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Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles), who take

on opposite halves of a rectangular court divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it
passes over the net and lands in their opponents' half of the court. Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes
over the net. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the floor, or if a fault has been called by either the umpire or service judge
or, in their absence, the offending player, at any time during the rally.[1]
The shuttlecock is a feathered (or, mainly in uncompetitive games, plastic) projectile whose unique aerodynamic properties cause it
to fly differently from the balls used in most racquet sports; in particular, the feathers create much higher drag, causing the
shuttlecock to decelerate more rapidly than a ball. Shuttlecocks have a much higher top speed, when compared to other racquet
sports. Because shuttlecock flight is affected by wind, competitive badminton is played indoors. Badminton is also played outdoors
as a casual recreational activity, often as a garden or beach game.
Since 1992, badminton has been an Olympic sport with five events: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and
mixed doubles, in which each pair consists of a man and a woman. At high levels of play, especially in singles, the sport demands
excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, explosive strength, speed and precision. It is also a technical sport,
requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements.

History and development[edit]

Game of battledore and shuttlecockin 1804

Battledore and Shuttlecock. 1854, from theJohn Leech Archive[3]

The beginnings of badminton can be traced to the mid-1800s in British India, where it was created by British military officers
stationed there.[4] Early photographs show Englishmen adding a net to the traditional English game of battledore and shuttlecock.
The sport is related to ball badminton, which originated in Tamil Nadu, and is similar toHanetsuki which originated in Japan. Being
particularly popular in the British garrison town Poona (now Pune), the game also came to be known as Poona.[4][5] Initially, balls of
wool referred as ball badminton were preferred by the upper classes in windy or wet conditions, but ultimately the shuttlecock stuck.
This game was taken by retired officers back to England where it developed and rules were set out.
Although it appears clear that Badminton House, Gloucestershire, owned by the Duke of Beaufort, has given its name to the sports,
it is unclear when and why the name was adopted. As early as 1860, Isaac Spratt, a London toy dealer, published a
booklet,Badminton Battledore a new game, but unfortunately no copy has survived.[6] An 1863 article in The Cornhill
Magazinedescribes badminton as "battledore and shuttlecock played with sides, across a string suspended some five feet from the
ground".[7] This early use has cast doubt on the origin through expatriates in India, though it is known that it was popular there in the
1870s and that the first rules were drawn up in Poonah in 1873.[6][7] Another source cites that it was in 1877 at Karachi in (British)
India, where the first attempt was made to form a set of rules. [8]
As early as 1875, veterans returning from India started a club in Folkestone. Until 1887, the sport was played in England under the
rules that prevailed in British India. The Bath Badminton Club standardized the rules and made the game applicable to English
ideas. J.H.E. Hart drew up revised basic regulations in 1887 and, with Bagnel Wild, again in 1890. [6] In 1893, the Badminton
Association of England published the first set of rules according to these regulations, similar to today's rules, and officially launched
badminton in a house called "Dunbar" at 6 Waverley Grove, Portsmouth, England on 13 September of that year.[9] They also started
the All England Open Badminton Championships, the first badminton competition in the world, in 1899.
The International Badminton Federation (IBF) (now known as Badminton World Federation) was established in 1934 with Canada,
Denmark, England, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales as its founding members. India joined as
an affiliate in 1936. The BWF now governs international badminton and develops the sport globally.

While initiated in England, competitive men's badminton in Europe has traditionally been dominated by Denmark. Asian nations,
however, have been the most dominant ones worldwide. China, Indonesia, South Korea, and Malaysia along with Denmark are
among the nations that have consistently produced world-class players in the past few decades, with China being the greatest force
in both men's and women's competition in recent years.

The following information is a simplified summary of badminton rules based on the BWF Statutes publication, Laws of Badminton.[10]

Playing court dimensions[edit]

Badminton court, isometric view

The court is rectangular and divided into halves by a net. Courts are usually marked for both singles and doubles play, although
badminton rules permit a court to be marked for singles only.[10] The doubles court is wider than the singles court, but both are of
same length. The exception, which often causes confusion to newer players, is that the doubles court has a shorter serve-length
The full width of the court is 6.1 metres (20 ft), and in singles this width is reduced to 5.18 metres (17 ft). The full length of the court
is 13.4 metres (44 ft). The service courts are marked by a centre line dividing the width of the court, by a short service line at a
distance of 1.98 metres (6 ft 6 inch) from the net, and by the outer side and back boundaries. In doubles, the service court is also
marked by a long service line, which is 0.76 metres (2 ft 6 inch) from the back boundary.
The net is 1.55 metres (5 ft 1 inch) high at the edges and 1.524 metres (5 ft) high in the centre. The net posts are placed over the
doubles sidelines, even when singles is played.
The minimum height for the ceiling above the court is not mentioned in the Laws of Badminton. Nonetheless, a badminton court will
not be suitable if the ceiling is likely to be hit on a high serve.

Equipment rules[edit]
Badminton rules restrict the design and size of racquets and shuttlecocks. Badminton rules also provide for testing a shuttlecock for
the correct speed:
To test a shuttlecock, hit a full underhand stroke which makes contact with the shuttlecock over the back
boundary line. The shuttlecock shall be hit at an upward angle and in a direction parallel to the side lines.
A shuttlecock of the correct speed will land not less than 530 mm and not more than 990 mm short of the other
back boundary line.

Scoring system and service[edit]

The legal bounds of a badminton court during various stages of a rally for singles and doubles games.

Main article: Scoring system development of badminton

Each game is played to 21 points, with players scoring a point whenever they win a rally regardless of whether they
served[10] (this differs from the old system where players could only win a point on their serve and each game was played
to 15 points). A match is the best of three games.
At the start of the rally, the server and receiver stand in diagonally opposite service courts (see court dimensions). The
server hits the shuttlecock so that it would land in the receiver's service court. This is similar to tennis, except that a
badminton serve must be hit below waist height and with the racquet shaft pointing downwards, the shuttlecock is not
allowed to bounce and in badminton, the players stand inside their service courts unlike tennis.
When the serving side loses a rally, the serve immediately passes to their opponent(s) (this differs from the old system
where sometimes the serve passes to the doubles partner for what is known as a "second serve").
In singles, the server stands in their right service court when their score is even, and in her/his left service court when
her/his score is odd.
In doubles, if the serving side wins a rally, the same player continues to serve, but he/she changes service courts so that
she/he serves to a different opponent each time. If the opponents win the rally and their new score is even, the player in
the right service court serves; if odd, the player in the left service court serves. The players' service courts are determined
by their positions at the start of the previous rally, not by where they were standing at the end of the rally. A consequence
of this system is that, each time a side regains the service, the server will be the player who did not serve last time.

When the server serves, the shuttlecock must pass over the short service line on the opponents' court or it will count as a
If the score reaches 20-all, then the game continues until one side gains a two point lead (such as 2422), up to a
maximum of 30 points (3029 is a winning score).
At the start of a match, the shuttlecock is cast and the side towards which the shuttlecock is pointing serves first.
Alternatively, a coin may be tossed, with the winners choosing whether to serve or receive first, or choosing which end of
the court to occupy, and their opponents making the leftover the remaining choice.
In subsequent games, the winners of the previous game serve first. Matches are best out of three: a player or pair must
win two games (of 21 points each) to win the match. For the first rally of any doubles game, the serving pair may decide
who serves and the receiving pair may decide who receives. The players change ends at the start of the second game; if
the match reaches a third game, they change ends both at the start of the game and when the leading player's or pair's
score reaches 11 points.
The server and receiver must remain within their service courts, without touching the boundary lines, until the server
strikes the shuttlecock. The other two players may stand wherever they wish, so long as they do not block the vision of
the server or receiver.
If a let is called, the rally is stopped and replayed with no change to the score. Lets may occur because of some
unexpected disturbance such as a shuttlecock landing on court (having been hit there by players on an adjacent court) or
in small halls the shuttle may touch an overhead rail which can be classed as a let.
If the receiver is not ready when the service is delivered, a let shall be called; yet, if the receiver attempts to return the
shuttlecock, he shall be judged to have been ready.


Badminton racquets

Badminton rackets are lightweight, with top quality racquets weighing between 70 and 95 grams (2.4 to 3.3 ounces) not
including grip or strings.[11][12] They are composed of many different materials ranging from carbon fibre
composite (graphite reinforced plastic) to solid steel, which may be augmented by a variety of materials. Carbon fibre has
an excellent strength to weight ratio, is stiff, and gives excellent kinetic energy transfer. Before the adoption of carbon
fibre composite, racquets were made of light metals such as aluminium. Earlier still, racquets were made of wood. Cheap

racquets are still often made of metals such as steel, but wooden racquets are no longer manufactured for the ordinary
market, because of their excessive mass and cost. Nowadays, nanomaterials such as fullerene and carbon
nanotubes are added to rackets giving them greater durability.[citation needed]
There is a wide variety of racquet designs, although the laws limit the racquet size and shape. Different racquets have
playing characteristics that appeal to different players. The traditional oval head shape is still available, but
an isometric head shape is increasingly common in new racquets.

Badminton strings are thin, high performing strings in the range of about 0.62 to 0.73 mm thickness. Thicker strings are
more durable, but many players prefer the feel of thinner strings. String tension is normally in the range of 80 to
160 N (18 to 36 lbf). Recreational players generally string at lower tensions than professionals, typically between 80 and
110 N (18 and 25 lbf). Professionals string between about 110 and 160 N (25 and 36 lbf). Some string manufacturers
measure the thickness of their strings under tension so they are actually thicker than specified when slack. Ashaway
Micropower is actually 0.7mm but Yonex BG-66 is about 0.72mm.
It is often argued that high string tensions improve control, whereas low string tensions increase power. [13] The arguments
for this generally rely on crude mechanical reasoning, such as claiming that a lower tension string bed is more bouncy
and therefore provides more power. This is in fact incorrect, for a higher string tension can cause the shuttle to slide off
the racquet and hence make it harder to hit a shot accurately. An alternative view suggests that the optimum tension for
power depends on the player:[11] the faster and more accurately a player can swing their racquet, the higher the tension
for maximum power. Neither view has been subjected to a rigorous mechanical analysis, nor is there clear evidence in
favour of one or the other. The most effective way for a player to find a good string tension is to experiment.

The choice of grip allows a player to increase the thickness of their racquet handle and choose a comfortable surface to
hold. A player may build up the handle with one or several grips before applying the final layer.
Players may choose between a variety of grip materials. The most common choices are PU synthetic grips or towelling
grips. Grip choice is a matter of personal preference. Players often find that sweat becomes a problem; in this case, a
drying agent may be applied to the grip or hands, sweatbands may be used, the player may choose another grip material
or change his/her grip more frequently.
There are two main types of grip: replacement grips and overgrips. Replacement grips are thicker, and are often used to
increase the size of the handle. Overgrips are thinner (less than 1 mm), and are often used as the final layer. Many
players, however, prefer to use replacement grips as the final layer. Towelling grips are always replacement grips.
Replacement grips have an adhesive backing, whereas overgrips have only a small patch of adhesive at the start of the
tape and must be applied under tension; overgrips are more convenient for players who change grips frequently, because
they may be removed more rapidly without damaging the underlying material.

