory bounce. Reach is also limited with the two-handed shot. The player long considered to have had the best backhand of all time,
Don Budge John Donald Budge (June 13, 1915 – January 26, 2000) was an American tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players ...

Don Budge
, had a powerful one-handed stroke in the 1930s and 1940s that imparted topspin onto the ball.
Ken Rosewall Kenneth Robert Rosewall (born 2 November 1934) is a former world top-ranking amateur and professional tennis player from Australia. He won a record 23 tennis Majors, including 8 Grand Slam (tennis), Grand Slam singles titles and, before the Ope ...

Ken Rosewall
, another player noted for his one-handed backhand, used a very accurate slice backhand through the 1950s and 1960s. A small number of players, notably
Monica Seles Monica Seles (; hu, Szeles Mónika, ; sr, Моника Селеш, Monika Seleš; born December 2, 1973) is a retired professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis ...

Monica Seles
, use two hands on both the backhand and forehand sides.


Other shots

A '' volley'' is a shot returned to the opponent in mid-air before the ball bounces, generally performed near the net, and is usually made with a stiff-wristed punching motion to hit the ball into an open area of the opponent's court. The '' half volley'' is made by hitting the ball on the rise just after it has bounced, also generally in the vicinity of the net, and played with the racket close to the ground. The ''swinging volley'' is hit out of the air as the player approaches the net. It is an offensive shot used to take preparation time away from the opponent, as it returns the ball into the opponent's court much faster than a standard volley. From a poor defensive position on the baseline, the '' lob'' can be used as either an offensive or defensive weapon, hitting the ball high and deep into the opponent's court to either enable the lobber to get into better defensive position or to win the point outright by hitting it over the opponent's head. If the lob is not hit deeply enough into the other court, however, an opponent near the net may then hit an '' overhead smash'', a hard, serve-like shot, to try to end the point. A difficult shot in tennis is the return of an attempted lob over the backhand side of a player. When the contact point is higher than the reach of a two-handed backhand, most players will try to execute a high slice (under the ball or sideways). Fewer players attempt the backhand sky-hook or smash. Rarely, a player will go for a high topspin backhand, while themselves in the air. A successful execution of any of these alternatives requires balance and timing, with less margin of error than the lower contact point backhands, since this shot is a break in the regular pattern of play. If their opponent is deep in their court, a player may suddenly employ an unexpected ''
drop shot A drop shot is a shot in some racquet sports in which the ball (or birdie) is hit relatively softly, and lands just over and close to the net. A good drop shot will go just over the net, landing close to the net. If the shot is played fast enough ...
'', by softly tapping the ball just over the net so that the opponent is unable to run in fast enough to retrieve it. Advanced players will often apply back spin to a drop shot, causing the ball to "skid" upon landing and bounce sideways, with less forward momentum toward their opponent, or even backwards towards the net, thus making it even more difficult to return.


Injuries

Muscle strain is one of the most common injuries in tennis. When an isolated large-energy appears during the muscle contraction and at the same time body weight apply huge amount of pressure to the lengthened muscle,
muscle strain A strain is an acute or Chronic condition, chronic soft tissue injury that occurs to a muscle, tendon, or both. The equivalent injury to a ligament is a sprain. Generally, the muscle or tendon overstretches and partially tears, under more physica ...
can occur. Inflammation and bleeding are triggered when muscle strain occurs, which can result in redness, pain and swelling. Overuse is also common in tennis players of all levels.
Muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tissues can be broadly cat ...
,
cartilage Cartilage (cartilaginous tissue) is a resilient and smooth elastic tissue Elastic is a word often used to describe or identify certain types of elastomer An elastomer is a polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-m ...

cartilage
,
nerves A nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of nerve fibers called axon An axon (from Greek ἄξων ''áxōn'', axis), or nerve fiber (or nerve fibre: see American and British English spelling differences#-re, -er, spelling differences), is a ...
,
bursae A synovial bursa (plural bursae or bursas) is a small fluid-filled sac lined by synovial membrane The synovial membrane (also known as the synovial stratum, synovium or stratum synoviale) is a specialized connective tissue that lines the inner su ...
,
ligaments A ligament is the fibrous connective tissue Connective tissue is one of the four basic types of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. Wi ...

ligaments
and
tendons A tendon or sinew is a tough, high-tensile-strength band of dense fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant ...
may be damaged from overuse. The repetitive use of a particular muscle without time for repair and recovery is the most common cause of injury.


