Rules for Serving in Tennis

The serve in tennis is one of the most complex technical fundamentals, which makes this sport one of the most complicated. 

In this article, you will also learn about the different types of serves (flat, slice, and kick). We discuss the basic rules for serving in tennis and the most important tennis strokes.

Rules On Serving in Tennis

In tennis, a player serves the ball to start each game. The server must stand behind the baseline, between the center mark and the sideline. If the server’s foot touches the baseline, it’s a “foot fault,” and the serve doesn’t count.

The ball must go over the net and land in the opposite service box. The serve is not good if it lands outside this area or doesn’t cross the net. But if the ball hits any part of the lines around the service box, it’s in.


Each player gets two chances to serve each point. If the first serve fails, they can try once more. But if both serves fail, it’s a “double fault,” and the other player gets the point.

Sometimes, the ball hits the net and lands in the right box. This is a “let,” and the serve is done over. If it happens on a second serve and the ball doesn’t land in the correct box, the server must try again. But the server loses the point if there’s no second chance.

To serve well in tennis, players can use different types of serves like flat, slice, or kick. Also, you can learn more about tennis tips and tricks.

Types of Tennis Shots

To play tennis well, you need to know several keystrokes. These include the backhand, the overhead smash, and the serve.

You’ll also learn different serving types like the flat, slice, and kick serve as you get better. Understanding these will help you react the right way during a game and improve your skills.

Let’s talk about the tennis serve and some important strokes. To be good at tennis, you should learn these moves.

There are simple strokes for beginners and harder ones for advanced players. The key is to know how to use them and to make your moves smooth and strong.

The main strokes in tennis are the backhand, the smash, and the serve. These are important for players of all levels, including pros, adults, and kids. To get better, you should practice these strokes a lot.

There are different kinds, like the flat serve, the slice serve, and the kick serve. Each one is used for a different situation in the game. We’ll look at these serves more closely later. We’ll also go over the basic rules of tennis. 


Backhand in Tennis

The backhand is one of the tennis strokes that often gives players the most problems. Knowing how to hit a good backhand is crucial to improve and take your game to the next level. 

According to the rules of the International Tennis Federation, there are two ways to technically perform this stroke: one-handed or two-handed. This is the first decision to make. The two-handed backhand is the most commonly used, as it is one of the safest and most powerful tennis strokes. 

The biggest advantage over the one-handed backhand is that it offers greater stability and better control of movements. It is also much easier to assimilate and perfect. 

Despite this differentiation, the technique of a basic backhand stroke consists of four steps: waiting position, preparation, stroke, and completion.

First, we prepare to receive the ball and hit the shot. We must have our feet apart, knees slightly bent, and body forward. Next, we take the racket in our right hand in our fist and hold it in our left hand. 

Secondly, we start to bring the tennis racket backwards. At the same time, we bring our left leg back while turning our shoulders to the side of the stroke. Thirdly, we move the body forward. With the arm extended, we hit the ball while it is still rising after bouncing. 

In this case, the body’s weight should be shifted forward, and the hand not holding the tennis racket backward to maintain balance. 

Finally, the body should return to the ready position once the movement is complete.

Smash Stroke

This is one of the most popular tennis strokes because it is eye-catching. It is a shot mechanic very similar to the serve in tennis.

According to the rules, the aim is to hit a powerful shot that hits the ground and is as far away from the opponent’s chances of return as possible. 


Unlike the serve in tennis, it is an attacking shot that is hit without a previous bounce and from any area of the court: baseline, mid-court or near the net. Normally, it is used to end the point or as a response to a lob, which is usually a defensive shot by the opponent. 

As the rules dictate, the smash in tennis also has four phases into which the stroke is divided: waiting position, preparation and shoulder turn, impact and completion.

Firstly, the waiting position is performed with the feet facing the net and knees semi-flexed. The racket must be held with the dominant hand by the fist and the non-dominant hand by the neck of the racket. 

