Tennis is a dynamic sport that requires a combination of physical strength, mental agility, and keen focus. For beginners willing to delve into the world of tennis, understanding its basic mechanics is crucial. This guide provides an overview of the fundamental elements and principles that govern this enthralling sport.

The Game Structure

Tennis matches are broken down into sets, games, and points. A match consists of a series of sets, each set consists of games, and games consist of points. Players compete to win points, by extension games and sets to ultimately win the match.

Tennis Court Layout

Understanding your battleground – in this case, the tennis court – is essential for game strategy. Tennis courts can be grass, clay or hard courts. Regardless of material used:

  1. Length: The length from baseline to baseline measures 78 feet.
  2. Width: For singles matches it’s 27 feet; for doubles it’s widened to 36 feet.
  3. Service Boxes: Each player’s side contains two service boxes where serves must land.

Handing Your Tennis Racquet

The way you grip your racquet affects your swing and shot direction.

Basic Shots in Tennis

Understanding and mastering the basic shots in tennis is important for every beginner. These shots include:

Tennis is a complex sport with many moving parts, but understanding these fundamental mechanics can help beginners start off strong. As you continue to play and watch tennis, these principles will become second nature.


In the game of tennis, the serve is a crucial aspect that determines the start and, quite often, the end of a game. A well-executed serve can set the pace for the entire match, providing an advantage to the server. With that said, mastering this integral part of tennis requires understanding its mechanics and abiding by rules pertaining to it.

The serve in tennis involves hitting the ball into a specific service box on an opponent’s court. This action initiates play and needs to be executed from behind the baseline and between the center mark and sidelines.

The Two Types of Serves

There are two main types of serves in tennis:

  1. Flat Serve: This is a fast serve where there’s little to no spin on the ball. It’s mostly used for first serves due to its speed and lower margin for error.
  2. Slice Serve: This serve involves striking the ball so it spins sideways. The slice serve is particularly useful for pulling an opponent off court.

Steps to Mastering The Serve

To develop an effective serve, consider these steps:

Step 1: The Stance: Stand sideways with your front foot pointing towards one sideline and your back foot parallel to other sideline.

Step 2: Grip: Use what is typically referred to as a “continental grip”. This grip is achieved when you hold your racquet such that your base knuckle of index finger is on bevel number 2.

Step 3: Toss: Toss up ball with non-racquet hand straight up above your head.

Step 4: Swing: As ball ascends, bring racket back then up towards ball in one smooth motion.

Step 5: Hit: Contact with ball should be at highest point of toss with racquet face aiming at target area in opposite service box.

Step 6: Follow Through: After hitting ball, allow momentum from swing to naturally guide racquet towards non-dominant side.

Rules Regarding Serving

In terms of rules regarding serving in tennis, here are key ones:

Mastering your tennis serving skills requires practice and consistency but can considerably enhance performance during matches. By following this overview and rulebook, you will be off to a good start developing this vital stroke in tennis repertoire.


The forehand groundstroke is a fundamental shot in tennis. It is a versatile and powerful weapon that every tennis player, beginner or advanced, must master. Here’s a beginner’s guide to perfecting the forehand groundstroke in tennis.

Understanding the Forehand Groundstroke

The forehand groundstroke describes a situation where the player hits the ball after it has bounced once on their side of the court. The strike involves swinging the racket across one’s body with hand palm first following through towards the direction of the shot.

Importance of Footwork

Footwork is critical for effective forehand groundstrokes. Proper steps and quick foot movements not only allow you to position yourself correctly to hit the ball but also contribute to your power and control.

Grip Types

There are three common types of grips used for forehand strokes: Eastern, Semi-Western, and Western.

Forehand Stroke Phases

  1. Ready Phase: Position yourself behind baseline with knees slightly bent.
  2. Backswing Phase: As you see incoming ball, pivot on your back foot and rotate your hips and shoulders while taking back the racket.
  3. Forward Swing Phase: As ball bounces, transfer weight from your back foot to front foot while swinging racket forward.
  4. Contact Phase: Strike the ball with the racket’s center, ideally at waist height, for optimal power and control.
  5. Follow-Through Phase: Continue swing motion after hitting ball until racket is over shoulder.

Practice Drills

It’s essential to practice regularly to perfect your forehand groundstrokes. Here are two helpful drills:

Remember that mastering the forehand groundstroke won’t happen overnight. It requires patience, consistent practice, and perhaps most importantly – a love for the game of tennis. With these components in place, improvement is not just an aspiration but an inevitable outcome.


Volleying is a crucial skill in tennis, often determining the outcome of games and matches. In essence, volleying is hitting the ball before it bounces on your side of the court. These shots typically occur near the net and are characterized by their speed and precision. Mastering the volley can significantly enhance your tennis game, turning you into a formidable opponent. Here are comprehensive tips and techniques to help you improve.

Fundamentals of Volleying

Before getting into advanced strategies, it’s essential first to understand the basic techniques.

Tips for Better Volleys

  1. Keep Your Eyes on The Ball: One common mistake beginners make when volleying is shifting their gaze too soon. Always ensure you keep your eyes on the ball until contact is made.
  2. Don’t Swing Your Racket: Unlike groundstrokes, volleys require short backswings with compact forward movements to maintain control over speed and direction.
  3. Stay Light on Your Feet: Good footwork is essential in tennis, especially when volleying. Stay agile and ready to move quickly towards the ball.
  4. Use Your Body Weight: Shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot as you hit the ball.

Volley Techniques

Forehand Volley

For a forehand volley:

Backhand Volley

For a backhand volley:

Drills to Improve Volley Skills

Practicing regularly using drills can be very beneficial in improving volleyball skills:

  1. Mini Tennis Drill: This drill involves both players staying within service boxes hitting soft volleys at each other.
  2. Wall Practice: You can practice quick reactions by hitting volleys against a wall.
  3. Cross Court Volleys: Have someone feed balls cross-court so that you can practice moving sideways while volleying.

Mastering these tips will certainly improve not only your volley game but also overall performance as they involve skills transferable across all aspects of tennis like quick reaction time or appropriate body positioning during shot execution. Remember, like any other skill in tennis or otherwise, patience and consistency are key to improvement when working on these techniques so don’t be disheartened if progress seems slow initially – keep practicing!


The overhead smash in tennis is a surefire way to demonstrate dominance in a match. It is a high-powered shot that can win points outright when executed correctly. However, it is also one of the trickiest moves to master for new tennis enthusiasts. This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process.

Step 1: Spotting and Positioning

The first step in executing an overhead smash is recognizing the opportunity. Typically, this comes when your opponent hits a lob shot with plenty of air under it.

Once you have identified the opportunity:

Step 2: Preparing to Strike

As your move into position, prepare your body and racket for the strike:

Step 3: The Swing

The swing is what makes or breaks a good overhead smash:

Step 4: Follow Through

Just like with any other tennis shot, following through after hitting an overhead smash is crucial:

Step 5: Recovery

After executing an overhead smash, quickly recover:

It’s important to remember that practice makes perfect. The more time spent practicing hitting an overhead smash on court or with a tennis machine, the better that muscle memory will become ingrained and executing this shot during match play will become second nature.

Remember that apart from technical competence, confidence plays a big part too. So keep practicing until smashing those lobs becomes as exciting as it looks on TV!