Tournaments

Tournaments are often organized by gender and number of players. Common tournament configurations include men's singles, women's singles, and doubles, where two players play on each side of the net. Tournaments may be organized for specific age groups, with upper age limits for youth and lower age limits for senior players. Example of this include the
Orange Bowl The Orange Bowl is an annual American college football College football (french: football universitaire) is gridiron football consisting of American football in the United States, American football played by teams of student athletes fie ...
and
Les Petits AsLes Petits As (English: ''Little champions'') is a premier junior tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types ...
junior tournaments. There are also tournaments for players with disabilities, such as
wheelchair tennis Wheelchair Tennis is one of the forms of tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Do ...
and deaf tennis. In the four
Grand Slam Grand Slam or Grand slam may refer to: Games and sports * Glossary of contract bridge terms#S, Grand slam, winning category terminology originating in contract bridge and other whist family card games Auto racing * Grand Chelem or Grand S ...
tournaments, the singles draws are limited to 128 players for each gender. Most large tournaments
seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was released to generally positi ...
players, but players may also be matched by their skill level. According to how well a person does in sanctioned play, a player is given a rating that is adjusted periodically to maintain competitive matches. For example, the
United States Tennis Association The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national Sport governing body, governing body for tennis in the United States. A not-for-profit organization with more than 700,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop t ...
administers the National Tennis Rating Program ( NTRP), which rates players between 1.0 and 7.0 in 1/2 point increments. Average club players under this system would rate 3.0–4.5 while world class players would be 7.0 on this scale.


Grand Slam tournaments

The four
Grand Slam Grand Slam or Grand slam may refer to: Games and sports * Glossary of contract bridge terms#S, Grand slam, winning category terminology originating in contract bridge and other whist family card games Auto racing * Grand Chelem or Grand S ...
tournaments are considered to be the most prestigious tennis events in the world. They are held annually and comprise, in chronological order, the
Australian Open The Australian Open is a tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Doubles, double ...
, the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de Tennis), officially known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, sing ...
, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Apart from the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
,
Davis Cup The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a Single-elimination tournament, knock-out format ...

Davis Cup
,
Fed Cup The Billie Jean King Cup is the premier international team competition in women's tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of ...
, and
Hopman Cup The Hopman Cup is an international eight-team indoor hardcourt Image:hardcourt tennis court curtiss park saline michigan.JPG, Tennis hardcourt, Curtiss Park, Saline, Michigan A hardcourt (or hard court) is a surface or floor on which a sport is ...
, they are the only tournaments regulated by the
International Tennis Federation The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a sys ...
(ITF). The ITF's national associations,
Tennis Australia Tennis Australia Limited is the governing body for Tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis ...
(Australian Open), the Fédération Française de Tennis (French Open), the Lawn Tennis Association (Wimbledon) and the
United States Tennis Association The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national Sport governing body, governing body for tennis in the United States. A not-for-profit organization with more than 700,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop t ...
(US Open) are delegated the responsibility to organize these events. Aside from the historical significance of these events, they also carry larger prize funds than any other tour event and are worth double the number of ranking points to the champion than in the next echelon of tournaments, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Masters 1000 (men) and WTA Premier tournaments, Premier events (women). Another distinguishing feature is the number of players in the singles draw. There are 128, more than any other professional tennis tournament. This draw is composed of 32 seeded players, other players ranked in the world's top 100, qualifiers, and players who receive invitations through Wild card (sports), wild cards. Grand Slam men's tournaments have best-of-five set matches while the women play best-of-three. Grand Slam tournaments are among the small number of events that last two weeks, the others being the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells Masters and the Sony Ericsson Open, Miami Masters. Currently, the Grand Slam tournaments are the only tour events that have Types of tennis match, mixed doubles contests. Grand Slam tournaments are held in conjunction with wheelchair tennis tournaments and junior tennis competitions. These tournaments also contain their own idiosyncrasies. For example, players at Wimbledon are required to wear predominantly white. Andre Agassi chose to skip Wimbledon from 1988 through 1990 citing the event's traditionalism, particularly its "predominantly white" dress code. Wimbledon has its own particular methods for disseminating tickets, often leading tennis fans to follow complex procedures to obtain tickets. *The international tournament began in 1925.