Secondly, we bring our left foot forward, turn our shoulders and raise our left hand towards the ball to have a reference of the shot. 

We then make the overhead impact. The arm must be straight towards the ball, and the body’s weight is on the left leg and forward. At the moment of impact, the racket remains in the power position, i.e. locked. Then the left arm starts the downward trajectory towards the stomach area. 

Finally, we finish the movement with the body’s weight on the front leg, lifting the heel of the back foot.

Serve in Tennis

The serve in tennis is one of the most important strokes as it allows us to take the initiative during the point. However, it requires many technical aspects, such as a good ball release or a good coordination of the stroke. 

According to the rules for serving in tennis, the serve is made from the baseline. The serve is only considered good if it enters the opponent’s service box with a cross court trajectory without touching the net. 

However, on each point you have two chances to serve. If you step on the baseline or cross it before hitting, the serve in tennis is considered bad.

Correct technique has a greater influence. This makes it necessary to be clear about the main serving movements in tennis. First of all, using the right grip is essential. 

The most recommended is the continental grip, in which we have to place the hand as if we were using a hammer. This grip allows you to make different types of serves or strokes, including the flat, slice or slice.

Steps for a Correct Tennis Serve

  1. Starting position. Depending on the score, the serve in tennis is served from the right or left side, behind the baseline. You have to play the ball diagonally towards your opponent’s service court in both cases.
  1. Position of the feet. This is the basic requirement for a safe support on the serve. You should place your back foot parallel to the baseline. Meanwhile, position the front foot pointing towards the right net post (for right-handed players) or the left net post (for left-handed players).
  1. Grip. The way you hold the racket is also important. In general, you should choose the so-called “continental grip“, which consists of holding the racket with the index finger and thumb in a V-shape.
  1. Racket position. According to the tennis serve rules, the racket should be pointing toward the frame you want to hit the ball into.
  1. Throwing the ball. A precise throw is essential for the tennis serve. This shot must not be too high or too low. Try to throw the ball so it goes over your head and allows you to stretch your arm with the racket as far as possible.
  1. Striking motion. The moment the ball reaches its highest point in the air is the signal for the stroke. To do this, you should raise your hand with the racket, throw your back a little backwards, bend your legs slightly and hit.

Rules for Serving in Tennis – Final Thoughts

Understanding and following the rules for serving in tennis is essential for players to improve their game. These rules cover where to stand, how to hold the racket, and where to aim the ball.

Players can gain an advantage and control the match by practicing and mastering different types of serves. In tennis, a good serve sets the stage for success and strategic play.


How do you serve tennis rules❓

Stand behind the baseline between the center mark and the right sideline for the first serve. Hit the ball diagonally into the service box on the other side of the net, opposite the server’s position.

Where should I stand when serving in tennis❓

Stand behind the baseline between the center mark and the right sideline.

What happens if I step on the baseline when serving❓

Stepping on the baseline results in a foot fault, making the serve invalid.

How many chances do I have to serve in tennis❓

You have two chances to serve on each point.

What happens if both serves are invalid❓

If both serves are invalid, it’s called a “double fault,” and the opponent gets the point.

What is a let in tennis❓

A let occurs when the served ball touches the net and then enters the correct service box.

Tennis Type Games

Tennis is a great sport, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for something similar with a different twist, this article explores ten tennis type games that will satisfy even the most demanding players.

Games Similar to Tennis

Games similar to tennis use rackets or paddles to hit an object through a net but have different rules and equipment. Explore some of them.


Squash is a fun indoor racket sport played between two or four people. Imagine a small, bouncy ball you hit with a racket against a walled room. 

The goal is to take turns hitting the ball against the front wall, and your opponent has to return the shot before it bounces twice. Just like tennis, the court is a rectangle.

Games are played in sets, typically in a best-of-five format. The first player to reach 11 points wins the set, and whoever wins three sets out of five wins the entire match!