Shuttlecockswith feathers

A shuttlecock with a plastic skirt

Main article: Shuttlecock
A shuttlecock (often abbreviated to shuttle; also called a birdie) is a high-drag projectile, with an open conical shape: the
cone is formed from sixteen overlapping feathers embedded into a rounded cork base. The cork is covered with
thin leather or synthetic material.
Synthetic shuttles are often used by recreational players to reduce their costs as feathered shuttles break easily. These
nylon shuttles may be constructed with either natural cork or synthetic foam base, and a plastic skirt.

Badminton shoes are lightweight with soles of rubber or similar high-grip, non-marking materials.
Compared to running shoes, badminton shoes have little lateral support. High levels of lateral support are useful for
activities where lateral motion is undesirable and unexpected. Badminton, however, requires powerful lateral movements.
A highly built-up lateral support will not be able to protect the foot in badminton; instead, it will encourage catastrophic
collapse at the point where the shoe's support fails, and the player's ankles are not ready for the sudden loading, which
can cause sprains. For this reason, players should choose badminton shoes rather than general trainers or running
shoes, because proper badminton shoes will have a very thin sole, lower a person's centre of gravity, and therefore result
in fewer injuries. Players should also ensure that they learn safe and proper footwork, with the knee and foot in alignment
on all lunges. This is more than just a safety concern: proper footwork is also critical in order to move effectively around
the court.

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A player flies high at the Golden Gate Badminton Club (GGBC) in Menlo Park, 2006

Forehand and backhand[edit]

Badminton offers a wide variety of basic strokes, and players require a high level of skill to perform all of them effectively.
All strokes can be played either forehand or backhand. A player's forehand side is the same side as their playing hand:
for a right-handed player, the forehand side is their right side and the backhand side is their left side. Forehand strokes
are hit with the front of the hand leading (like hitting with the palm), whereas backhand strokes are hit with the back of the
hand leading (like hitting with the knuckles). Players frequently play certain strokes on the forehand side with a backhand
hitting action, and vice versa.
In the forecourt and midcourt, most strokes can be played equally effectively on either the forehand or backhand side; but
in the rear court, players will attempt to play as many strokes as possible on their forehands, often preferring to play
a round-the-head forehand overhead (a forehand "on the backhand side") rather than attempt a backhand overhead.
Playing a backhand overhead has two main disadvantages. First, the player must turn their back to their opponents,
restricting their view of them and the court. Second, backhand overheads cannot be hit with as much power as
forehands: the hitting action is limited by the shoulder joint, which permits a much greater range of movement for a
forehand overhead than for a backhand. The backhand clear is considered by most players and coaches to be the most
difficult basic stroke in the game, since precise technique is needed in order to muster enough power for the shuttlecock
to travel the full length of the court. For the same reason, backhand smashes tend to be weak.

Position of the shuttlecock and receiving player[edit]

A player does a forehand service, 2009, Philadelphia.

The choice of stroke depends on how near the shuttlecock is to the net, whether it is above net height, and where an
opponent is currently positioned: players have much better attacking options if they can reach the shuttlecock well above
net height, especially if it is also close to the net. In the forecourt, a high shuttlecock will be met with a net kill, hitting it
steeply downwards and attempting to win the rally immediately. This is why it is best to drop the shuttlecock just over the
net in this situation. In the midcourt, a high shuttlecock will usually be met with a powerful smash, also hitting
downwards and hoping for an outright winner or a weak reply. Athletic jump smashes, where players jump upwards for a
steeper smash angle, are a common and spectacular element of elite men's doubles play.In the rearcourt, players strive
to hit the shuttlecock while it is still above them, rather than allowing it to drop lower. This overhead hitting allows them to
play smashes, clears (hitting the shuttlecock high and to the back of the opponents' court), and dropshots (hitting the
shuttlecock so that it falls softly downwards into the opponents' forecourt). If the shuttlecock has dropped lower, then a
smash is impossible and a full-length, high clear is difficult.

A player prepares for a vertical jump smash

Vertical position of the shuttlecock[edit]

When the shuttlecock is well below net height, players have no choice but to hit upwards. Lifts, where the shuttlecock
is hit upwards to the back of the opponents' court, can be played from all parts of the court. If a player does not lift, his
only remaining option is to push the shuttlecock softly back to the net: in the forecourt this is called a netshot; in the
midcourt or rearcourt, it is often called a push or block.
When the shuttlecock is near to net height, players can hit drives, which travel flat and rapidly over the net into the
opponents' rear midcourt and rearcourt. Pushes may also be hit flatter, placing the shuttlecock into the front midcourt.
Drives and pushes may be played from the midcourt or forecourt, and are most often used in doubles: they are an
attempt to regain the attack, rather than choosing to lift the shuttlecock and defend against smashes. After a successful
drive or push, the opponents will often be forced to lift the shuttlecock.

Other factors[edit]
When defending against a smash, players have three basic options: lift, block, or drive. In singles, a block to the net is
the most common reply. In doubles, a lift is the safest option but it usually allows the opponents to continue smashing;
blocks and drives are counter-attacking strokes, but may be intercepted by the smasher's partner. Many players use a
backhand hitting action for returning smashes on both the forehand and backhand sides, because backhands are more
effective than forehands at covering smashes directed to the body. Hard shots directed towards the body are difficult to
The service is restricted by the Laws and presents its own array of stroke choices. Unlike in tennis, the server's racket
must be pointing in a downward direction to deliver the serve so normally the shuttle must be hit upwards to pass over
the net. The server can choose a low serve into the forecourt (like a push), or a lift to the back of the service court, or a
flat drive serve. Lifted serves may be either high serves, where the shuttlecock is lifted so high that it falls almost
vertically at the back of the court, or flick serves, where the shuttlecock is lifted to a lesser height but falls sooner.

Once players have mastered these basic strokes, they can hit the shuttlecock from and to any part of the court,
powerfully and softly as required. Beyond the basics, however, badminton offers rich potential for advanced stroke skills
that provide a competitive advantage. Because badminton players have to cover a short distance as quickly as possible,
the purpose of many advanced strokes is to deceive the opponent, so that either he is tricked into believing that a
different stroke is being played, or he is forced to delay his movement until he actually sees the shuttle's direction.
"Deception" in badminton is often used in both of these senses. When a player is genuinely deceived, he will often lose
the point immediately because he cannot change his direction quickly enough to reach the shuttlecock. Experienced
players will be aware of the trick and cautious not to move too early, but the attempted deception is still useful because it
forces the opponent to delay his movement slightly. Against weaker players whose intended strokes are obvious, an
experienced player may move before the shuttlecock has been hit, anticipating the stroke to gain an advantage.
Slicing and using a shortened hitting action are the two main technical devices that facilitate deception. Slicing involves
hitting the shuttlecock with an angled racquet face, causing it to travel in a different direction than suggested by the body
or arm movement. Slicing also causes the shuttlecock to travel more slowly than the arm movement suggests. For
example, a good crosscourt sliced dropshot will use a hitting action that suggests a straight clear or smash, deceiving the
opponent about both the power and direction of the shuttlecock. A more sophisticated slicing action involves brushing the
strings around the shuttlecock during the hit, in order to make the shuttlecock spin. This can be used to improve the
shuttle's trajectory, by making it dip more rapidly as it passes the net; for example, a sliced low serve can travel slightly
faster than a normal low serve, yet land on the same spot. Spinning the shuttlecock is also used to create spinning
netshots (also called tumbling netshots), in which the shuttlecock turns over itself several times (tumbles) before
stabilizing; sometimes the shuttlecock remains inverted instead of tumbling. The main advantage of a spinning netshot is
that the opponent will be unwilling to address the shuttlecock until it has stopped tumbling, since hitting the feathers will
result in an unpredictable stroke. Spinning netshots are especially important for high level singles players.
The lightness of modern racquets allows players to use a very short hitting action for many strokes, thereby maintaining
the option to hit a powerful or a soft stroke until the last possible moment. For example, a singles player may hold his
racquet ready for a netshot, but then flick the shuttlecock to the back instead with a shallow lift when she or he notices
the opponent has moved before the actual shot was played. A shallow lift takes less time to reach the ground and as
mentioned above a rally is over when the shuttlecock touches the ground. This makes the opponent's task of covering
the whole court much more difficult than if the lift was hit higher and with a bigger, obvious swing. A short hitting action is
not only useful for deception: it also allows the player to hit powerful strokes when he has no time for a big arm swing. A
big arm swing is also usually not advised in badminton because bigger swings make it more difficult to recover for the
next shot in fast exchanges. The use of grip tightening is crucial to these techniques, and is often described as finger
power. Elite players develop finger power to the extent that they can hit some power strokes, such as net kills, with less
than a 10 cm (4 in) racquet swing.

It is also possible to reverse this style of deception, by suggesting a powerful stroke before slowing down the hitting
action to play a soft stroke. In general, this latter style of deception is more common in the rearcourt (for example,
dropshots disguised as smashes), whereas the former style is more common in the forecourt and midcourt (for example,
lifts disguised as netshots).
Deception is not limited to slicing and short hitting actions. Players may also use double motion, where they make an
initial racquet movement in one direction before withdrawing the racquet to hit in another direction. Players will often do
this to send opponents in the wrong direction. The racquet movement is typically used to suggest a straight angle but
then play the stroke cross court, or vice versa. Triple motion is also possible, but this is very rare in actual play. An
alternative to double motion is to use a racquet head fake, where the initial motion is continued but the racquet is turned
during the hit. This produces a smaller change in direction, but does not require as much time.

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To win in badminton, players need to employ a wide variety of strokes in the right situations. These range from powerful
jumping smashes to delicate tumbling net returns. Often rallies finish with a smash, but setting up the smash requires
subtler strokes. For example, a netshot can force the opponent to lift the shuttlecock, which gives an opportunity to
smash. If the netshot is tight and tumbling, then the opponent's lift will not reach the back of the court, which makes the
subsequent smash much harder to return.
Deception is also important. Expert players prepare for many different strokes that look identical, and use slicing to
deceive their opponents about the speed or direction of the stroke. If an opponent tries to anticipate the stroke, he may
move in the wrong direction and may be unable to change his body momentum in time to reach the shuttlecock.

