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Information » Things To Do » Sports and Keeping Fit » Tennis


  • Tennis is a sport played between two players or two pairs of players who use racquets to hit a ball back and forth over a net
  • The net is stretched across the entire width of the court, separating it into two equal sides
  • Tennis is played on a rectangular flat surface which is usually grass, clay or concrete
  • At the start of a tennis match, the players position themselves on opposite sides of the court
  • One player starts by serving the ball with the aim of hitting the ball over the net so it bounces into the opposite side of the court


  • The player who serves the ball scores points if the other player does not reach the ball before its second bounce or fails to return the ball properly
  • Tennis matches comprise of points, games and sets
  • Points are scored to win a game
  • A set is a sequence of games. A set is won when a player has won six games and this must be at least two games more than this opponent
  • In men's tennis, a match consists of five sets - the players play the best of five. When a player has won three sets, he has won the match, because the opponent cannot then beat him
  • In ladies' tennis, a match consist of three sets - when a player has won two sets, she has won the match


  • There is also doubles tennis, which has two players on each side
  • The court is slightly bigger for doubles matches

Tennis tournaments

  • Millions of people follow tennis, especially the four Grand Slam tournaments - Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open and the French Open
  • Wimbledon is the biggest tennis tournament in the world and is held in London every year in the summer for two weeks
  • Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event played on grass courts
  • Players from over 60 nations compete every year
  • Separate tournaments are held at the same time for men's singles, ladies' singles, men's doubles, ladies' doubles and mixed doubles
  • Wimbledon is broadcast and publicised through the press, radio, internet and television, and millions of people worldwide follow the event
  • Great Britain is one competing nation in the Wimbledon Championships

Getting involved

  • If you want to learn to play tennis, many schools and sports centre have tennis courts to practise on
  • There are tennis clubs throughout Wales where you can learn how to play tennis in a group or find a private instructor

Did you know...?

  • Tennis is an Olympic sport
  • The type of surface tennis is played on determines the speed and bounce of the ball - different players play better on different surfaces
  • Unlike other sports, the rules of tennis have hardly changed since the 1920s
  • Today, the women's game is more popular than the men's game and Wimbledon is attended by over 500,000 spectators

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