Tennis is a competitive sport where single players (singles) or pairs of players (doubles) use corded rackets to hit a felt covered rubber ball over a central net onto the opponent’s court. Points are scored by hitting the tennis ball over the net in a way that the opponent is not able to return it.
Tennis matches are scored though a sequence of earning points, winning games, and winning sets. Four points and a two point margin over the opponent are needed to win a game. Points are named differently than the actual point count in the following way: Love (zero points), 15 (one point), 30 (two points), 40 (three points), Game (four points). A set is won by the first side that wins six games with a two game margin. Matches are played in a best-of-three or best-of-five set format.
Modern tennis was invented as ‘lawn tennis’ in 1873 by Major Walter Wingfield. Wingfield was the first to introduce the net and net posts, rackets, and rubber balls, and instructions for laying out the court dimensions. Previously, tennis was played as a handball-like game called ‘Paume’ that was played by royalty.
Tennis matches are made up of either three (women’s) or five (men’s) sets. To win a set, a player must win at least six games each that are scored by four points at intervals starting at 0 (love) and going up to 15, 30, 40, and game point.
The length of a tennis match varies considerably based on skill level and gender. Women’s matches last until a player wins three sets which can last up to three hours, but averages around two hours. Men’s matches are played to five sets and can last up to five hours with an average match time of three and a half hours.