Both pairs will try to gain and maintain the attack, smashing downwards when possible. Whenever possible, a pair will
adopt an ideal attacking formation with one player hitting down from the rearcourt, and his partner in the midcourt
intercepting all smash returns except the lift. If the rearcourt attacker plays a dropshot, his partner will move into the
forecourt to threaten the net reply. If a pair cannot hit downwards, they will use flat strokes in an attempt to gain the
attack. If a pair is forced to lift or clear the shuttlecock, then they must defend: they will adopt a side-by-side position in
the rear midcourt, to cover the full width of their court against the opponents' smashes. In doubles, players generally
smash to the middle ground between two players in order to take advantage of confusion and clashes.
At high levels of play, the backhand serve has become popular to the extent that forehand serves have become fairly rare
at a high level of play. The straight low serve is used most frequently, in an attempt to prevent the opponents gaining the
attack immediately. Flick serves are used to prevent the opponent from anticipating the low serve and attacking it
At high levels of play, doubles rallies are extremely fast. Men's doubles is the most aggressive form of badminton, with a
high proportion of powerful jump smashes and very quick reflex exchanges. Because of this, spectator interest is
sometimes greater for men's doubles than for singles.

A mixed doubles game Scottish Schools under 12s tournament, Tranent, May 2002

The singles court is narrower than the doubles court, but the same length. Since one person needs to cover the entire
court, singles tactics are based on forcing the opponent to move as much as possible; this means that singles strokes are
normally directed to the corners of the court. Players exploit the length of the court by combining lifts and clears with drop
shots and net shots. Smashing tends to be less prominent in singles than in doubles because the smasher has no
partner to follow up his effort and is thus vulnerable to a skillfully placed return. Moreover, frequent smashing can be
exhausting in singles where the conservation of a player's energy is at a premium. However, players with strong smashes
will sometimes use the shot to create openings, and players commonly smash weak returns to try to end rallies.
In singles, players will often start the rally with a forehand high serve or with a flick serve. Low serves are also used
frequently, either forehand or backhand. Drive serves are rare.
At high levels of play, singles demands extraordinary fitness. Singles is a game of patient positional manoeuvring, unlike
the all-out aggression of doubles.

Mixed doubles[edit]
In mixed doubles, both pairs typically try to maintain an attacking formation with the woman at the front and the man at
the back. This is because the male players are usually substantially stronger, and can therefore produce smashes that
are more powerful. As a result, mixed doubles require greater tactical awareness and subtler positional play. Clever
opponents will try to reverse the ideal position, by forcing the woman towards the back or the man towards the front. In
order to protect against this danger, mixed players must be careful and systematic in their shot selection. [14]
At high levels of play, the formations will generally be more flexible: the top women players are capable of playing
powerfully from the back-court, and will happily do so if required. When the opportunity arises, however, the pair will
switch back to the standard mixed attacking position, with the woman in front and men in the back.

Governing bodies[edit]
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the internationally recognized governing body of the sport. Five regional
confederations are associated with the BWF:

Asia: Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC)

Africa: Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA)
Americas: Badminton Pan Am (North America and South America belong to the same confederation; BPA)

Europe: Badminton Europe (BE)

Oceania: Badminton Oceania (BO)


A men's doubles match. The blue lines are those for the badminton court. The other coloured lines denote uses for other sports
such complexity being common in multi-use sports halls.

The BWF organizes several international competitions, including the Thomas Cup, the premier men's international team
event first held in 19481949, and the Uber Cup, the women's equivalent first held in 19561957. The competitions now
take place once every two years. More than 50 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within continental
confederations for a place in the finals. The final tournament involves 12 teams, following an increase from eight teams in
The Sudirman Cup, a gender-mixed international team event held once every two years, began in 1989. Teams are
divided into seven levels based on the performance of each country. To win the tournament, a country must perform well
across all five disciplines (men's doubles and singles, women's doubles and singles, and mixed doubles). Likeassociation
football (soccer), it features a promotion and relegation system in every level.
Badminton was a demonstration event in the 1972 and 1988 Summer Olympics. It became an official Summer
Olympicsport at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and its gold medals now generally rate as the sport's most coveted
prizes for individual players.
In the BWF World Championships, first held in 1977, currently only the highest ranked 64 players in the world, and a
maximum of four from each country, can participate in any category. In both the Olympic and BWF World competitions
restrictions on the number of participants from any one country have caused some controversy because they sometimes
result in excluding elite world level players from the strongest badminton nations. The Thomas, Uber, and Sudirman
Cups, the Olympics, and the BWF World (and World Junior Championships), are all categorized as level one
At the start of 2007, the BWF introduced a new tournament structure for the highest level tournaments aside from those
in level one: the BWF Super Series. This level two tournament series, a tour for the world's elite players, stages twelve
open tournaments around the world with 32 players (half the previous limit). The players collect points that determine
whether they can play in Super Series Final held at the year end. Among the tournaments in this series is the
venerable All-England Championships, first held in 1900, which was once considered the unofficial world championships
of the sport.[15]

Level three tournaments consist of Grand Prix Gold and Grand Prix event. Top players can collect the world ranking
points and enable them to play in the BWF Super Series open tournaments. These include the regional competitions in
Asia (Badminton Asia Championships) and Europe (European Badminton Championships), which produce the world's
best players as well as the Pan America Badminton Championships.
The level four tournaments, known as International Challenge, International Series and Future Series, encourage
participation by junior players.[16]

Comparisons with other racquet sports[edit]

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made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be
removed. (May 2010)
Badminton is frequently compared to tennis. The following is a list of uncontentious comparisons:

In badminton a match consist of 3 games and each game is played up to 21 points. In tennis a match consist of 6
games and each game is played up to 4 points. If both team are tied for "game point", they must play until one team
achieves a two point advantage. However, the maximum point that a badminton game can go up to is 30 points. In
tennis, if we assume both players are scoring "deuces", then there is no maximum point, as the game must continue
until a player receives a two point advantage to be declared the winner.

In tennis, the ball may bounce once before the player hits it; in badminton, the rally ends once the shuttlecock
touches the floor.

In tennis, the serve is dominant to the extent that the server is expected to win most of his service games (at
advanced level & onwards); a break of service, where the server loses the game, is of major importance in a match.
In badminton a server has far less advantage, and is unlikely to score an 'ace' (unreturnable serve).

In tennis, the server is allowed two attempts to make a correct serve; in badminton, the server is allowed only one

The tennis court is larger than the badminton court.

Tennis racquets are about four times as heavy as badminton racquets, 1012 ounces (approximately 284
340 grams) versus 23 ounces (70105 grams).[17][18] Tennis balls are more than eleven times heavier than
shuttlecocks, 57 grams versus 5 grams.[19][20]

The fastest recorded tennis stroke is Samuel Groth's 163.4 mph (263 km/h) serve,[21] whereas the fastest badminton
stroke during gameplay was Fu Haifeng's 206 mph (332 km/h) recorded smash.[22]

Comparisons of speed and athletic requirements[edit]

Statistics such as the smash speed, above, prompt badminton enthusiasts to make other comparisons that are more
contentious. For example, it is often claimed that badminton is the fastest racquet sport. [citation needed] Although badminton
holds the record for the fastest initial speed of a racket sports projectile, the shuttlecock decelerates substantially faster
than other projectiles such as tennis balls. In turn, this qualification must be qualified by consideration of the distance
over which the shuttlecock travels: a smashed shuttlecock travels a shorter distance than a tennis ball during a serve.
While fans of badminton and tennis often claim that their sport is the more physically demanding, such comparisons are
difficult to make objectively because of the differing demands of the games. No formal study currently exists evaluating
the physical condition of the players or demands during game play.

Comparisons of technique[edit]
Badminton and tennis techniques differ substantially. The lightness of the shuttlecock and of badminton rackets allow
badminton players to make use of the wrist and fingers much more than tennis players; in tennis the wrist is normally held
stable, and playing with a mobile wrist may lead to injury. For the same reasons, badminton players can generate power

from a short racket swing: for some strokes such as net kills, an elite player's swing may be less than 5 cm (2 in). For
strokes that require more power, a longer swing will typically be used, but the badminton racket swing will rarely be as
long as a typical tennis swing.
It is often asserted that power in badminton strokes comes mainly from the wrist. This is a misconception and may be
criticised for two reasons. First, it is strictly speaking acategory error: the wrist is a joint, not a muscle; the forearm
muscles control its movement. Second, wrist movements are weak when compared to forearm or upper arm movements.
Badminton biomechanics have not been the subject of extensive scientific study, but some studies confirm the minor role
of the wrist in power generation, and indicate that the major contributions to power come from internal and external
rotations of the upper and lower arm.[23] Modern coaching resources such as the Badminton England Technique
DVD reflect these ideas by emphasising forearm rotation rather than wrist movements. [24]

Distinctive characteristics of the shuttlecock[edit]

The shuttlecock differs greatly from the balls used in most other racquet sports.
Aerodynamic drag and stability[edit]
The feathers impart substantial drag, causing the shuttlecock to decelerate greatly over distance. The shuttlecock is also
extremely aerodynamically stable: regardless of initial orientation, it will turn to fly cork-first, and remain in the cork-first
One consequence of the shuttlecock's drag is that it requires considerable skill to hit it the full length of the court, which is
not the case for most racquet sports. The drag also influences the flight path of a lifted (lobbed) shuttlecock:
the parabola of its flight is heavily skewed so that it falls at a steeper angle than it rises. With very high serves, the
shuttlecock may even fall vertically.
Balls may be spun to alter their bounce (for example, topspin and backspin in tennis) or trajectory, and players may slice
the ball (strike it with an angled racket face) to produce such spin; but, since the shuttlecock is not allowed to bounce, this
does not apply to badminton.
Slicing the shuttlecock so that it spins, however, does have applications, and some are particular to badminton.
(See Basic strokes for an explanation of technical terms.)

Slicing the shuttlecock from the side may cause it to travel in a different direction from the direction suggested by
the player's racket or body movement. This is used to deceive opponents.

Slicing the shuttlecock from the side may cause it to follow a slightly curved path (as seen from above), and the
deceleration imparted by the spin causes sliced strokes to slow down more suddenly towards the end of their flight
path. This can be used to create dropshots and smashes that dip more steeply after they pass the net.

When playing a netshot, slicing underneath the shuttlecock may cause it to turn over itself (tumble) several times as
it passes the net. This is called a spinning netshot ortumbling netshot. The opponent will be unwilling to address the
shuttlecock until it has corrected its orientation.

