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Fan's Guide to Tennis: Page 3 of 5: Strokes and Spins

Tennis1- History & Object
2- The Essentials (Scoring, Rules, Etc.)
3- Strokes and Spins
4- Court Diagram and Positions
5- Glossary of Tennis Terms

Strokes and Spins

There are several different kinds of tennis strokes. The serve starts each point, and is hit from behind the baseline. Serves alternate each point between the “deuce court,” the right half of the server’s side to the left half of the receiver’s side, and the “ad court,” the left half of the server’s side to the right half of the receiver’s side. One player serves for an entire game, but players alternate service each game, and switch sides of the court after each odd-numbered game.

A groundstroke is hit after the ball has bounced once, and is usually hit from the backcourt. A volley is hit before the ball bounces on the court, usually close to the net. A half-volley is when the ball is hit immediately after it bounces on the court. An overhead is a serve-like shot hit when returning high, short shots. A lob is a high, arching ball that is usually hit over the opponent when he is at the net.

Most strokes are hit either forehand or backhand. A forehanded hit is on the dominant side (ball to right side of the body for a right handed player); a backhanded hit is on the non-dominant side (ball to the left side of the body for a right-handed player).

Shots are hit with different spins as well. A topspin shot spins the ball forward, and seems to jump off the court in the direction it was travelling. A slice has backspin, and bounces back in the

direction from which it was hit. A flat shot has little spin, but often skids (instead of bouncing) when it hits the court.

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