If you’re interested in playing competitively, the World Squash Federation organizes tournaments throughout the year.

Racquetball – Game Similar to Tennis 

This is a dynamic indoor sport similar to tennis but without the net! The rectangular court is divided into zones for serving and receiving.

Players use a unique racquet, like a stringed paddle or a hybrid between a paddle and a tennis racquet.  

The objective? Hit the hollow rubber ball with the racquet and aim it at the front wall so your opponent struggles to return it before it bounces twice.

Racquetball is a fast-paced game played by two or four people. It’s perfect for those who enjoy physically demanding and strategic competition.


Basque Pelota – Tennis Racket Game

Originating in Spain, Basque Pelota holds the title as the world’s fastest ball sport, promising an adrenaline rush for those seeking speed in racket games.

In the United States, the sport is currently managed by Jai Alai, a prominent gaming enterprise.

Players in Basque Pelota wield only one hand, utilizing equipment such as wooden bats, rackets, or frontons positioned against a wall.

Matches often adopt a doubles format, with courts divided by nets or lines drawn on the ground. The International Federation of Basque Pelota governs the gameplay rules, ensuring fair and competitive play.

Soft Tennis

Soft Tennis presents a softer approach for those seeking an alternative to traditional Tennis, especially for players concerned about the hardness of the balls and the difficulty of play.

Unlike standard Lawn Tennis balls, softballs are used in this variant, offering a more forgiving experience on the court.

Similar in size to a regular Tennis court, the Soft Tennis court provides a familiar setting for players. Matches can be conducted in both singles and doubles formats, catering to a range of preferences and player dynamics. 

Moreover, the scoring and winner determination rules closely mirror those of Lawn Tennis, ensuring continuity and ease of transition for players familiar with the traditional sport.


Platform Tennis

Like outdoor tennis, platform tennis has closely matched rules of play and scoring, although with some slight variations.

It should be noted that the court’s dimensions are quite different, about one-third smaller than a standard tennis court.

Another visible difference is the equipment used. The players have paddles with perforations approximately 45.7 cm (18 inches) long. In addition, the platform tennis game uses a sponge ball with a diameter of approximately 6,35 cm (2,5 inches).


Pentathlon stands out as a specific racket sport featuring interaction with walls.

Fives have a different style of play: instead of using rackets, players rely on their hands, whether bare or gloved, to hit and move the ball. This alternative method has also given Fives the nicknames Hand-Tennis or Hand-Pelota.

Despite its simple concept, Fives includes various variations and adaptations, each providing a different subtle gaming experience. 

These variations include a variety of rules and strategies that add to the dynamic nature of the sport and provide players with various challenges and opportunities to improve their skills.


Pickleball combines tennis, badminton, and ping-pong elements to create an exciting and attractive sport suitable for players of all ages and skill levels.

On a badminton court, similar in size to a badminton court, players hold hard paddles made of wood or composite materials and throw a specialised ball through a net. 

Unlike traditional racket sports, pickleball serves have to be hit from below, which gives the game its special features.

The rules focus on precision and speed, so players try to outrun their opponents and strategically position themselves to avoid mistakes and score points.

The first player or team to score 11 points (15 to 21 points in tournaments) and maintain a two-point lead wins.


Badminton – One More Sport Similar to Tennis

It is a game of skill, athleticism, and precision, similar to tennis but with a different style.

Instead of balls, players control rackets and throw a feathered projectile called a shuttlecock over the net.

In badminton, whether singles or doubles, the competition is played in three sets, and the team that wins two or all sets wins. 

Traditionally, each set ends when one side scores 15 points, but the modern rally point format introduces an interesting twist: the first team to score 21 points wins.

Shortly about the history of this sport with a racket. It started as a game for kids in ancient Greece and Egypt, then journeyed to India in the 18th century. 

British soldiers stationed in India took an interest in it and brought it back to the UK. Finally, in 1873, with the support of the Duke of Beaufort, badminton was formally recognized as a sport.