Men's tournament structure


Masters 1000

The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 is a group of nine tournaments that form the second-highest echelon in men's tennis. Each event is held annually, and a win at one of these events is worth 1000 ranking points. When the
ATP ATP may refer to: Companies and organizations * Association of Tennis Professionals * American Technical Publishers * ', a Danish pension * Armenia Tree Project * Association for Transpersonal Psychology * ATP architects engineers office * ATP ...
, led by Hamilton Jordan, began running the men's tour in 1990, the directors designated the top nine tournaments, outside of the
Grand Slam Grand Slam or Grand slam may refer to: Games and sports * Glossary of contract bridge terms#S, Grand slam, winning category terminology originating in contract bridge and other whist family card games Auto racing * Grand Chelem or Grand S ...
events, as "Super 9" events. In 2000 this became the Tennis Masters Series and in 2004 the ATP Masters Series. In November at the end of the tennis year, the world's top eight players compete in the ATP World Tour Finals, a tournament with a rotating locale. It is currently held in London, England. In August 2007 the ATP announced major changes to the tour that were introduced in 2009. The Masters Series was renamed to the "Masters 1000", the addition of the number 1000 referring to the number of ranking points earned by the winner of each tournament. Contrary to earlier plans, the number of tournaments was not reduced from nine to eight and the Monte Carlo Masters remains part of the series although, unlike the other events, it does not have a mandatory player commitment. The Hamburg Masters has been downgraded to a 500-point event. The Madrid Open (tennis), Madrid Masters moved to May and onto clay courts, and a new tournament in Shanghai took over Madrid's former indoor October slot. As of 2011 six of the nine "1000" level tournaments are combined ATP and
WTAWTA may refer to: Organizations *Washington Trails Association *Waskahegan Trail Association, the management board for the Waskahegan Trail *Water Transit Authority, former name of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority ...
events.


250 and 500 Series

The third and fourth tier of men's tennis tournaments are formed by the ATP World Tour 500 series, consisting of 11 tournaments, and the ATP World Tour 250 series with 40 tournaments. Like the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, these events offer various amounts of prize money and the numbers refer to the number of ranking points earned by the winner of a tournament. The Dubai Tennis Championships offer the largest financial incentive to players, with total prize money of US$2,313,975 (2012). These series have various draws of 28, 32, 48 and 56 for singles and 16 and 24 for doubles. It is mandatory for leading players to enter at least four 500 events, including at least one after the US Open.


Challenger Tour and Futures tournaments

The ATP Challenger Tour, Challenger Tour for men is the lowest level of tournament administered by the
ATP ATP may refer to: Companies and organizations * Association of Tennis Professionals * American Technical Publishers * ', a Danish pension * Armenia Tree Project * Association for Transpersonal Psychology * ATP architects engineers office * ATP ...
. It is composed of about 150 events and, as a result, features a more diverse range of countries hosting events. The majority of players use the Challenger Series at the beginning of their career to work their way up the rankings. Andre Agassi, between winning Grand Slam tournaments, plummeted to World No. 141 and used Challenger Series events for match experience and to progress back up the rankings. The Challenger Series offers prize funds of between US$25,000 and US$150,000. Below the Challenger Tour are the Futures tournaments, events on the ITF Men's Circuit. These tournaments also contribute towards a player's ATP rankings points. Futures Tournaments offer prize funds of between US$10,000 and US$15,000. Approximately 530 Futures Tournaments are played each year.


Women's tournament structure

In 2021, the WTA rebranded, resembling the men's tournament series, and also providing extra simplicity for fans and consumers. The numbers do not indicate ranking points, or prize money, but is a system to help define different levels of women's tennis.


WTA 1000

The WTA 1000 tournaments, WTA 1000 Tournaments (formerly the WTA Premier tournaments, Premier Mandatory and Premier 5 Tournaments), are a series of seven tournaments that are part of the second-highest tier in women's tennis.


250 and 500 Series

The third and fourth tier of women's tennis tournaments are formed from the WTA 500 tournaments, WTA 500 Series (formerly Premier 700), with fifteen tournaments, and the WTA 250 tournaments, WTA 250 Series (formerly International), consisting of thirty tournaments.


