While traditional sets continue until a player wins at least six games by a margin of at least two games there are some alternative set scoring formats in use. A common alternative set format is the eight or nine game pro set. Instead of playing until one player reaches six games with a margin of two games, one plays until one player wins eight or nine games with a margin of two games. A tie-break is then played at eight or nine games all. While the format is not used in modern professional matches or recognized by the ITF rules, it was supposedly used in early professional tours. It is commonly utilized in various amateur leagues and high school tennis as a shorter alternative to a best of three match, but longer than a traditional tie-break set. In addition, eight game pro sets were used during doubles for all Division I college dual matches, until the 2014–2015 season.
The origins of the 15, 30, and 40 scores are believed to be medieval French. The earliest reference is in a ballad by Charles D'Orleans in 1435 which refers to quarante cinque ("forty-five"), which gave rise to modern 40. In 1522 there is a sentence in Latin "we are winning 30, we are winning 45". The first recorded theories about the origin of 15 were published in 1555 and 1579. However, the origins of this convention remain obscure.
Size. The overall size of a regulation tennis court for doubles play is 60 x 120 feet (per the International Tennis Federation). However, you must allow additional space around the court perimeter to give the contractor room to work and to permit the installation of drainage, landscaping, and fencing. Munson recommends leaving at least 12 feet between the court sidelines and the closest fixed obstructions, and 21 feet between the baselines and fixed obstructions. Where space is limited, you can downsize to a slightly smaller court. ITF recommends a minimum court size of 56 x 114 feet. An NBA/NCAA regulation full-size basketball court is 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. For backyards without enough acreage for a pro court, half courts can suffice for one-on-one games. (See this diagram of court dimensions from Half Court Sports.)
To begin to learn to play tennis, you need to understand its unusual scoring method. As a tennis beginner, you must understand how to keep score. Scoring doesn’t start with 1 or 0 — it starts with the term “love”, equivalent to zero. The first point is then 15 followed by the next point, 30, and the next point, 40. The following point is the winning point and it’s called game point or set point or match point — depending on which you are playing.
^ Jump up to: a b "Grays of Cambridge: History" Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine - makers of rackets and founded in 1855 by Henry John Gray, the Champion Racquets Player of England. "In those days, the rackets were made from one piece English ash, with a suede leather grip and natural gut. ... The 1980s witnessed a period of re-structuring and consolidation. The Cambridge racquets factory was forced to close in face of the move to graphite rackets, and production was moved to the Far east."
It’s also important to consider the size and shape of the racquet head. Oversized and mid-plus sized heads have larger sweet spots, making it easier to hit the ball with power, while smaller head sizes allow for greater control. Tear-drop shaped heads also provide a larger sweet spot, while traditional oval heads are valued for their feel and control.
Notable tennis tournaments previously held on carpet courts were the WCT Finals, Paris Masters, U.S. Pro Indoor and Kremlin Cup. Since 2009, their use has been discontinued on the top tier of the ATP. ATP Challenger Tour tournaments such as the Trofeo Città di Brescia still use carpet courts. The WTA Tour has one remaining carpet court event, the International-level Tournoi de Québec.
A tennis match is composed of points, games, and sets. A set consists of a number of games (a minimum of six), which in turn each consist of points. A set is won by the first side to win 6 games, with a margin of at least 2 games over the other side (e.g. 6–3 or 7–5). If the set is tied at six games each, a tie-break is usually played to decide the set. A match is won when a player or a doubles team has won the majority of the prescribed number of sets. Matches employ either a best-of-three (first to two sets wins) or best-of-five (first to three sets wins) set format. The best-of-five set format is usually only used in the men's singles or doubles matches at Grand Slam and Davis Cup matches.
Weights of a racket also vary between 7 ounces (200 g) unstrung and 12.6 ounces (360 g) strung. Until the 1980s, rackets weighted at "medium" were produced. "Heavy" rackets were produced during the height of the wood era (e.g. the 1960s), very sparingly. The "medium" weight is heavier than any of the rackets produced since it was discontinued by companies. Many professionals added weight to their rackets to improve stability. Many continue to do so. Pete Sampras added lead tape to make his racket have a 14 ounces (400 g) weight and Venus Williams is known for using a frame modified to be quite heavy, in terms of the recent times average. By contrast, Andy Roddick surprised many when he said he used a stock Pro Drive series model, series of racket which was light when compared with the rackets used by most top professionals. In both recreational and professional tennis, the trend has been away from heavy rackets and toward lighter rackets, despite the drawbacks from light rackets, such as increased twisting. Lawn tennis rackets originally flared outward at the bottom of the handle to prevent slippage. The rounded bottom was called a bark bottom after its inventor Matthew Barker. But by 1947, this style became superfluous.[clarification needed] More mass gives rackets "plow through", momentum that continues once the player has managed to get the racket into motion and which is more resistant to stoppage from the ball's momentum. This can give the perception that the racket produces shots with more power, although this is complicated by the typically slower stroke production. Higher mass typically involves a slower swing but more energy to execute the swing. More mass also provides more cushioning against ball impact shock, a source of injuries such as tennis elbow. However, high racket mass can cause fatigue in the shoulder area. Typically, it is safer for the body to have higher mass. More mass, additionally, provides more stability. It makes the racket more resistant to twisting forces and pushback. The drawbacks are that heavier rackets have lower maneuverability (reducing reaction time) and require more energy to move. As a racket gets heavier, the player finds it increasingly difficult to do fast reaction shots such as quick volleys and returns of serve. However, the additional mass can help with return of serve, in particular, by making the racket much more resistant to twist from a high-powered service. Light rackets have the additional drawback of making it easier for beginning players to use inappropriate wrist-dominant strokes, which often leads to injury. This is because poor stroke mechanics can be much easier to produce with a lightweight racket, such as in using one's wrist to mostly swing the racket. An extremely typical mistake beginning players make is to choke up heavily on the racket (to try to compensate for twist from a light racket, as well as too high racket angle upon impact) and use the wrist too much. The only professional well-known player to have had success with a strongly choked-up grip is Zina Garrison.
Another theory is that the scoring nomenclature came from the French game jeu de paume (a precursor to tennis which initially used the hand instead of a racket). Jeu de paume was very popular before the French Revolution, with more than 1,000 courts in Paris alone. The traditional court was 90 ft (pieds du roi) in total with 45 ft on each side. When the server scored, he or she moved forward 15 ft. If the server scored again, he or she would move another 15 ft. If the server scored a third time, he or she could only move 10 ft closer.
"The contractor the homeowner chooses should be aware of all the different surface types, speed of play, and the size and slope requirements for court construction," stresses Kolkmann. The contractor should also pay close attention to special considerations, he adds, such as the desired surface texture, the finish of the concrete required to ensure good bonding of the color coating, and provisions for fencing and net posts.
It is imagined that clock faces were used on court, with a quarter move of the hand to indicate a score of 15, 30, and 45. When the hand moved to 60, the game was over. However, in order to ensure that the game could not be won by a one-point difference in players' scores, the idea of "deuce" was introduced. To make the score stay within the "60" ticks on the clock face, the 45 was changed to 40. Therefore, if both players had 40, the first player to score would receive ten, and that would move the clock to 50. If the player scored a second time before the opponent is able to score, they would be awarded another ten and the clock would move to 60. The 60 signifies the end of the game. However, if a player fails to score twice in a row, then the clock would move back to 40 to establish another "deuce".
It wasn't until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis", from the French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an interjection 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 was a big fan of this game, which is now known as real tennis. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, as real tennis declined, new racket sports emerged in England.