Due to the way that its feathers overlap, a shuttlecock also has a slight natural spin about its axis of rotational symmetry.
The spin is in a counter-clockwise direction as seen from above when dropping a shuttlecock. This natural spin affects
certain strokes: a tumbling netshot is more effective if the slicing action is from right to left, rather than from left to right.[25]

See also[edit]
Badminton portal

Ball badminton

List of racquet sports
Speed badminton
Badminton tactics for singles and doubles


Jump up^ Boga, Steve (2008). Badminton. Paw Prints. ISBN 1439504784.
Jump up^ Grice, Tony (2008). Badminton: Steps to Success. Human Kinetics. ISBN 978-0-7360-7229-8.
Jump up^ Cartoon taken from the John Leech Archive which gave the artist as John Leech and the date as 1854.
^ Jump up to:a b Guillain, Jean-Yves (2 September 2004). Badminton: An Illustrated History. Publibook. p. 47. ISBN 27483-0572-8.

Badminton terminology

Alley - side-extension of the court by l feet on both sides that is used for doubles play.

Back Alley - Area between the back boundary line and the long service line for doubles.

Backcourt - the back third of the court, in the area of the back boundary lines.

Baseline - Back boundary line at each end of the court, that runs parallel to the net.

Bird or birdie - another name for the shuttlecock

Carry - An illegal tactic, also called a sling or throw, in which the shuttle is caught and held on the racquet and then slung
during the execution of a stroke.

Center Line - Line perpendicular to the net that separates the left and right service courts.

Clear - A shot hit deep to the opponents back court.

Court - Area of play, as defined by the outer boundary lines.

Drive - A fast and low shot that makes a horizontal flight over the net.

Drop - A shot hit sohly and with finesse to fall rapidly and close to the net on the opponents side.

Fault - A violation of the playing rules, either in serving, receiving, or during play (see common faults listed below).

Flick - A quick wrist and forearm rotation that surprises an opponent by changing an apparently soft shot into a faster
passing one; used primarily on the serve and at the net.

Forecourt - Front third of the court, between the net and the short service line.

Hairpin Net Shot - Shot made from below and very close to the net with the shuttle rising, just clearing the net, and then
dropping sharply down the other side. The shuttles flight approximates the shape of a hairpin.

Halfcourt Shot - A shot hit low and to midcourt, used effectively in doubles against the up-and-back formation.

Kill - Fast, downward shot that cannot be returned; a "putaway."

Let - A legitimate cessation of play to allow a rally to be replayed.

Long Service Line - In singles, the back boundary line. In doubles a line 2 l/2 feet inside the back boundary line. The
serve may not go past this line.

Match - A series of games (at U.S. Olympic Festival-93 it is three out of five), to determine a winner. Midcourt - The
middle third of the court, halfway between the net and the back boundary line.

Net Shot - Shot hit from the forecourt that just clears the net and drops sharply.

Push Shot - Gentle shot played by pushing the shuttle with little wrist motion, usually from net or midcourt to the
opponents midcourt.

Racquet - Instrument used by playerto hit shuttlecock Weight:About3 ounces. Length: 27 inches. Made of: Ceramic,
graphite, or boron frame; beef-gut string. Cost: $60-$175 (unstrung).

Rally this occurs when the players hit the bird back and forth several times before one side scores a point

Serve or Service players put the shuttlecock into play for points by serving it to opponents, hitting it over the net into a
special part of the court near their opponent

Service Court - Area into which the serve must be delivered. Different for singles and doubles play.

Short Service Line - The line 6 l/2 feet from the net which a serve must reach to be legal.

Shuttlecock - thje name for the object that players hit, made of a ball of cork or rubber with a crown of feathers in an
open conical shape.

Smash when a shuttle is floated high into the air, a player has time to unleash a powerful overhand shot straight to the
floor of the opposing court

Wood Shot - Shot that results when the base of the shuttle is hit by the frame of the racquet. Once illegal, this shot was
ruled acceptable by the International Badminton Federation in 1963.

Badminton Equipment & Accessories


Racquet used to hit the bird, the racquet is shaped like a tennis racquet and has strings, but weighs much less. The
frame of the racket, including the handle, is not to exceed 680 mm (26.75 inches) in overall length, and 230 mm (9 inches)
in overall width. Theoverall length of the head is not to exceed 290 mm. Most racquets are made from light man-made
materials such as aluminum or graphite, and are strung with synthetic material such as nylon.

Shuttle, Shuttlecock, Bird, Birdie - whatever it is called, it is badminton's version of a tennis ball. It has a small ball at
the front to give it speed, and feathers protruding from it to help it float when it is hit high into the air. An official shuttlecock
must have 14-16 feathers and are usually made from a goose or duck and from the left wing of the bird only.

Shoes special court shoes are worn to allow players to move quickly across the court, and to give them traction for
quick movements around the court.

Fundamental skills
Four types of badminton serves include: 1) the high serve to move your opponent to the back of his or her side of the court; 2) the low serve
to make your opponent have to get under the shuttle; 3) the flick serve that is used occasionally to confuse your opponent who thinks you are
going to hit a low serve; 4) the drive serve where you hit the shuttle low, fast and to the rear of the receiver's court as a strategy move that
will result in a missed hit.

Basic Badminton Rules

Before the 2006 Thomas/ Uber Cup, the official scoring format was the 15 points format. The IBF (International
Badminton Federation) then tested a new scoring format which is the 21 points rally format in the 2006 Thomas/Uber
Cup. This 21 points rally format has since become the official one replacing the 15 points format.

15 Points Format
There are a lot of people who still prefer the old format. So I have listed down the basic badminton rules for this
format here if you have this preference.
- To win a match, you have to win 2 out of 3 games.
- To win a game, you have to score 15 points for men and 11 points for women.
- If the score becomes 14-all (10-all in women's singles), the side which first scored 14 (10) shall exercise the choice
to continue the game to 15 (11) points or to 'set' the game to 17 (13) points.
- If you win a rally in which your opposition served, you win back the service rights.
- Only the serving side can add a point to its score.
- You score a point when your opponent could not return the shuttle or the shuttle he/she returns fall out of bounds.
- In singles, you will serve on the right service court when your score is an even number while you will serve on the
left service court when your score is an odd number.
- In doubles, if you serve and receive first on the right service court during a match, you will continue to serve there
when the score of your side in an even number. Reverse pattern for your partner.
For the full version, please check out this page.

21 points Format

Currently, this is the official format used by the IBF. Here are the basic badminton rules for this format.
- To win a match, you have to win 2 out of 3 games.
- To win a game, you have to score 21 points.
- If a score becomes 20-20, the side which scores 2 consecutive points shall win that game.
- If the score becomes 29-29, the side that scores the 30th point shall win that game.
- There are no "service over", meaning you can score a point no matter who serves.
- One service only for doubles.
- Other rules shall remain the same.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the sport. For other uses, see Tennis (disambiguation).

A tennis match at Wimbledon, the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament.

Highestgoverning body

International Tennis Federation

First played

Between 1859 and 1865 (Birmingham, England)




Team members

Single or doubles

Mixed gender

Yes, separate tours & mixed doubles


Racquet sport


Tennis ball, tennis racquet


Indoor or outdoor tennis court


Country or region



Part of Summer Olympic programme from 1896 to 1924

Demonstration sport in the 1968 and 1984 Summer
Part of Summer Olympic programme since 1988


Part of Summer Paralympic programme since 1992

Tennis is a racquet sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or
between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a racquet that is strung with
cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the
opponent's court. The object of the game is to play the ball in such a way that the opponent is not
able to play a good return. The opponent who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while
the opposite opponent will.
Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be
played by anyone who can hold a racquet, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis
originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis". It had close
connections both to various field ("lawn") games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older
racquet sport of real tennis. During most of the 19th-century in fact, the term "tennis" referred to real
tennis, not lawn tennis: for example, in Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845), Lord Eugene De Vere
announces that he will "go down toHampton Court and play tennis."


The rules of tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961
the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tie-break in the
1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review

technology coupled with a point challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a
Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is also a popular worldwide spectator sport.
The four Grand Slamtournaments (also referred to as the "Majors") are especially popular:
the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay
courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open played also on hard courts.

1 History
o 1.1 Predecessors
o 1.2 Origins of the modern game
2 Equipment
o 2.1 Racquets
o 2.2 Balls
o 2.3 Miscellaneous
3 Manner of play
o 3.1 Court
o 3.2 Play of a single point
o 3.3 Scoring
o 3.4 Rule variations
4 Surface
5 Officials
6 Junior tennis
7 Match play
o 7.1 Continuity
o 7.2 Ball changes
o 7.3 On-court coaching
8 Shots
o 8.1 Grip
o 8.2 Serve
o 8.3 Forehand
o 8.4 Backhand
o 8.5 Other shots
9 Tournaments
o 9.1 Grand Slam tournaments
o 9.2 Men's tournament structure
o 9.3 Women's tournament structure
10 Players
o 10.1 Professional players
o 10.2 Grand Slam tournament winners
o 10.3 Greatest male players
o 10.4 Greatest female players
11 In popular culture
12 See also
13 References
14 Further reading
15 External links

Main article: History of tennis


Jeu de paume in the 17th century

Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th century northern France, where a ball
was struck with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume ("game
of the palm"), which evolved into real tennis, and became notable as the first person to construct
indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis out of doors and
accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century". In due
course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe. In June 1316 at Vincennes, Val-deMarne and following a particularly exhausting game, Louis drank a large quantity of cooled wine and
subsequently died of either pneumonia or pleurisy, although there was also suspicion of
poisoning. Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player
known by name. Another of the early enthusiasts of the game was King Charles V of France, who
had a court set up at the Louvre Palace.






It wasn't until the 16th century that racquets came into use, and the game began to be called
"tennis", from the Old French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!",
an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent. It was popular in England and France,
although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of
England was a big fan of this game, which is now known as real tennis. During the 18th century and
early 19th century, as real tennis declined, new racquet sports emerged in England.



Further, the patenting of the first lawn mower in 1830, in Britain, is strongly believed to have been
the catalyst, world-wide, for the preparation of modern-style grass courts, sporting ovals, playing
fields, pitches, greens, etc. This in turn led to the codification of modern rules for many sports,
including lawn tennis, most football codes, lawn bowls and others.

Origins of the modern game

Augurio Perera's house inEdgbaston, Birmingham, where he and Harry Gem first played the modern game of lawn tennis

Between 1859 and 1865 Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined
elements of racquets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn
in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom.
In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the
world's first tennis club in Leamington Spa.

In December 1873, British army officer Major Walter Clopton Wingfield designed and patented a
similar game which he called sphairistik(Greek: , meaning "ball-playing"), and was
soon known simply as "sticky" for the amusement of guests at a garden party on his friend's estate
of Nantclwyd Hall, in Llanelidan, Wales. According to R. D. C. Evans, turfgrass agronomist, "Sports
historians all agree that [Wingfield] deserves much of the credit for the development of modern
tennis." According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this
game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, poles, racquets, balls for playing
the game -- and most importantly you had his rules. He was absolutely terrific at marketing and he
sent his game all over the world. He had very good connections with the clergy, the law profession,
and the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874." The world's
oldest tennis tournament, the Wimbledon Championships, were first played in London in
The first Championships culminated a significant debate on how to standardize the rules.