WTA 125

The WTA 125 tournaments, WTA 125 Series (formerly 125K Series), is the lowest tier of women's tennis, with fourteen tournaments.


Players


Professional players

Professional tennis players enjoy the same relative perks as most top sports personalities: clothing, equipment and endorsements. Like players of other individual sports such as golf, they are not salaried, but must play and finish highly in tournaments to obtain prize money. In recent years, professional tennis players have been mocked by tabloids and fans for the involuntary or deliberate noise caused by players' Grunting (tennis), grunting. This controversy has spurred the Grand Slam Committee, the International Tennis Association, and the Women's Tennis Association to teach players techniques to avoid grunting.


Singles and doubles professional careers

While players are gradually less competitive in singles by their late 20s and early 30s, they can still continue competitively in doubles (as instanced by Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe, who won doubles titles in their 40s). In the Open Era, several female players such as Martina Navratilova, Margaret Court, Martina Hingis,
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player. She has won 23 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the All-time tennis records – ...

Serena Williams
, and Venus Williams (the latter two sisters playing together) have been prolific at both singles and doubles events throughout their careers. John McEnroe is one of the very few professional male players to be top ranked in both singles and doubles at the same time, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov is the most recent male player to win multiple Grand Slams in both singles and doubles during the same period of his career. In terms of public attention and earnings (see below), singles champions have far surpassed their doubles counterparts. The Open Era, particularly the men's side, has seen many top-ranked singles players that only sparingly compete in doubles, while having "doubles specialists" who are typically being eliminated early in the singles draw but do well in the doubles portion of a tournament. Notable doubles pairings include The Woodies (Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde) and the Bryan Brothers (identical twin brothers Bob Bryan, Robert Charles "Bob" Bryan and Mike Bryan, Michael Carl "Mike" Bryan). Woodbridge has disliked the term "doubles ‘specialists’", saying that he and Woodforde "set a singles schedule and doubles fitted in around that", although later in Woodbridge's career he focused exclusively on doubles as his singles ranking fell too low that it was no longer financially viable to recover at that age. Woodbridge noted that while top singles players earn enough that they don't need to nor want to play doubles, he suggested that lower-ranked singles players outside the Top Ten should play doubles to earn more playing time and money.


Olympics

The Olympics doubles tennis tournament necessitates that both members of a doubles pairing be from the same country, hence several top professional pairs such as Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares cannot compete in the Olympics. Top-ranked singles players that are usually rivals on the professional circuit, such as Boris Becker and Michael Stich, and Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka have formed a rare doubles partnership for the Olympics. Unlike professional tennis tournaments (see below) where singles players receive much more prize money than doubles players, an Olympic medal for both singles and doubles has similar prestige. The Olympics is more of a priority for doubles champions while singles champions often skip the tournament. While the ATP has voted for Olympic results to count towards player ranking points, WTA players voted against it. For the 2000 Olympics, Lisa Raymond was passed over for Team USA in favour of
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player. She has won 23 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the All-time tennis records – ...

Serena Williams
by captain Billie Jean King, even though Raymond was the top-ranked doubles player in the world at the time, and Raymond unsuccessfully challenged the selection.


Prize money

In professional tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon, the singles competition receives the most prize money and coverage, followed by doubles, and then mixed doubles usually receive the lowest monetary awards. For instance in the US Open (tennis)#Prize money, US Open as of 2018, the men's and women's singles prize money (US$40,912,000) accounts for 80.9 percent of total player base compensation, while men's and women's doubles (US$6,140,840), men's and women's singles qualifying (US$3,008,000), and mixed doubles (US$505,000) account for 12.1 percent, 5.9 percent, and 1.0 percent, respectively. The singles winner receives US$3,800,000, while the doubles winning pair receives $700,000 and the mixed doubles winning pair receives US$155,000.


Grand Slam tournament winners

The following players have won at least five singles titles at Grand Slam tournaments: *''Active players in bold''


Greatest male players

File:Ken Rosewall portrait.jpg,
Ken Rosewall Kenneth Robert Rosewall (born 2 November 1934) is a former world top-ranking amateur and professional tennis player from Australia. He won a record 23 tennis Majors, including 8 Grand Slam (tennis), Grand Slam singles titles and, before the Ope ...