Beach Tennis

This sport combines Tennis and Volleyball, offering exciting fun on sunny beaches. Called Beach Tennis, and it’s played right by the shore.

The sport has two variants – beach tennis and beach tennis in the USA – and offers options for different preferences and playing styles. 

Beach tennis is played with paddle rackets, while beach tennis in the USA uses traditional rackets and tennis balls according to beach volleyball rules.

The main goal of Beach Tennis is to keep volleying the ball over the net, aiming to score points by preventing the opposing team from returning it successfully.


Table Tennis – Other Tennis Type Game

Also known as ping pong, it’s a racket sport that originated in England and is practiced worldwide. It is a fast-paced and dynamic game dominated by Chinese players for over two decades.

Table tennis is played on a rectangular table with a net in the center, using small rackets and a light plastic ball. You can read more about table tennis rules and regulations.

It can be played in singles or doubles format and consists of seven sets, which are won by 21 points and a two-point lead.

Fun Facts About Tennis Racket Games

  • Fastest Ball. Tennis may be fast, but Basque pelota takes the crown for the world’s fastest ball sport, with speeds zooming up to 186 mph (300 km/h)!
  • Racketless Racket Sport. Instead of rackets, players use their bare hands or gloves, making it a true test of hand-eye coordination.
  • Ancient Origins. Badminton has an interesting history. It started as a kids’ game in ancient Greece and Egypt, then journeyed to India in the 18th century. British soldiers brought it back to England, and by 1873, it became an official sport!
  • Dominating Dynasty. Table Tennis, also known as Ping Pong, has been ruled by China for over two decades, producing some of the sport’s greatest legends.

Conclusion – Tennis Type Games

In summary, tennis type games offer many opportunities for sports enthusiasts.

There is something for everyone, from fast-paced games such as squash and racquetball to other variants such as Basque pelota and soft tennis. 

These tennis racket games not only offer a fun experience but also help to stimulate physical activity and skill development.

Whether for competition or fun, racket sports offer an exciting experience for all ages and skill levels.


What are tennis-type games❓

Tennis type games are sports similar to tennis but with variations in rules, equipment, or gameplay. They offer alternatives to traditional tennis, catering to diverse preferences and playing styles.

How many players are typically involved in tennis racket games❓

The number of players varies depending on the specific game. Squash and racquetball are played between two people. Platform tennis and pickleball can involve two or four players.

What are some examples of games similar to tennis❓

Examples include squash, racquetball, badminton, beach tennis, and platform tennis, among others. Each game has its unique characteristics and appeal.

Do games like tennis require specialized equipment❓

✅ Yes, most tennis type games require specific equipment such as rackets or paddles and balls or shuttlecocks. The type of equipment used may vary depending on the game.

Are tennis racket games suitable for all skill levels❓

✅ Yes, tennis type games cater to players of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced. Many games offer opportunities for recreational play and competitive tournaments, allowing individuals to participate at their preferred level of intensity.

Paddle Tennis Rules

Paddle tennis, or POP Tennis, is an increasingly popular and growing game, but how do you play? 

What are the most important paddle tennis rules? Here we solve it all for you.

How to Play Paddle Tennis?

Paddle tennis (POP Tennis or padel) is a racket sport played in pairs on a closed rectangular court with glass walls and a net in the center of the court. Also you can read about double tennis rules.

The objective of paddle tennis is to hit the ball with the paddle so that it passes over the net and falls into the opposing team’s court without them being able to return it.

One of the keys to how paddle tennis is played is that the serve begins with the forehand player hitting the ball into the diagonally opposite court.

After the serve, players are free to move around their half of the court and alternate hitting the ball. 

The ball may bounce once on the ground before being returned, but must be hit before it bounces 2 times on the ground.

To win, the predetermined number of games must be reached, usually 6, with a difference of two games. In case of a tie, a tie-break is played to decide the winner of the set.

