Tennis FAQ

Below is a list of frequently asked questions on tennis that is aimed at beginners who may be confused with some of the terminologies.

Tennis FAQ

Top things you should know about Tennis

What is the ad side?

The ad side is the left side of the court with Ad being short for Advantage.

What is the deuce side?

The deuce side is the right side of the court and is where the first point of every game is played. Once you have

What is the doubles alley?

On the left and right sides of a court, you will see two lines starting at the net and going all the way back to the baseline. The space in between these two lines is referred to as the doubles alley.

If you are playing singles and you hit a ball into the doubles alley then your ball will be called out. However, if you are playing doubles the ball will be called in.

What is the baseline?

The baseline is a line at the back of a court that players must avoid hitting beyond if they don’t want to lose the point. Unlike the doubles alley, the baseline applies to both doubles and singles, and any balls hit beyond the baseline are called out.

What is the Service Line?

On each side of a court, there is a horizontal line called a service line that is located half way between the net and the baseline.

If you hit beyond this line when serving then your serve will be called out.

What is a serve?

A serve is the first shot hit on every point in a match. A serve is usually hit above a player’s head with the aim of either hitting an ace or forcing a weak return or error from your opponent.

Players take it in turns to serve with each player having a minimum of 4 serves per game in a match.

What is a Fault?

A fault occurs when you are serving and you fail to hit the ball within the service box e.g. hitting your serve into the net or hitting your serve beyond the service line.

If a server hits two faults in a row, they automatically lose the point. This is referred to as a double fault.

What are Groundstrokes?

Groundstrokes are shots you hit from at or behind the baseline and can involve a player hitting both forehand and backhand groundstrokes.

What is a Volley?

A volley is when you hit a ball in the air (usually close to the net) without letting the ball bounce on the court beforehand.

What is a Half Volley?

A half volley is a ball played off a very short bounce and is one of the most difficult shots to execute successfully as it requires tremendous feel on your shot.

Due to their difficulty, half volleys are considered defensive shots as you are just looking to get the ball over the net.

What is a Drive Volley?

A drive volley is a hybrid of a regular groundstroke and a volley and involves taking a much bigger swing at the ball than you would on a regular volley. It is usually hit when hitting a ball in the air from no man’s land.

A Drive Volley is a very aggressive shot to hit but it is not very easy to master so you will rarely see it used at the recreational level.

What is no man’s land?

No Man’s Land is the area between the baseline and the service line on a court.

It is called no man’s land as if you are positioned in this area you will find it very difficult to return baseline groundstrokes from your opponent and you will also be too far away from the net to hit effective volleys.

Therefore, you find yourself in no man’s land, you shouldn’t stay there. You should either approach the net or retreat behind the baseline as otherwise, a good opponent will be able to take advantage of your poor positioning on the court.

What is an Overhead?

When an opponent tries to hit a ball over your head, you have the option of hitting an overhead which involves hitting the ball above your head.

You can hit forehand and backhand overhands depending on which side the ball has been hit over your head.

What is a lob?

A lob is a shot hit high into the air with spin with the aim of getting the ball over the opponent so they are pushed back to the baseline.

How many ATP Points does a Grand Slam Champion win?

Grand Slam Winners get 2,000 ATP points for winning any one of the four grand slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open).

Do any professionals use Wilson Clash Rackets?

Yes, Madison Brengle is currently playing with a Wilson Clash 100 on the WTA Tour.

Do vibration dampeners help Tennis Elbow?

Vibration dampeners will help your tennis elbow but the benefit is very small.

Does a walkover count as a loss?

No, a walkover does not count as a loss and will not be included in a player’s head to head record against the player they gave the walkover to.

How long do rackets last?

How long a racket will last will depend on how often you play tennis and how hard you hit the ball.

So if you are an advanced player who hits a heavy ball then you may need to replace your racket once a year.

However, if you are a beginner to intermediate player who plays occasionally and you haven’t developed a full swing yet then your racket will probably last you 10 years.

How long is a changeover?

Players playing on the ATP and WTA tours are given 90 seconds at each change of ends and 2 minutes at the end of each set.

What is a junk ball?

A junk ball is a shot hit by your opponent that has very little power or spin on the ball and is designed to break up your rhythm.

Players who rely heavily on hitting junk balls are often called junkballers.

Why do players wear wristbands?

The main reason players wear wristbands is so they can clear the sweat from their forehead.

It also has the secondary benefit of providing some additional support to their wrist.

What are the dimensions of a tennis court?

A regulation court is 23.77 meters long with the width of the singles court being 8.23 meters wide and the width of the doubles court being 10.97 meters wide.

Is it Racquet or Racket?

Racket was the original English word used to describe the piece of sports equipment used to hit a ball.

However, the more modern word Racquet is commonly used as well.

What do umpires say when the ball bounces twice?

Umpires say “Not up” when a ball bounces twice.

How many sets do you have to win in tennis?

In a best of three sets match, you will need to win two sets and in a best of five sets match you will need to win three sets.

Can you hit the ball around the net?

Yes, as long as your ball lands in on your opponent’s side of the court, then, it is perfectly legal to hit the ball around the net.