Ken Rosewall
File:Rodney George Laver crop.jpg, Rod Laver File:R federer.jpg, Roger Federer File:Nadal vs Federer RG 2007.jpg,
Rafael Nadal Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport Racket sports are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 &tim ...

Rafael Nadal
File:Novak Djokovic at ATP 2015.jpg,
Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic ( sr-cyr, Новак Ђоковић, translit=Novak Đoković, ; born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian professional tennis player. He is currently ranked as List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 by the Assoc ...

Novak Djokovic
A frequent topic of discussion among tennis fans and commentators is who was the greatest male singles player of all time. By a large margin, an Associated Press poll in 1950 named Bill Tilden as the greatest player of the first half of the 20th century. From 1920 to 1930, Tilden won singles titles at Wimbledon three times and the US Open (tennis), US Championships seven times. In 1938, however, Donald Budge became the first person to win all four major singles titles during the same calendar year, the
Grand Slam Grand Slam or Grand slam may refer to: Games and sports * Glossary of contract bridge terms#S, Grand slam, winning category terminology originating in contract bridge and other whist family card games Auto racing * Grand Chelem or Grand S ...
, and won six consecutive major titles in 1937 and 1938. Tilden called Budge "the finest player 365 days a year that ever lived." In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer said that, based on consistent play, Budge was the greatest player ever. Some observers, however, also felt that Kramer deserved consideration for the title. Kramer was among the few who dominated amateur and professional tennis during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Tony Trabert has said that of the players he saw before the start of the
Open Era The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sport with more complex rules. Most ...
, Kramer was the best male champion. By the 1960s, Budge and others had added Pancho Gonzales and Lew Hoad to the list of contenders. Budge reportedly believed that Gonzales was the greatest player ever. Gonzales said about Hoad, "When Lew's game was at its peak nobody could touch him. ... I think his game was the best game ever. Better than mine. He was capable of making more shots than anybody. His two volleys were great. His overhead was enormous. He had the most natural tennis mind with the most natural tennis physique." Before and during the Open Era, Rod Laver remains the only male player in history to have won the calendar year Grand Slam twice in 1962 and 1969 and also the calendar year Professional Grand Slam in 1967.
Jimmy Connors James Scott Connors (born September 2, 1952) is an American former world No. 1World number 1 or world no. 1 refers to the highest world ranking in several competitive sports: *List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players, in men's tennis * ...
,
Björn Borg Björn Rune Borg (; born 6 June 1956) is a former world No. 1 tennis player from Sweden. Between 1974 and 1981, he became the first man in the Open Era to win 11 Grand Slam singles titles (six at the French Open The French Open (french: ...

Björn Borg
, and John McEnroe had a fierce rivalry in late 1970s and early 1980s that propelled "the men's game to new heights of popularity". Connors had a long and prolific career and holds the Open Era tennis records – men's singles#All tournaments, Open Era men's singles records of 109 titles including eight Grand Slams, 1,557 matches played, and 1,274 match wins. Borg was regarded by his contemporaries as among the greatest ever, having a calm court demeanor and unrivalled physical conditioning, winning six French Opens and five straight Wimbledon titles, retiring at age 26 when he was still in his prime. McEnroe attained the No. 1 ranking in both List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players, singles and List of ATP number 1 ranked doubles tennis players, doubles, finishing his career with 77 singles and 78 doubles titles; this remains the Tennis players with most titles in the Open Era#Men, highest men's combined total of the
Open Era The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sport with more complex rules. Most ...
. The Agassi–Sampras rivalry showcased the two best players in the 1990s. Andre Agassi, the first of two male players in history to have achieved a Career Golden Slam in singles tennis (followed by
Rafael Nadal Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport Racket sports are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 &tim ...