Lawn tennis in the U.S., 1887

In the U.S. in 1874 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda with a
sphairistik set. She became fascinated by the game of tennis after watching British army officers
play. She laid out a tennis court at the Staten Island Cricket Club at Camp Washington,
Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York. The first American National championship was played there
in September 1880. An Englishman named O.E Woodhouse won the singles title, and a silver cup
worth $100, by defeating Canadian I. F. Hellmuth. There was also a doubles match which was won
by a local pair. There were different rules at each club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one
normally used in New York. On 21 May 1881, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association
(now the United States Tennis Association) was formed to standardize the rules and organize
competitions. The U.S. National Men's Singles Championship, now the US Open, was first held in
1881 at the Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island. The U.S. National Women's Singles
Championships were first held in 1887 in Philadelphia.





Lawn tennis in Canada, ca. 1900

Tennis also became popular in France, where the French Championships dates to 1891 although
until 1925 it was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. Thus,
Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open (dating to 1905) became and

have remained the most prestigious events in tennis.

Together these four events are called the
Majors or Slams(a term borrowed from bridge rather than baseball).


The comprehensive rules promulgated in 1924 by the International Lawn Tennis Federation, now
known as the International Tennis Federation (ITF), have remained largely stable in the ensuing
eighty years, the one major change being the addition of the tie-breaksystem designed by James
Van Alen. That same year, tennis withdrew from the Olympics after the 1924 Games but returned
60 years later as a 21-and-under demonstration event in 1984. This reinstatement was credited by
the efforts by the then ITF President Philippe Chatrier, ITF General Secretary David Gray and ITF
Vice President Pablo Llorens, and support from IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. The
success of the event was overwhelming and the IOC decided to reintroduce tennis as a full medal
sport at Seoul in 1988.


International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino

The Davis Cup, an annual competition between men's national teams, dates to 1900. The
analogous competition for women's national teams, the Fed Cup, was founded as the Federation
Cup in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ITF.


In 1926, promoter C. C. Pyle established the first professional tennis tour with a group of American
and French tennis players playing exhibition matches to paying audiences.
The most notable of
these early professionals were the American Vinnie Richards and the Frenchwoman Suzanne
Once a player turned pro he or she could not compete in the major (amateur)
tournaments. This resulted in a schism between the amateur and pro tennis ranks that would last
until the advent of the Open Era.



In 1968, commercial pressures and rumors of some amateurs taking money under the table led to
the abandonment of this distinction, inaugurating the open era, in which all players could compete in
all tournaments, and top players were able to make their living from tennis. With the beginning of the
open era, the establishment of an international professional tennis circuit, and revenues from the
sale of television rights, tennis's popularity has spread worldwide, and the sport has shed its middleclass English-speaking image (although it is acknowledged that this stereotype still exists).


In 1954, Van Alen founded the International Tennis Hall of Fame, a non-profit museum in Newport,
Rhode Island. The building contains a large collection of tennis memorabilia as well as a hall of
fame honoring prominent members and tennis players from all over the world. Each year, a grasscourt tournament and an induction ceremony honoring new Hall of Fame members are hosted on its

Main article: Tennis technology

Part of the appeal of tennis stems from the simplicity of equipment required for play. Beginners need
only a racquet and balls.

Main article: Racquet Tennis
The components of a tennis racquet include a handle, known as the grip, connected to a neck which
joins a roughly elliptical frame that holds a matrix of tightly pulled strings. For the first 100 years of
the modern game, racquets were of wood and of standard size, and strings were of animal gut.
Laminated wood construction yielded more strength in racquets used through most of the 20th
century until first metal and then composites of carbon graphite, ceramics, and lighter metals such
as titanium were introduced. These stronger materials enabled the production of over-sized racquets
that yielded yet more power. Meanwhile technology led to the use of synthetic strings that match the
feel of gut yet with added durability.
Under modern rules of tennis, the racquets must adhere to the following guidelines;


The hitting area, composed of the strings, must be flat and generally uniform.
The frame of the hitting area may not be more than 29 inches in length and 12.5 inches in width.
The entire racquet must be of a fixed shape, size, weight, and weight distribution. There may not
be any energy source built into the racquets.
The racquets must not provide any kind of communication, instruction or advice to the player
during the match.

The rules regarding racquets have changed over time, as material and engineering advances have
been made. For example, the maximum length of the frame had been 32 inches until 1997, when it
was shortened to 29 inches.

A tennis racquet and balls.

Many companies manufacture and distribute tennis racquets. Wilson, Head and Babolat are some of
the more commonly used brands; however, many more companies exist. The same companies
sponsor players to use these racquets in the hopes that the company name will become more well
known by the public.

Main article: Tennis ball
Tennis balls have come a long way from being made of cloth strips stitched together with
thread. Tennis balls are made of hollowrubber with a felt coating. Traditionally white, the
predominant color was gradually changed to optic yellow in the latter part of the 20th century to allow
for improved visibility. Tennis balls must conform to certain criteria for size, weight, deformation, and
bounce to be approved for regulation play. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) defines the
official diameter as 65.41-68.58 mm (2.575-2.700 inches). Balls must weigh between 56.0 and 59.4
grams (1.975-2.095 ounces). Tennis balls were traditionally manufactured in the United


States and Europe. Although the process of producing the balls has remained virtually unchanged
for the past 100 years, the majority of manufacturing now takes place in the Far East. The relocation
is due to cheaper labour costs and materials in the region.

Advanced players improve their performance through a number of accoutrements. Vibration
dampers may be interlaced in the proximal part of the string array for improved feel. Racquet
handles may be customized with absorbent or rubber-like materials to improve the players' grip.
Players often use sweat bands on their wrists to keep their hands dry as well. Finally, although the
game can be played in a variety of shoes, specialized tennis shoes have wide, flat soles for stability
and a built-up front structure to avoid excess wear.

Manner of play

The dimensions of a tennis court

Two players before a serve

For individual terms see: Glossary of tennis

Main article: Tennis court
Tennis is played on a rectangular, flat surface, usually grass, clay, or a hardcourt of concrete,
asphalt, or acrylic; occasionally carpet is used for indoor play. The court is 78 feet (23.77 m)
long, and 27 feet (8.23 m) wide for singles matches and 36 ft (10.97 m) for doubles
matches. Additional clear space around the court is required in order for players to reach
overrun balls. A net is stretched across the full width of the court, parallel with the baselines,
dividing it into two equal ends. It is held up by either a metal cable or cord that can be no more
than 0.8 cm (1/3 inch). The net is 3 feet 6 inches (1.067 m) high at the posts and 3 feet
(0.914 m) high in the center. The net posts are 3 feet (0.914 m) outside the doubles court on
each side or, for a singles net, 3 feet (0.914 m) outside the singles court on each side. There are
grass courts, hard courts, clay courts and other surfaces as well.



The modern tennis court owes its design to Major Walter Clopton Wingfield who, in 1873,
patented a court much the same as the current one for his stick tennis (sphairistike). This
template was modified in 1875 to the court design that exists today, with markings similar to
Wingfield's version, but with the hourglass shape of his court changed to a rectangle.


The lines that delineate the width of the court are called the baseline (farthest back) and the
service line (middle of the court). The short mark in the center of each baseline is referred to as
either the hash mark or the center mark. The outermost lines that make up the length are called
the doubles sidelines. These are the boundaries used when doubles is being played. The lines
to the inside of the doubles sidelines are the singles sidelines and are used as boundaries in
singles play. The area between a doubles sideline and the nearest singles sideline is called the
doubles alley, which is considered playable in doubles play. The line that runs across the center
of a player's side of the court is called the service line because the serve must be delivered into
the area between the service line and the net on the receiving side. Despite its name, this is not
where a player legally stands when making a serve.

The line dividing the service line in two is called the center line or center service line. The boxes
this center line creates are called the service boxes; depending on a player's position, he or she
will have to hit the ball into one of these when serving. A ball is out only if none of it has hit the
line or the area inside the lines upon its first bounce. All the lines are required to be between 1
and 2 inches (51 mm) in width. The baseline can be up to 4 inches (100 mm) wide.


Play of a single point

Main article: Point (tennis)
The players (or teams) start on opposite sides of the net. One player is designated the server,
and the opposing player is the receiver. The choice to be server or receiver in the first game and

the choice of ends is decided by a toss before the warm-up starts. Service alternates game by
game between the two players (or teams.) For each point, the server starts behind the baseline,
between the center mark and the sideline. The receiver may start anywhere on their side of the
net. When the receiver is ready, the server will serve, although the receiver must play to the
pace of the server.
In a legal service, the ball travels over the net (without touching it) and into the diagonally
opposite service box. If the ball hits the net but lands in the service box, this is a let ornet
service, which is void, and the server retakes that serve. The player can serve any number of let
services in a point and they are always treated as voids and not as faults. A fault is a serve that
falls long or wide of the service box, or does not clear the net. There is also a "foot fault", which
occurs when a player's foot touches the baseline or an extension of the center mark before the
ball is hit. If the second service is also a fault, the server double faults, and the receiver wins the
point. However, if the serve is in, it is considered a legal service.
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 before it has bounced twice or hit any
fixtures except the net, provided that it still falls in the server's court. A player or team cannot hit
the ball twice in a row. The ball must travel past the net into the other players' court. A ball that
hits the net during a rally is still considered a legal return. The first player or team to fail to make
a legal return loses the point. The server then moves to the other side of the service line at the
start of a new point.

Main article: Tennis scoring system
"Break point" redirects here. For software term, see Breakpoint.
Game, Set, Match

A game consists of a sequence of points played with the same player serving. A game is won by
the first player to have won at least four points in total and at least two points more than the
opponent. The running score of each game is described in a manner peculiar to tennis: scores
from zero to three points are described as "love", "fifteen", "thirty", and "forty" respectively. If at
least three points have been scored by each player, making the player's scores equal at forty
apiece, the score is not called out as "forty-forty", but rather as "deuce". If at least three points
have been scored by each side and a player has one more point than his opponent, the score of
the game is "advantage" for the player in the lead. During informal games, "advantage" can also
be called "ad in" or "van in" when the serving player is ahead, and "ad out" or "van out" when the
receiving player is ahead.

The scoreboard of a match betweenAndy Roddick and Cyril Saulnier.

