10) You came, you saw, you’ll conquer!
Find a tennis court with a net, or use your driveway with a homemade net, or the street with an invisible net or even a wall (a wall never misses).
9) That’ll do!
Get a racquet (or a flat wooden board or a frying pan!). Most modern racquets are made of graphite. Find a handle size that feels comfortable: not too big, not too small.
8) If it bounces, use it!
Get a ball. Any kind of ball that bounces will do. There are three balls to a tennis can, so you don’t have to run and fetch a stray ball every time you miss!
7) This is sooooo easy!
Bounce the ball and hit it over the net. Now you’re playing!
6) Ready, aim, fire!
Hit the ball so it lands on or inside the sidelines. The near sidelines for singles (one against one) are 27 feet apart; for doubles (two players vs. two), the sidelines are 36 feet apart.
5) At your service!
When you are "serving" (the first shot in every point), you stand behind your own baseline and aim toward the diagonally opposite service box. The baseline is the line furthest from the net. The service boxes run from the middle of the court to the net on both sides of the court. You serve to "the left" for the first point, then to "the right" for the second point, and you keep alternating sides until the game is over.
4) Choices, choices… one if by bounce, none if by air!
Once the point begins, you can play the ball on one bounce or in the air. When you hit after one bounce, it’s called a groundstroke (forehand or backhand); when you play a ball in the air, it’s called a volley.
3) What’s the score!?!?
The scoring is easy: 15 for the first point, 30 when you win two points, 40 when you win three, and when you win four points you win the "game." If your opponent also gets to 40, then it’s called "deuce" and one of you must win by two. Whichever player gets to 6 games first, by a margin of at least two games, wins the "set." The first player to win two sets (out of a possible three) takes the "match." Game, Set, Match!
2) Just hit the ball back one more time!
After you get your serve in, or after your opponent gets their serve in, hit the ball back! After the serve is in, the player who wins the point is always the one who hits the ball back last.
1) Play ‘Keep Away’!
Now that you’ve gotten all the basics, it’s time for the most advanced tactic: Hit the ball away from your opponent. It’s fun to run, but it’s even more fun to make your opponent run!