Rafael Nadal
), has been called the best service returner in the history of the game. Agassi was the first man to win grand slams on all modern surfaces (hard, grass, and clay court, as previous holders of all grand slam tournaments played in an era of grass and clay only), and is regarded by a number of critics and fellow players to be among the greatest players of all time. Both Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall also won major Major professional tennis tournaments before the Open Era, Pro Slam tournaments on all three surfaces (grass, clay, hard court) Rosewall in 1963 and Laver in 1967. Pete Sampras had a precise and powerful serve, set the List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players#Year-end No. 1, record of six consecutive year-end No.1 finishes, and was the first player to break Roy Emerson's record of twelve Grand Slams. Sampras retired with a then-Open era record of fourteen Grand Slam titles which was by far the most among his contemporaries, as the second-most Slams held at the time by another active player was Agassi with seven. Earlier in Sampras' career, the most Grand Slams won up to that point by other active players was eight (jointly held by
Jimmy Connors James Scott Connors (born September 2, 1952) is an American former world No. 1World number 1 or world no. 1 refers to the highest world ranking in several competitive sports: *List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players, in men's tennis * ...
and Ivan Lendl). By the early twenty-first century, the "Big Three (tennis), Big Three" of Roger Federer,
Rafael Nadal Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (, ; born 3 June 1986) is a Spanish professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport Racket sports are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 &tim ...

Rafael Nadal
and
Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic ( sr-cyr, Новак Ђоковић, translit=Novak Đoković, ; born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian professional tennis player. He is currently ranked as List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players, world No. 1 by the Assoc ...

Novak Djokovic
had dominated. As of 2021, the Big Three share the record for grand slam titles with 20 each. Federer set the record of 237 consecutive weeks as List of ATP number 1 ranked singles tennis players#Weeks at No. 1, world No. 1 in the ATP rankings, as well as 6 World Tour Finals, the most for any male player. In the 2000s, many experts of tennis, former tennis players and his own tennis peers believed Federer to be the greatest player in the history of the game. Nadal is regarded as the greatest competitor in tennis history by some former players and is regarded to have the potential to be the greatest of all time. Nadal is regarded as the greatest clay court player of all time. As of 2021, Djokovic is now considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time and the most dominant of the 2010s decade, being the first male player since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four major titles at once, the only male player in the Open Era to accomplish the singles Career Grand Slam twice, the only player to achieve the Tennis Masters Series records and statistics#Career Golden Masters, Career Golden Masters which he did so twice, enjoying the most weeks as the Number One-ranked player with an all-time record of seven year-end No. 1 finishes, and amassing a superior head-to-head record against Federer and Nadal.


Greatest female players

File:Helen Wills Moody 1932.jpg, Helen Wills File:Margaret Court 1970.jpg, Margaret Court File:Tennis Nederland tegen Verenigde Staten in Den Haag Navratilova in aktie, Bestanddeelnr 930-9118 (cropped).jpg, Martina Navratilova File:Chris Evert.jpg,
Chris Evert Christine Marie Evert (born December 21, 1954), known as Chris Evert Lloyd from 1979 to 1987, is an American former world No. 1 tennis player. She won 18 Grand Slam singles championships and three doubles titles. She was the year-ending world ...

Chris Evert
File:Steffi Graf in Hamburg.jpg, Steffi Graf File:Serena Williams at 2013 US Open.jpg,
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player. She has won 23 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the All-time tennis records – ...

Serena Williams
As with the men there are frequent discussions about who is the greatest female singles player of all time with Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player. She has won 23 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the All-time tennis records – ...

Serena Williams
being the three players most often nominated. In March 2012 the TennisChannel published a combined list of the 100 greatest men and women tennis players of all time. It ranked Steffi Graf as the greatest female player (in 3rd place overall), followed by Martina Navratilova (4th place) and Margaret Court (8th place). The rankings were determined by an international panel. Sportswriter John Wertheim of Sports Illustrated stated in an article in July 2010 that
Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player. She has won 23 Grand Slam (tennis)#Tournaments, Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the All-time tennis records – ...

Serena Williams
is the greatest female tennis player ever with the argument that "Head-to-head, on a neutral surface (i.e. hard courts), everyone at their best, I can't help feeling that she crushes the other legends.". In a reaction to this article Yahoo sports blog Busted Racket published a list of the top-10 women's tennis players of all time placing Martina Navratilova in first spot. This top-10 list was similar to the one published in June 2008 by the Bleacher Report who also ranked Martina Navratilova as the top female player of all time. Steffi Graf is considered by some to be the greatest female player. Billie Jean King said in 1999, "Steffi is definitely the greatest women's tennis player of all time." Martina Navratilova has included Graf on her list of great players. In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press. Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book ''The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century'', named her as the best female player of the 20th century, directly followed by Martina Navratilova. ''Tennis (magazine), Tennis'' magazine selected Martina Navratilova as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005. Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins has called Navratilova "arguably, the greatest player of all time." Billie Jean King said about Navratilova in 2006, "She's the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived." In 2018, a Tennis (magazine), Tennis.com panel selected Serena Williams as the Tennis (magazine)#"The 50 Greatest Players of the Open Era" (2018), greatest female tennis player in the Open Era. In May 2020, the Tennis Channel ranked Williams as the greatest female tennis player of all time.