The score of a tennis game during play is always read with the serving player's score first. In
tournament play, the chair umpire calls the point count (e.g., "fifteen-love") after each point. At

the end of a game, the chair umpire also announces the winner of the game and the overall
A set consists of a sequence of games played with service alternating between games, ending
when the count of games won meets certain criteria. Typically, a player wins a set by winning at
least six games and at least two games more than the opponent. If one player has won six
games and the opponent five, an additional game is played. If the leading player wins that game,
the player wins the set 75. If the trailing player wins the game, a tie-break is played. A tiebreak, played under a separate set of rules, allows one player to win one more game and thus
the set, to give a final set score of 76. A "love" set means that the loser of the set won zero
games, colloquially termed a 'jam donut' in the USA. In tournament play, the chair umpire
announces the winner of the set and the overall score. The final score in sets is always read with
the winning player's score first, e.g. "62, 46, 60, 75".

A match consists of a sequence of sets. The outcome is determined through a best of three or
five sets system. Recreational players may agree to play any number of sets, depending upon
time availability or stamina. On the professional circuit, men play best-of-five-set matches at all
four Grand Slam tournaments, Davis Cup, and the final of theOlympic Games and best-of-threeset matches at all other tournaments, while women play best-of-three-set matches at all
tournaments. The first player to win two sets in a best-of-three, or three sets in a best-of-five,
wins the match. Only in the final sets of matches at the Australian Open, the French
Open, Wimbledon, the Olympic Games, Davis Cup, and Fed Cup are tie-breaks not played. In
these cases, sets are played indefinitely until one player has a two-game lead, leaded to
some remarkably long matches.

In tournament play, the chair umpire announces the end of the match with the well-known
phrase "Game, set, match" followed by the winning person's or team's name.
Special point terms

Game point
A game point occurs in tennis whenever the player who is in the lead in the game needs only
one more point to win the game. The terminology is extended to sets (set point), matches
(match point), and even championships (championship point). For example, if the player who is
serving has a score of 40-love, the player has a triple game point (triple set point, etc.) as the
player has three consecutive chances to win the game. Game points, set points, and match
points are not part of official scoring and are not announced by the chair umpire in tournament
Break point
A break point occurs if the receiver, not the server, has a chance to win the game with the next
point. Break points are of particular importance because serving is generally considered
advantageous, with the server being expected to win games in which they are serving. A
receiver who has one (score of 3040), two (score of 1540) or three (score of love-40)
consecutive chances to win the game has break point, double break point or triple break point,
respectively. If the receiver does, in fact, win their break point, the game is awarded to the
receiver, and the receiver is said to have converted their break point. If the receiver fails to win
their break point it is called a failure to convert. Winning break points, and thus the game, is also
referred to as breaking serve, as the receiver has disrupted, or broken the natural advantage of
the server. If in the following game the previous server also wins a break point it is referred to
as breaking back. At least one break of serve is required to win a set.

Rule variations

See also: Types of tennis match

No ad
From 'No advantage'. Scoring method created by Jimmy Van Alen. The first player or
doubles team to win four points wins the game, regardless of whether the player or team is
ahead by two points. When the game score reaches three points each, the receiver chooses
which side of the court (advantage court or deuce court) the service is to be delivered on the
seventh and game-deciding point. Utilized by World Team Tennis professional competition
and ITF Junior Doubles.

Pro set
Instead of playing multiple sets, players may play one "pro set". A pro set is first to 8 (or 10)
games by a margin of two games, instead of first to 6 games. A 12-point tie-break is usually
played when the score is 88 (or 1010). These are often played with no-ad scoring.
Match tie-break
This is sometimes played instead of a third set. A match tie-break is played like a regular tiebreak, but the winner must win ten points instead of seven. Match tie-breaks are used in
the Hopman Cup and the 2012 Olympic Games for mixed doubles, on
the ATP and WTA tours for doubles and as a player's choice in USTA league play.

Another, however informal, tennis format is called Canadian doubles. This involves
three players, with one person playing a doubles team. The single player gets to
utilize the alleys normally reserved only for a doubles team. Conversely, the doubles
team does not use the alleys when executing a shot. The scoring is the same as a
regular game. This format is not sanctioned by any official body.
"Australian doubles", another informal and unsanctioned form of tennis, is played
with similar rules to the Canadian doubles style, only in this version, players rotate
court position after each game. As such, each player plays doubles and singles over
the course of a match, with the singles player always serving. Scoring styles vary,
but one popular method is to assign a value of 2 points to each game, with the
server taking both points if he or she holds serve and the doubles team each taking
one if they break serve.
Wheelchair tennis can be played by able-bodied players as well as people who
require a wheelchair for mobility. An extra bounce is permitted. This rule makes it
possible to have mixed wheelchair and able-bodied matches. It is possible for a
doubles team to consist of a wheelchair player and an able-bodied player (referred
to as "one-up, one-down"), or for a wheelchair player to play against an able-bodied
player. In such cases, the extra bounce is permitted for the wheelchair users only.

Main article: Tennis court Types of tennis courts
There are five types of court surface used in professional play. Each surface is
different in the speed and height of the bounce of the ball. The same surface plays
faster indoors than outdoors.


Examples are red clay, used at the French Open, and green clay (an example of which
is Har-Tru and used mainly in the U.S.). Almost all red clay courts are made not of natural
clay but of crushed brick that is packed to make the court. The crushed brick is then covered
with a topping of other crushed particles. This type of surface does not absorb water easily
and is the most common in Europe and Latin America.
Clay courts normally have a
slower paced ball and a fairly true bounce with more spin.
[citation needed]

Examples of hardcourts are acrylic (e.g. Plexicushion used at the Australian
Open, DecoTurf used at the US Open, GreenSet used at the ATP World Tour Finals),
asphalt, and concrete. Hardcourts typically have a faster-paced ball with a very true bounce
and it is the predominant surface type used on the professional tour.
Grass courts usually have a faster-paced ball, and a more erratic bounce. Grass is used
at Wimbledon and until 1974 three of the four Grand Slams (Australian Open, Wimbledon,
US Open) were played on grass. In 2001 Wimbledon changed the type of grass to make the
courts more durable and thus better able to withstand the wear of the modern game. The
new grass causes the ball to bounce higher and slows it down compared to the previous
grass type.

Any form of removable court covering, including carpeting and artificial turf. The bounce can
be higher or lower than a hard court. Carpet surface has not been used on the ATP and
WTA tour since 2009.
Popular from the 1880s through the first half of the 20th century, wooden surface provides a
very low bounce and plays very fast. There are no longer any professional tournaments held
on a wooden surface although some tournaments (e.g. Rotterdam Open and Open Sud de
France), are played on a wood-based court with an acrylic layer on top.


An umpire informing two players of the rules

Main article: Official (tennis)

In most professional play and some amateur competition, there
is an officiating head judge or chair umpire (usually referred to

as the umpire), who sits in a raised chair to one side of the

court. The umpire has absolute authority to make factual
determinations. The umpire may be assisted by line judges,
who determine whether the ball has landed within the required
part of the court and who also call foot faults. There also may
be a net judge who determines whether the ball has touched
the net during service. The umpire has the right to overrule a
line judge or a net judge if the umpire is sure that a clear
mistake has been made.

In some tournaments, line judges who would be calling the

serve, were assisted by electronic sensors that beeped to
indicate the serve was out. This system was called
"Cyclops". Cyclops has since largely been replaced by the
Hawk-Eye system.
In professional tournaments using this
system, players are allowed three unsuccessful appeals per
set, plus one additional appeal in the tie-break to challenge
close line calls by means of an electronic review. The US
Open, Miami Masters, US Open Series, and World Team
Tennisstarted using this challenge system in 2006 and
the Australian Open and Wimbledon introduced the system in
2007. In clay-court matches, such as at the French Open, a
call may be questioned by reference to the mark left by the
ball's impact on the court surface.



The referee, who is usually located off the court, is the final
authority about tennis rules. When called to the court by a
player or team captain, the referee may overrule the umpire's
decision if the tennis rules were violated (question of law) but
may not change the umpire's decision on a question of fact. If,
however, the referee is on the court during play, the referee
may overrule the umpire's decision (This would only happen in
Davis Cup or Fed Cup matches, not at the World Group level,
when a chair umpire from a non-neutral country is in the

Ball boys and girls may be employed to retrieve balls, pass

them to the players, and hand players their towels. They have
no adjudicative role. In rare events (e.g., if they are hurt or if
they have caused a hindrance), the umpire may ask them for a
statement of what actually happened. The umpire may
consider their statements when making a decision. In some
leagues, especially junior leagues, players make their own
calls, trusting each other to be honest. This is the case for
many school and university level matches. The referee or
referee's assistant, however, can be called on court at a
player's request, and the referee or assistant may change a
player's call. In unofficiated matches, a ball is out only if the
player entitled to make the call is sure that the ball is out.

Junior tennis
Main article: Junior tennis

In tennis, a junior is a player 18 and under who is still legally

protected by a parent or guardian. Players on the main adult
tour who are under 18 must have documents signed by a
parent or guardian. These players, however, are still eligible to
play in junior tournaments.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) conducts a junior
tour that allows juniors to establish a world ranking and
an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) or Women's
Tennis Association (WTA) ranking. Most juniors who enter the
international circuit do so by progressing through ITF, Satellite,
Future, and Challenger tournaments before entering the main
circuit. The latter three circuits also have adults competing in
them. Some juniors, however, such as Australian Lleyton
Hewitt and Frenchman Gal Monfils, have catapulted directly
from the junior tour to the ATP tour by dominating the junior
scene or by taking advantage of opportunities given to them to
participate in professional tournaments.
In 2004, the ITF implemented a new rankings scheme to
encourage greater participation in doubles, by combining two
rankings (singles and doubles) into one combined tally. Junior
tournaments do not offer prize money except for the Grand
Slam tournaments, which are the most prestigious junior
events. Juniors may earn income from tennis by participating in
the Future, Satellite, or Challenger tours. Tournaments are
broken up into different tiers offering different amounts of
ranking points, culminating with Grade A.

Leading juniors are allowed to participate for their nation in

the Junior Fed Cup and Davis Cup competitions. To succeed in
tennis often means having to begin playing at a young age. To
facilitate and nurture a junior's growth in tennis, almost all
tennis playing nations have developed a junior development
system. Juniors develop their play through a range of
tournaments on all surfaces, accommodating all different
standards of play. Talented juniors may also receive
sponsorships from governing bodies or private institutions.

Match play

Convention dictates that two playersshake hands at the end of a match


A tennis match is intended to be continuous. Because

stamina is a relevant factor, arbitrary delays are not permitted.
In most cases, service is required to occur no more than 20
seconds after the end of the previous point. This is increased
to 90 seconds when the players change ends (after every oddnumbered game), and a 2-minute break is permitted between
sets. Other than this, breaks are permitted only when forced
by events beyond the players' control, such as rain, damaged
footwear, damaged racquet, or the need to retrieve an errant
ball. Should a player be determined to be stalling repeatedly,
the chair umpire may initially give a warning followed by
subsequent penalties of "point", "game", and default of the
match for the player who is consistently taking longer than the
allowed time limit.




