Point (tennis)


Point (tennis)

A point is the smallest unit of scoring in tennis.

Play of a single point

The players (or teams) stand on opposite sides of the net. One player is designated the "server", and the opposing player, or in doubles one of the opposing players, is the "receiver". Serve alternates between the two halves of the court.

At the start of each point, the server stands behind his baseline, between the center mark and the sideline. The receiver may stand anywhere on his side of the net, usually behind the diagonally opposite service box.

A legal service starts a "rally", in which the players alternate hitting the ball across the net. A legal return consists of the player or team hitting the ball exactly once before it has bounced twice or hit any fixtures. It then travels back over the net and bounces in the court on the opposite side. It can sometimes be difficult to see an illegal double bounce, when the racquet and the ground contact the ball almost simultaneously. An umpire's call of "not up" indicates a judgement that the ball hit the ground first and therefore the return is not legal. The first player or team to fail to make a legal return loses the point.

If a player hits the ball before it has bounced at all on his side of the net, the preceding return from his opponent is legal despite the ball not having bounced. Touching the net, hitting the ball before it has passed the net, touching the ball with anything other than the racquet, deliberately hitting the ball twice [This is a rare event, but Kim Clijsters lost a point this way in the semi-final of the 2006 French Open. Attempting to smash a lob from Justine Henin-Hardenne, Clijsters tipped the ball, then ran around it and returned it. She went on to lose the game and the match.] , and various other transgressions result in losing the point. In doubles, after the service and initial return either player may make any return; it is not permitted for both players on a team to hit the ball in the same return.

Because the lines are drawn just inside the courts, the ball is considered "in" if it touches any part of the relevant line. On clay courts the ball leaves an impression in the ground that can be checked; on grass courts a puff of chalk from the line indicates contact from the ball. This is less accurate, however, because dirt from the grass court resembles the chalk and can also be thrown up after being struck with a ball.

In an unumpired game, the players are to give each other the benefit of the doubt on line calls. In an umpired game it is the umpire or line umpire's duty to call the ball "out". The umpire may overrule a line umpire's call.

Instant replay

Computer-assisted video tracking technology has improved to the point that it can determine the position of a ball at impact with a 5-millimeter margin of error [http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/Tennis/2005/08/01/1767346] .Accordingly, starting with the NASDAQ-100 Open in March 2005, most top-level tournaments allow systems such as "Hawk-Eye" to be used to settle disputed line calls.

Players are allowed to appeal to Hawk-Eye on disputed calls with a limitation: They lose the privilege if the appeal goes against them twice per set (three at Wimbledon), with one more challenge allowed during a tie-breaker.

In the NASDAQ-100 Open, challenges by men were upheld 38% compared to 27% for women (skewed by Maria Sharapova, who went 0 for 11).

At the Championships, Wimbledon 2008, in the mens singles challenges were successful 29% of the time with an average of 6.6 challenges per match, in the women singles challenges were successful 20% of the time with an average of 3.8 challenges per match. [http://championships.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/challenge/index.html]

Alternate Rules

Rules of play used in American college tennis

As of 1999, in Division I tennis in the NCAA, a let service is considered playable. This rule change was made to prevent receivers from falsely claiming a valid service to be a let, which is a call that cannot be overruled. Thus, a service that hits the net before landing in the service box is a playable shot, and must be returned by the receiver. Otherwise, the receiver loses the point.

Rules of play used in American high school tennis

During high school tennis team matches, players may have to follow a few different rules:

* "Pro set:" Instead of playing best out of three sets, players may play one pro set. A pro set is first to 8 games instead of 6. All other rules apply.

*anchor|Super tie-break"Super tie-break:" This is played sometimes after players split sets (Each wins one set). It decides who wins instead of a third set. This is played like a regular tie-break but the winner must attain ten points instead of seven.

*"No-ad:" The players play through the match without any ads. When the game is at deuce the receiving player has the option to choose what side of court (either the deuce side or the ad side) they want to receive the serve for the final game-deciding point. The first player or doubles team to four points wins the game.

Footnotes

ee also

* Game point

External links

* [http://www.itftennis.com/technical/rules/index.asp Rules of Tennis]


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