In popular culture

* "Tennis balles" are mentioned by William Shakespeare in his play Henry V (play), ''Henry V'' (1599), when a basket of them is given to King Henry as a mockery of his youth and playfulness. * David Foster Wallace, an amateur tennis player himself at Urbana High School in Illinois, included tennis in many of his works of non-fiction and fiction including A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, "Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness," the autobiographical piece A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley," and ''Infinite Jest'', which is partially set at the fictional "Enfield Tennis Academy" in Massachusetts. * Japanese Manga series ''The Prince of Tennis'' revolves around the tennis prodigy Ryoma Echizen, Echizen Ryoma and tennis matches between rival schools. * ''The Royal Tenenbaums'' (2001) features Richie Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson), a tennis pro who suffers from depression and has a breakdown on court in front of thousands of fans. * ''Wimbledon (film), Wimbledon'' (2004) is a film about a discouraged pro tennis player (Paul Bettany) who meets a young woman on the women's tennis circuit (Kirsten Dunst) who helps him find his drive to go and win Wimbledon. * In ''The Squid and the Whale'' (2005), Joan (Laura Linney) has an affair with her kids' tennis coach, Ivan (William Baldwin). In a symbolic scene, Joan's ex-husband, Bernard (Jeff Daniels), loses a tennis match against Ivan in front of the kids. * Woody Allen's ''Match Point'' (2005) features a love affair between a former tennis pro, Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), and his best friend's fiancé, Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson). A scene of the movie includes a brief comparison between Andre Agassi and Tim Henman, with Chris Wilton calling both of them "geniuses". * ''Confetti (2006 film), Confetti'' (2006) is a mockumentary which sees three couples competing to win the title of "Most Original Wedding of the Year". One competing couple (Meredith MacNeill and Stephen Mangan) are a pair of hyper-competitive professional tennis players holding a tennis-themed wedding. * There are several tennis video games including the Sports games in the Mario series, ''Mario Tennis'' series, the Top Spin (video game), ''TopSpin'' series, the ''Virtua Tennis'' series, ''Sega Superstars Tennis'', ''Grand Slam Tennis'' and ''Wii Sports''.


See also

* Outline of tennis * Batting (cricket) * International Tennis Integrity Agency * Tennis games * Tennis injuries * Tennis statistics * Tennis strategy * Tennis technology


References


Further reading

* Barrett, John. ''Wimbledon: The Official History of the Championships'' (HarperCollins, 2001) * Collins, Bud. ''History of Tennis – An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book'' (New Chapter Press, 2010) * Danzig, Allison and Peter Schwed (ed.). ''The Fireside Book of Tennis'' (Simon & Schuster, 1972) * Doherty, Reginald Frank. ''R.F. and H.L. Doherty – On Lawn Tennis'' (Kessinger Publishing, 2010) * Dwight, Eleanor. ''Tie Breaker – Jimmy Van Alen and Tennis in the 20th century'' (Scala Books, 2010) * Gillmeister, Heiner. ''Tennis: A Cultural History'' (Continuum, 1998) * Grimsley, Will. ''Tennis – Its History, People and Events'' (Prentice-Hall, 1971) * King, Billie Jean and Starr, Cynthia. ''We Have Come a Long Way'' (McGraw-Hill, 1998) * Whitman, Malcolm D. ''Tennis – Origins and Mysteries'' (Dover Publications, 2004)


External links


International organizations


International Tennis Federation (ITF)

Association of Tennis Players (ATP) – men's professional tennis organization

Women's Tennis Association (WTA) – women's professional tennis organization


Team competitions


Davis Cup

Fed Cup


Other

*
International Tennis Hall of Fame

Tennis Grand Slam tournaments history
{{Authority control Tennis, Ball games Summer Olympic sports Racket sports Sports originating in England