In the event of a rain delay, darkness or other external

conditions halting play, the match is resumed at a later time,
with the same score as at the time of the delay, and the players
at the same end of the court when rain halted play, or at the
same position (north or south) if play is resumed on a different

Ball changes
Balls wear out quickly in serious play and, therefore,
in ATP and WTA tournaments, they are changed after every
nine games with the first change occurring after only seven
games, because the first set of balls is also used for the prematch warm-up. As a courtesy to the receiver, the server will
often signal to the receiver before the first serve of the game in
which new balls are used as a reminder that they are using
new balls. However, in ITF tournaments like Fed Cup, the balls
are changed in a 911 style. Continuity of the balls' condition is
considered part of the game, so if a re-warm-up is required
after an extended break in play (usually due to rain), then the
re-warm-up is done using a separate set of balls, and use of
the match balls is resumed only when play resumes.

On-court coaching
A recent rule change is to allow coaching on court on a limited
basis during a match.
This has been introduced in
women's tennis for WTA Tour events in 2009 and allows the
player to request her coach once per set.


Main article: Tennis shots
A competent tennis player has eight basic shots in his or her
repertoire: the serve, forehand, backhand, volley, half-volley,
overhead smash, drop shot, and lob.

Main article: Grip (Tennis)

A grip is a way of holding the racquet in order to hit shots

during a match. The grip affects the angle of the racquet face
when it hits the ball and influences the pace, spin, and
placement of the shot. Players use various grips during play,
including the Continental (The "Handshake Grip"), Eastern
(Can be either semi-eastern or full eastern. Usually used for
backhands.), and Western (semi-western or full western,
usually for forehand grips) grips. Most players change grips
during a match depending on what shot they are hitting; for
example, slice shots and serves call for a Continental grip.

Main article: Serve (tennis)

Martina Navrtilov featured on a Paraguayan stamp

A serve (or, more formally, a "service") in tennis is a shot to

start a point. The serve is initiated by tossing the ball into the
air and hitting it (usually near the apex of its trajectory) into the
diagonally opposite service box without touching the net. The
serve may be hit under- or overhand although underhand
serving remains a rarity. If the ball hits the net on the first
serve and bounces over into the correct diagonal box then it is
called a "let" and the server gets two more additional serves to
get it in. There can also be a let if the server serves the ball
and the receiver isn't prepared. If the server misses his or her
first serve and gets a let on the second serve, then they get
one more try to get the serve in the box.


Experienced players strive to master the conventional

overhand serve to maximize its power and placement. The
server may employ different types of serve including flat serve,
topspin serve, slice serve, and kick (American twist) serve. A
reverse type of spin serve is hit in a manner that spins the ball
opposite the natural spin of the server, the spin direction
depending upon right- or left-handedness. If the ball is spinning
counterclockwise, it will curve right from the hitter's point of
view and curve left if spinning clockwise.

Some servers are content to use the serve simply to initiate the
point; however, advanced players often try to hit a winning shot

with their serve. A winning serve that is not touched by the

opponent is called an "ace".

Main article: Forehand
For a right-handed player, the forehand is a stroke that begins
on the right side of the body, continues across the body as
contact is made with the ball, and ends on the left side of the
body. There are various grips for executing the forehand, and
their popularity has fluctuated over the years. The most
important ones are the continental, the eastern, thesemiwestern, and the western. For a number of years, the small,
frail 1920s player Bill Johnston was considered by many to
have had the best forehand of all time, a stroke that he hit
shoulder-high using a western grip. Few top players used
the western grip after the 1920s, but in the latter part of the
20th century, as shot-making techniques and equipment
changed radically, the western forehand made a strong
comeback and is now used by many modern players. No
matter which grip is used, most forehands are generally
executed with one hand holding the racquet, but there have
been fine players with two-handed forehands. In the 1940s and
50s, the Ecuadorian/American playerPancho Segura used a
two-handed forehand to achieve a devastating effect against
larger, more powerful players. Players such as Monica Seles or
France's Fabrice Santoroand Marion Bartoli are also notable
players known for their two-handed forehands.

Main article: Backhand

Andy Murray hitting a backhand against Rafael Nadal.

For right-handed players, the backhand is a stroke that begins

on the left side of their body, continues across their body as
contact is made with the ball, and ends on the right side of their
body. It can be executed with either one hand or with both and

is generally considered more difficult to master than the

forehand. For most of the 20th century, the backhand was
performed with one hand, using either an eastern or
a continentalgrip. The first notable players to use two hands
were the 1930s Australians Vivian McGrath and John
Bromwich, but they were lonely exceptions. The two-handed
grip gained popularity in the 1970s as Bjrn Borg, Chris
Evert, Jimmy Connors, and later Mats Wilander and Marat
Safin used it to great effect, and it is now used by a large
number of the world's best players, including Rafael
Nadal and Serena Williams.

Two hands give the player more control, while one hand can
generate a slice shot, applying backspin on the ball to produce
a low trajectory bounce. Reach is also limited with the twohanded shot. The player long considered to have had the best
backhand of all time, Don Budge, had a powerful one-handed
stroke in the 1930s and 1940s that imparted topspin onto the
ball. Ken Rosewall, another player noted for his one-handed
backhand, used a very accurate slice backhand through the
1950s and 1960s. A small number of players, notably Monica
Seles, use two hands on both the backhand and forehand

Other shots
A volley is a shot returned to the opponent in mid-air before the
ball bounces, generally performed near the net, and is usually
made with a stiff-wristed punching motion to hit the ball into an
open area of the opponent's court. The half volley is made by
hitting the ball on the rise just after it has bounced, also
generally in the vicinity of the net, and played with the racquet
close to the ground. The swinging volley is hit out of the air as
the player approaches the net. It is an offensive shot used to
take preparation time away from the opponent, as it returns the
ball into the opponent's court much faster than a standard

From a poor defensive position on the baseline, the lob can be

used as either an offensive or defensive weapon, hitting the
ball high and deep into the opponent's court to either enable
the lobber to get into better defensive position or to win the
point outright by hitting it over the opponent's head. If the lob is
not hit deeply enough into the other court, however, an
opponent near the net may then hit an overhead smash, a
hard, serve-like shot, to try to end the point.
A difficult shot in tennis is the return of an attempted lob over
the backhand side of a player. When the contact point is higher
than the reach of a two-handed backhand, most players will try
to execute a high slice (under the ball or sideways). Fewer
players attempt the backhand sky-hook or smash. Rarely, a
player will go for a high topspin backhand, while themselves in
the air. A successful execution of any of these alternatives
requires balance and timing, with less margin of error than the

lower contact point backhands, since this shot is a break in the

regular pattern of play.
If an opponent is deep in his court, a player may suddenly
employ an unexpected drop shot, by softly tapping the ball just
over the net so that the opponent is unable to run in fast
enough to retrieve it. Advanced players will often apply back
spin to a drop shot, causing the ball to "skid" upon landing and
bounce sideways, with less forward momentum toward their
opponent, or even backwards towards the net, thus making it
even more difficult to return.
More recently - as part of the modern technique used by the
professional tennis players - the "squash shot" is employed,
when a player is stretched on the forehand side: choosing,
instead of the defensive topspin lob, to slice sideways the ball
with an aggressive / offensive forehand, using the backhand

See also: List of tennis tournaments
Tournaments are often organized by gender and number of
players. Common tournament configurations include men's
singles, women's singles, and doubles, where two players play
on each side of the net. Tournaments may be organized for
specific age groups, with upper age limits for youth and lower
age limits for senior players. Example of this include
the Orange Bowl and Les Petits As junior tournaments. There
are also tournaments for players with disabilities, such
as wheelchair tennis and deaf tennis. In the fourGrand
Slam tournaments, the singles draws are limited to 128 players
for each gender.

Most large tournaments seed players, but players may also be

matched by their skill level. According to how well a person
does in sanctioned play, a player is given a rating that is
adjusted periodically to maintain competitive matches. For
example, the United States Tennis Association administers the
National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP), which rates players
between 1.0 and 7.0 in 1/2 point increments. Average club
players under this system would rate 3.04.5 while world class
players would be 7.0 on this scale.

Grand Slam tournaments

The four Grand Slam tournaments are considered to be the
most prestigious tennis events in the world. They are held
annually and comprise, in chronological order, theAustralian
Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Apart
from the Olympic Games, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and Hopman
Cup, they are the only tournaments regulated by
the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The ITF's national
associations, Tennis Australia (Australian Open),
the Fdration Franaise de Tennis (French Open), the Lawn

Tennis Association (Wimbledon) and the United States Tennis

Association (US Open) are delegated the responsibility to
organize these events.

Aside from the historical significance of these events, they also

carry larger prize funds than any other tour event and are worth
double the number of ranking points to the champion than in
the next echelon of tournaments, the Masters 1000 (men)
and Premier events (women).
Another distinguishing feature
is the number of players in the singles draw. There are 128,
more than any other professional tennis tournament. This draw
is composed of 32 seeded players, other players ranked in the
world's top 100, qualifiers, and players who receive invitations
through wild cards. Grand Slam men's tournaments have bestof-five set matches while the women play best-of-three. Grand
Slam tournaments are among the small number of events that
last two weeks, the others being the Indian Wells Masters and
the Miami Masters.

Currently, the Grand Slam tournaments are the only tour

events that have mixed doubles contests. Grand Slam
tournaments are held in conjunction with wheelchair tennis
tournaments and junior tennis competitions. These
tournaments also contain their own idiosyncrasies. For
example, players at Wimbledon are required to wear
predominantly white. Andre Agassi chose to skip Wimbledon
from 1988 through 1990 citing the event's traditionalism,
particularly its "predominantly white" dress code. Wimbledon
has its own particular methods for disseminating tickets, often
leading tennis fans to follow complex procedures to obtain


Grand Slam Tournaments





Prize Money





Hard (Plexicushion)


French Open



25,018,900 (2014) 1891*





25,000,000 (2014) 1877


US Open

New York

Hard (DecoTurf)

A$33,000,000 (2014) 1905

US$34,252,000 (2013) 1881

* The international tournament began in 1925

Men's tournament structure

Masters 1000

The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 is a group of nine

tournaments that form the second-highest echelon in men's
tennis. Each event is held annually, and a win at one of these
events is worth 1000 ranking points. When the ATP, led
by Hamilton Jordan, began running the men's tour in 1990, the
directors designated the top nine tournaments, outside of
the Grand Slam events, as "Super 9" events. In 2000 this
became the Tennis Masters Series and in 2004 the ATP

Masters Series. In November at the end of the tennis year, the

world's top eight players compete in the ATP World Tour
Finals, a tournament with a rotating locale. It is currently held
in London, England.

