Most Frequently Asked Questions about Tennis – Guide for Starters

Any newbie in a tennis game has a lot of questions. I wrote down the most frequently asked questions about tennis with simple answers. The list of questions will be updated continuously. I hope this “Tennis FAQ” will be a good starting point for any tennis newbie.

In case you have a question regarding the tennis, feel free to ask it in the comments section below. We will try to answer it as soon as possible.

What is forehand?
What is backhand?
What is the difference between backhand and forehand?
What are the basic shots in tennis?
What is the volley in tennis?
What is the half-volley in tennis?
What is the difference between volley and half-volley in tennis?
What is the size of the tennis court?
At what surface can be tennis played?
How are points counted in the tennis?
How many games and sets are played in tennis on a professional level?
How many tournaments are played during a season on a professional level?
What is the size of the tennis net?
How to choose the right size of the tennis racket?
What are the most popular tennis brands?
Do professional tennis players need the coach?
Is tennis an Olympic sport?

What is forehand?

Forehand is a tennis shot made by swinging the racket with the hand moving palm-first. Forehand is played with swinging the racket from right side to left side for a right-hander or from left side to right side for a left-hander.

What is backhand?

Backhand is a tennis shot made by swinging the racket with the back of the hand preceding the palm. Backhand is played with swinging the racket from left side to right side for a right-hander or from right side to left side for a left-hander.

What is the difference between backhand and forehand?

Forehand is played with the hand moving palm-first, Backhand is played with the back of the hand preceding the palm.

What are the basic shots in tennis?

There are eight basic shots in tennis. Every exchange start with serve (1) as an opening shot. Then you can use depending on the situation on the court forehand (2), backhand (3), volley (4), half-volley (5), overhead (6), drop shot (7) and lob (8)

What is the volley in tennis?

Volley is a shot in tennis when you hit the ball before it bounces on the court.

What is the half-volley in tennis?

Half-volley is a shot in tennis when you hit the ball immediately after it bounces on the court. Basically, you will take the ball when it is down, near the surface.

What is the difference between the volley and half-volley in tennis?

The difference between volley and half-volley is at the moment when you hit the ball. Volley is a shot when you hit the ball before it bounces on the court, half-volley is a shot when you hit the ball immediately after it touches the court.

What is the size of the tennis court?

tennis court

Tennis Court

The official tennis court has to be 78 feet (23.77 meters) long. The width of the court should be 36 feet (10.97 meters) for doubles matches and 27 feet (8.73 meters) for singles matches. The service line should 21 feet (6.40 meters) from the net.

What is the size of the tennis net?

International Tennis Federation rules determine the size of the tennis net. It should be 33 feet (10.058 meters) wide for singles matches and 42 feet (12.798 meters) wide for doubles matches. The height of the net should be 3.5 feet (1.07 meters) at the sides and 3 feet (0.914 meters) in the center.

More about tennis nets can be found here

At what surface can be tennis played?

There are three different basic tennis court surfaces: Clay, Hard, and Grass. All three basic surfaces have its variations.

Clay can be orange or green. The structure of the clay can be different and therefore every clay surface has different speed index.

Hard courts can be made out of concrete, or a mixture of rubber and plastic (e.g. taraflex). Every surface has its own speed index.

Approximately 56% of professional tennis tournaments are played on hard courts, 33% of tournaments are played on clay courts and 11% of tournaments are played on grass courts. (for details see ATP and WTA tournament schedule or our article regarding the share of particular surfaces.)

How are points counted in the tennis?

Tennis is played on sets and games. One set is consisting of games. Set is finished when the player wins six games.

The game is won when a player wins four points, with the difference between a win and lost points is at least two. Counting goes similar like in watches: 15, 30, 40, win. In case both players won three points and the score is 40:40, then extra points are played. Whoever wins two points in a row, wins a game.

How many games and sets are played in tennis on a professional level?

Professional tennis matches are played on the best of three sets. Men grand slam matches are an exception as they are played on best of five sets.

Every set is played till the player wins six games. If a score is 6:6, then an extra game called tie-break is played.

Tie-break is a shortened game, where you count points in a regular way (1,2,3, …7). The winner has to win 7 points and the difference has to be at least two points.

How many tournaments are played during a season on a professional level?

It depends on the season as the number of tournaments varies on a yearly basis. In the year 2019, there will be 63 ATP Tour and 4 Grand Slam tournaments, making it a total of 67 tournaments for men professionals. WTA (Women Tennis Association) organizes 55 tournaments plus 4 Grand Slam tournaments will take place during 2019. It makes 59 tournaments in total for ladies.

Besides ATP Tour and WTA tour tournaments, there are plenty of lower-tier tournaments played each season. ATP Challenger, ITF tour are international lower-tier tournaments. There are also a lot of tournaments organized at a national level by national tennis associations.

Check the actual ATP and WTA schedule.

How to choose the right size of the tennis racket?

The term “right size” of the tennis racket can be applied to two different dimensions. The first dimension is the length of the racket handle. The standard handle length for adult players is 27 inches (68.58 centimeters). Kids and juniors use shorter rackets. They start with 17 inches tennis racket, then move via 19 inches, 21 inches, 23 inches to the regular junior length of 26 inches.

The second possible dimension is the size of the racket head. Regular tennis rackets head size ranges from 95 square inches to 110 square inches. The smaller heads are for advanced players, the larger heads are for starters. The professional tennis players use usually rackets with head size from 95 to 104 square inches.

More about how to choose appropriate tennis racket for kids can be found here.

What are the most popular tennis brands?

There are four strong tennis racket brands. Wilson, Babolat, Head, and Yonex. Their popularity between tennis players varies, but all four brands are keeping a higher share on the market.

For a better overview of popularity between professional players, check our page devoted to shares of tennis racket brands among TOP 100 players.

Do professional tennis players need a coach?

Players do not have an obligation to have a coach. There are a lot of really good tennis players who reached a lot of wins without a coach in place.

However, it is always good to have someone who will correct your mistakes and will help you with your play.

Is tennis an Olympic sport?

Yes, it is. Tennis was put into the program of the Olympic in Seoul 1988 and is part of the Summer Olympic Games till now.

 

Posted in BLOG, How to ..., Tennis Column and tagged , , .

Tennis Pro Guru

Simon is the leading editor of TennisProGuru.com from 2015. He is an avid tennis player from age of 5, however, he never reached the pro level. Still, he likes playing tennis on different courts, with different rackets, and against different opponents. In his free time, you can find him watching all possible tennis matches he can find on the web or tv. Challenger or Grand Slam? It does not matter, just tennis matters.

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