What are the Rules of Padel Tennis I Should Know?


Number of Players

Although it is common to see individual courts in many facilities, paddle is a team sport where we play with a partner to face another couple. 

Individual courts are more used to cover dead spaces in clubs, serve as a school court for children or initiation in adults, cover the tastes of people who want to hang out with a friend.

Tips of How To Play Paddle Tennis

  • One of the most important paddle rules is that the serve must be below the waist and diagonally to the opponent’s court. The serve is fundamental in paddle tennis, since it is the only opportunity in which the player can take the ball with his hand.
  • The paddle rules state that players may not touch the net with either the paddle or the body during play. If a player touches the net during play, the point is lost.
  • This is another of the basic rules of padel that you should know. If the ball touches anywhere on the wall or the net and then goes towards the opponent’s court, it is considered good, that is, it gives a point.
  • According to the rules of paddle tennis, if the ball goes out of the court, the point is lost. The ball is considered out if it touches anything outside the court, including the net, walls or ceiling.
  • The rules of paddle indicate that players may not cross the center line that divides the court, neither with their feet nor with the paddle, unless the ball has passed to the other side. And in the latter case they can only pass the paddle.
  • Experts recommend novice players to learn how to play paddle, to avoid unnecessary distractions and to maintain a sporting and respectful behavior during the game.
  • Hand in hand with the previous point, another of the rules of padel is to respect the referee and his decisions, as he is a fundamental authority figure on the court.
  • Another key rule of padel is that the player must allow the ball to bounce before hitting it. You cannot hit it with the paddle in the air.

Origins of Paddle Tennis


The origins of paddle tennis can be traced back to the early 20th century in Mexico, where it was initially played on rooftops using makeshift equipment.

The game gained popularity among vacationers in resorts along the Mexican coast, eventually spreading to other parts of the world.

Paddle tennis as we know it today began to take shape in the United States during the 1920s.

It was first introduced in New York City as a backyard game, often played on smaller courts with wooden paddles and a solid rubber ball. 

The game quickly gained popularity, particularly among urban dwellers looking for a fun and accessible outdoor activity.

Over the years, paddle tennis continued to evolve, with standardized rules and equipment being established to regulate the game. 

The introduction of modern materials such as graphite and composite materials for paddles, as well as specialized court surfaces, has further enhanced the playing experience.

Today, paddle tennis or POP tennis is enjoyed by millions of people around the world, with organized leagues and tournaments held in many countries.

Its appeal lies in its simplicity, fast-paced gameplay, and accessibility to players of all ages and skill levels.


In conclusion, paddle tennis is a rapidly growing sport with simple yet essential rules to follow. Understanding the basics, such as serving diagonally and allowing the ball to bounce, is important for enjoyable gameplay.

 Learning through lessons and practicing with an experienced partner are effective ways to grasp the rules and techniques of paddle tennis.


What is paddle tennis❓

Paddle tennis is a racket sport played on a smaller court with solid walls, typically in pairs.

How is paddle tennis played❓

Players use solid paddles to hit a ball over a net, aiming to score points by landing the ball in the opponent’s court.

What equipment do I need to play paddle tennis❓

You’ll need a paddle, a tennis ball suitable for paddle tennis, and appropriate footwear.

What are the basic rules of paddle tennis❓

Rules include serving diagonally, allowing one bounce before hitting the ball, and scoring points when the opponent fails to return the ball.

Can paddle tennis be played indoors❓

Yes, paddle tennis can be played indoors or outdoors, but it’s often played outdoors on specially designed courts.

How many players are needed to play paddle tennis❓

Paddle tennis is typically played in pairs, with two players on each side of the net.

What are the benefits of playing paddle tennis❓

Benefits include cardiovascular exercise, improved hand-eye coordination, and social interaction.

How does paddle tennis differ from traditional tennis❓

Paddle tennis has a smaller court, solid walls, and different scoring rules compared to traditional tennis.