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OU Tennis Matches: Explained

By Bruna Pacheco
On October 19, 2018

Photo by Bruna Pacheco

When you hear about a tennis match, you often think it’s something boring. You think the only thing that the players do is hit a ball with a racket and run from side to side.

Once I heard someone say, “What do you mean you can only cheer by clapping? You can’t even say anything? Plus, the score system is so difficult to understand.”

So here are some of the secrets to tennis. Once you understand the game, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing.

1. The louder the better

You’re right, when watching a professional tennis match, you’re not allowed to be a crazy, screaming fan like you can when you’re cheering for football or basketball. However, that is not the case with college tennis matches. In college matches, the louder the better. This makes the experience extremely fun to watch – it creates an intense atmosphere and really pumps up the athletes.

2. Scoring: It’s not that complicated

Each tennis match has two to three sets. To win a set, you have to win at least six games. The score starts at zero which is also called “love” and goes up to 40. However, you don’t really play 40 points, that is actually just four points. Once you win a point, the first point is 15, then 30, then 40, and then game point, which means you won the game. So, the first person to win four points (by a margin of two or more) wins the game. If both players score three points all and ties 40-40, the score will be called “deuce.” The next point won after deuce would be one of the players’ “advantage.” To win the tied game, you have to win two points in a row. Clear as mud?

3. Now that’s called skill

The game of tennis is composed of two basic groundstrokes, the forehand and the backhand. There are also serves and volleys. Forehand is when you hit a ball on your right side from low to high with your dominant hand holding the racket. The backhand is also from low to high but with two hands holding the racket. This stroke is more common for men and they hardly ever use only one hand. To serve, you have to toss the ball into the air and hit it into the square diagonally opposite side from where you are. The volley is when you are standing really close to the net and, without letting the ball bounce, you hit it with a simple touch, just like you are blocking the ball.

4. Okay … so who won?

Throughout the game, you will very often hear the player celebrating a point by saying thing like “Come on!” or “Let’s go!” So, after the match when the players go to the net to shake hands, just pay attention to who yelled and who has a smile on their face to know who won.

5. What’s not to love?

When people think about tennis, they think of it as an individual sport. This is true on a professional level, not in college. Your team is like your family. They make everything really fun -- especially the matches. The cheering from your teammates throughout the matches is just fantastic.

Watching a college tennis match can be a unique experience. So, what are you waiting for? Check it out! Now that you understand how it works, nothing is stopping you from enjoying the best sport around.

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