Playing Tennis

Basic Rules of Tennis
One player hits or serves the ball from a corner of a marked out area called a court, that is divided down the middle with a three feet high (0.914 meter) net. The opposite player’s goal is to return the ball, bouncing it no more than once in his own court, aiming for the other player to not be able to hit it. A point is gained when a player is not able to return the ball at all or he hits it out of the court. The ball is always served cross court or diagonally.

The right equipment is essential for a good game of tennis, along with demarcation of the court according to international standards. Here are the specifications.
Tennis Court

Tennis is required to be played in a regulation size tennis court. This means that it has to be 78 feet long (23.77 m) and 27 feet (8.23 m) wide (for singles matches) or 36 feet (10.97 m) wide (for doubles matches). The court must have a 3 feet (0.914 meter) high net (with 3 ½ feet net posts), dividing it down the center. The type of court floor varies. It may be asphalt, clay, concrete, grass, artificial grass, wood or made of other synthetic materials.

The parallel line at both ends of the court, which marks its border, is known as a ‘baseline’, while the line marking the side of the court is known as ‘sideline’. A line parallel to the baseline, known as ‘server line’, is marked at a distance of 21 feet from the net, on either side. The center line, which is perpendicular to the net, is drawn halfway between the sidelines and exactly divides the courts into two halves on either side. Moreover, the server line and the center line on either side, divides each side of the court into four quarters. The quarter courts near the net are known as ‘service courts’.
Tennis Racquet
Tennis player
The usual tournament size racket should not be more than 29 inches in length and 12.5 inches in width. The hitting area of the racket cannot be more than 15.5 inches long and 11.5 inches wide.
Tennis Balls
Tennis ball on clay
These vary in color, but for official tournaments the ball must be yellow or white in color. Two, three, four or six balls may be used in a match.

Singles Game Basics
Young man playing tennis
The server is chosen by a coin toss. The player who wins the toss can choose to serve or choose the side he wants. If the toss winner chooses to serve, his opponent gets to choose the side and vice versa. This applies to both singles and doubles games. In singles, the server (person playing first) and receiver (one who receives the serve) change position (left/right), after every point and the ends are changed after every odd numbered game.