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Tennis (occasionally called "lawn tennis" to distinguish it from royal tennis, an obscure indoor game) is a racquet sport played between either two players (singles) or two teams of two players (doubles). Tennis is played on a 78' x 27' (78' x 36' for doubles) court, which is divided in the middle by a net, such as that each side measures 39' in length.

Players attempt to hit a tennis ball with a tennis racquet such that it bounces in the opposition's side of the court and the opposition is unable to return it. A legal return is made by hitting the ball over the net, after not more than one bounce on one's side of the court. Each point is started by a player who initiates play by "serving" the ball into a designated area on the other side of the court. Tennis is an Olympic sport which is played in many countries around the world.

A tennis match is won by the first side to win 2 sets or 3 sets. A set is won by the first side to win 6 games, with at least 2 more games won than the other side. A game is won by the first side to win 4 points, with at least 2 more points won than the other side. Points are awarded as follows:

0 points - "Love"
1 point - "Fifteen"
2 points - "Thirty"
3 points - "Forty"

The server's score is always announced first. If the server has won 2 points and the receiver has won 1 point, the score would be "Thirty-Fifteen". A player who wins a fourth point is awarded a game, unless each side previously had 3 points. This score, corresponding to "Forty-All" is called "Deuce". The player who wins the subsequent point has a score of "Advantage". If this player also wins the next point, game is awarded. Otherwise the score reverts to "Deuce".

In most tournaments, if the game score in a set reaches 6-6, a series of points called a tie-breaker takes place. The first side to win 7 points, with at least 2 more points than the other side, wins the tie-breaker. The score of the set is recorded as 7-6.

A tennis player usually has several types of swinging shots at his or her disposal: the forehand, backhand, volley, overhand smash and slice shot. When a player serves the ball to the other player, at the beginning of each point, he or she most commonly employs the overhand smash method, or the cut (slice) serve.

The backhand, useful for chasing shots from the opposite strong hand, can be employed with either one hand or two hands. Two hands offer the player more power, while one hand can utilize a slice shot, applying backspin on the tennis ball to fool the opponent.

Tournaments are often organized by gender and number of players. Common tournament configurations include men's singles, ladies' singles, doubles (where two players of the same gender play on each side), and mixed doubles (with a member of each gender). There are also often tournaments for specific ages, such as for youth and seniors.

See also:

Other sub-categories:

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