In August 2007 the ATP announced major changes to the tour

that were introduced in 2009. The Masters Series was
renamed to the "Masters 1000", the addition of the number
1000 referring to the number of ranking points earned by the
winner of each tournament. Contrary to earlier plans, the
number of tournaments was not reduced from nine to eight and
the Monte Carlo Masters remains part of the series although,
unlike the other events, it does not have a mandatory player
commitment. The Hamburg Masters has been downgraded to a
500 point event. The Madrid Masters moved to May and onto
clay courts, and a new tournament in Shanghai took over
Madrid's former indoor October slot. As of 2011 six of the nine
"1000" level tournaments are combined ATP
and WTA events.

250 and 500 Series

The third and fourth tier of men's tennis tournaments are

formed by the ATP World Tour 500 series, consisting of 11
tournaments, and the ATP World Tour 250 series with 40
tournaments. Like the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, these
events offer various amounts of prize money and the numbers
refer to the amount of ranking points earned by the winner of a
tournament. The Dubai Tennis Championships offer the
largest financial incentive to players, with total prize money
of US$2,313,975 (2012). These series have various draws of
28, 32, 48 and 56 for singles and 16 and 24 for doubles. It is
mandatory for leading players to enter at least four 500 events,
including at least one after the US Open.



Challenger Tour and Futures tournaments

The Challenger Tour for men is the lowest level of tournament

administered by the ATP. It is composed of about 150 events
and, as a result, features a more diverse range of countries
hosting events. The majority of players use the Challenger
Series at the beginning of their career to work their way up the
rankings. Andre Agassi, between winning Grand Slam
tournaments, plummeted to World No. 141 and used
Challenger Series events for match experience and to progress
back up the rankings. The Challenger Series offers prize
funds of between US$25,000 and US$150,000.


Below the Challenger Tour are the Futures tournaments,

events on the ITF Men's Circuit. These tournaments also
contribute towards a player's ATP rankings points. Futures
Tournaments offer prize funds of between US$10,000 and
US$15,000. Approximately 530 Futures Tournaments are
played each year.

Women's tournament structure

Premier events

Premier events for women form the most prestigious level of

events on the Women's Tennis Association Tour after
the Grand Slam tournaments. These events offer the largest
rewards in terms of points and prize money. Within the Premier
category are Premier Mandatory, Premier 5, and Premier
tournaments. The Premier events were introduced in 2009
replacing the previous Tier I and II tournament categories.
Currently four tournaments are Premier Mandatory, five
tournaments are Premier 5, and twelve tournaments are
Premier. The first tiering system in women's tennis was
introduced in 1988. At the time of its creation, only two
tournaments, the Lipton International Players
Championships inFlorida and the German Open in Berlin,
comprised the Tier I category.
International events

International tournaments are the second main tier of the WTA

tour and consist of 31 tournaments, with a prize money for
every event at U.S.$220,000, except for the yearending Commonwealth Bank Tournament of
Champions in Bali, which has prize money of U.S.$600,000.

Professional players
Professional tennis players enjoy the same relative perks as
most top sports personalities: clothing, equipment and
endorsements. Like players of other individual sports such as
golf, they are not salaried, but must play and finish highly in
tournaments to obtain money. As of 2014 the "Big Four" in
men's tennis includes Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak
Djokovic, and Andy Murray who have won 36 of the 38 majors
from the 2005 French Open to the 2014 Wimbledon

In recent years, some controversy has surrounded the

involuntary or deliberate noise caused by players' grunting.

Grand Slam tournament winners

See also: Tennis statistics
The following players have won at least five singles titles
at Grand Slam tournaments:



Margaret Court (24)

Steffi Graf (22)
Helen Wills Moody (19)
Chris Evert (18)
Martina Navratilova (18)
Serena Williams (18)
Billie Jean King (12)
Maureen Connolly Brinker (9)
Monica Seles (9)
Molla Bjurstedt Mallory (8)
Suzanne Lenglen (8)
Dorothea Lambert Chambers (7)
Maria Bueno (7)
Evonne Goolagong Cawley (7)
Venus Williams (7)
Justine Henin (7)
Blanche Bingley Hillyard (6)
Doris Hart (6)
Margaret Osborne duPont (6)
Nancye Wynne Bolton (6)
Louise Brough Clapp (6)
Lottie Dod (5)
Charlotte Cooper Sterry (5)
Daphne Akhurst Cozens (5)
Helen Jacobs (5)
Alice Marble (5)
Pauline Betz Addie (5)

Roger Federer (17)

Pete Sampras (14)
Rafael Nadal (14)
Roy Emerson (12)
Rod Laver (11)
Bjrn Borg (11)
Bill Tilden (10)
Fred Perry (8)
Ken Rosewall (8)
Jimmy Connors (8)
Ivan Lendl (8)
Andre Agassi (8)
William Renshaw (7)
Richard Sears (7)
William Larned (7)
Henri Cochet (7)

Rene Lacoste (7)

John Newcombe (7)
John McEnroe (7)
Mats Wilander (7)
Novak Djokovic (7)
Lawrence Doherty (6)
Anthony Wilding (6)
Donald Budge (6)
Jack Crawford (6)
Boris Becker (6)
Stefan Edberg (6)

Althea Gibson (5)

Martina Hingis (5)
Maria Sharapova (5)

Frank Sedgman (5)

Tony Trabert (5)

Greatest male players

Bill Tilden

Further information: Tennis male players statistics, World

number one male tennis player rankings
A frequent topic of discussion among tennis fans and
commentators is who was the greatest male singles player of
all time. By a large margin, anAssociated Press poll in 1950
named Bill Tilden as the greatest player of the first half of the
20th century. From 1920 to 1930, Tilden won singles titles
at Wimbledon three times and the U.S. Championships seven
times. In 1938, however, Donald Budge became the first
person to win all four major singles titles during the same
calendar year, the Grand Slam, and won six consecutive major
titles in 1937 and 1938. Tilden called Budge "the finest player
365 days a year that ever lived." And in his 1979
autobiography, Jack Kramer said that, based on consistent
play, Budge was the greatest player ever. Some observers,
however, also felt that Kramer deserved consideration for the
title. Kramer was among the few who dominated amateur and
professional tennis during the late 1940s and early
1950s. Tony Trabert has said that of the players he saw before
the start of the open era, Kramer was the best male




By the latter half of the 1950s and 1960s, Budge and others
had added Pancho Gonzales and Lew Hoad to the list of
contenders. Budge reportedly believed that Gonzales was the
greatest player ever. Gonzales said about Hoad, "When
Lew's game was at its peak nobody could touch him. ... I think
his game was the best game ever. Better than mine. He was
capable of making more shots than anybody. His two volleys
were great. His overhead was enormous. He had the most
natural tennis mind with the most natural tennis physique."


During the open era, first Rod Laver and then more
recently Bjrn Borg and Pete Sampras were regarded by many
of their contemporaries as among the greatest ever. Andre

Agassi, the first of two male players in history to have achieved

a Career Golden Slam in singles tennis (followed by Rafael
Nadal), has been called the best service returner in the history
of the game.
He is the first man to win slams on all
modern surfaces (previous holders of all slams played in an era
of grass and clay only), and is regarded by a number of critics
and fellow players to be among the greatest players of all


Roger Federer is now considered by many observers to have

the most "complete" game in modern tennis. He has won 17
grand slam titles and 6 world tour finals, the most for any male
player. Many experts of tennis, former tennis players and his
own tennis peers believe Federer is the greatest player in the
history of the game.
Federer's biggest rival Rafael
Nadal is regarded as the greatest competitor in tennis history
by some former players and is regarded to have the potential to
be the greatest of all time.
He's already regarded as the
greatest clay court player of all time.



Greatest female players

Further information: World number one women tennis
players, List of WTA number 1 ranked players
As with the men there are frequent discussions about who is
the greatest female singles player of all time with Steffi
Graf and Martina Navratilova being the two players most often
In March 2012 the TennisChannel published a combined list of
the 100 greatest men and women tennis players of all time. It
ranked Steffi Graf as the greatest female player (in 3rd place
overall), followed by Martina Navratilova (4th place)
and Margaret Court (8th place). The rankings were determined
by an international panel.

Sportwriter John Wertheim of Sports Illustrated stated in an

article in July 2010 that Serena Williams is the greatest female
tennis player ever with the argument that "Head-to-head, on a
neutral surface (i.e. hard courts), everyone at their best, I can't
help feeling that she crushes the other legends.". In a
reaction to this article Yahoo sports blog Busted Racket
published a list of the top-10 women's tennis players of all time
placing Martina Navratilova in first spot. This top-10 list was
similar to the one published in June 2008 by the Bleacher
Report who also ranked Martina Navratilova as the top female
player of all time.



Steffi Graf is considered by some to be the greatest female

player. Billie Jean King said in 1999, "Steffi is definitely the
greatest women's tennis player of all time." Martina
Navratilova has included Graf on her list of great players. In
December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis
player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by
the Associated Press. Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his
book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century,



named her as the best female player of the 20th century,

directly followed by Martina Navratilova.

Tennis magazine selected Martina Navratilova as the greatest

female tennis player for the years 1965 through
Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins has called
Navratilova "arguably, the greatest player of all time." Billie
Jean King said about Navratilova in 2006, "She's the greatest
singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived."



In popular culture

David Foster Wallace, an amateur tennis player himself at

Urbana High School in Illinois, included tennis in many of
his works of nonfiction and fiction including "Tennis Player
Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of
Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy,
Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness," the
autobiographical piece "Derivative Sport in Tornado
Alley," and Infinite Jest, which is partially set at the fictional
"Enfield Tennis Academy" in Massachusetts.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) features Richie
Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson), a tennis pro who suffers from
depression and has a breakdown on court in front of
thousands of fans.
Wimbledon (2004) is a film about a discouraged pro tennis
player (Paul Bettany) who meets a young woman on the
women's tennis circuit (Kirsten Dunst) who helps him find
his drive to go and win Wimbledon.
In The Squid and the Whale (2005), Joan (Laura Linney)
has an affair with her kids' tennis coach, Ivan (William
Baldwin). In a symbolic scene, Joan's ex-husband, Bernard
(Jeff Daniels), loses a tennis match against Ivan in front of
the kids.
Woody Allen's Match Point (2005) features a love affair
between a former tennis pro (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and
his best friend's fiance (Scarlett Johansson).
Confetti (2006) is a mockumentary which sees three
couples competing to win the title of "Most Original
Wedding of the Year". One competing couple (Meredith
MacNeill andStephen Mangan) are a pair of hypercompetitive professional tennis players holding a tennisthemed wedding.
There are several tennis video games including Mario
Tennis, the TopSpin series, Wii Sports, and Grand Slam






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