A game of ball played on a level piece of ground, called a court, by

two, three, or four persons. When two play the game is called

"singles," and when four play it is called "doubles." The game is

played with a rubber ball, and rackets made by stringing gut on a

wooden frame. The dimensions of a tennis court are 36 by 78 feet. In

addition to this, space must be allowed for the players to run back,

and it is customary to lay out a court at least 50 by 100 feet to give

plenty of playing space. The court is divided into various lines,

either by means of lime applied with a brush or by tapes. Midway

between the two rear lines and in the centre of the court a net is

stretched, supported by posts.

In playing one of the players has the serve--that is, he attempts to

strike the ball so that it will go over the net and into a specified

space on the opposite side of the net. His opponent then attempts to

return the serve--that is, to strike the ball either on the fly or

the first bound and knock it back over the net somewhere within the

playing space as determined by the lines. In this way the ball is

volleyed or knocked back and forth until one of the players fails

either to return it over the net or into the required space. To fail

in this counts his opponents a point. Four points constitute a game

except where both sides have obtained three points, in which case one

side to win must secure two points in succession.

The score is not counted as 1, 2, 3, and 4, but 15, 30, 40, game. When

both sides are at 40 it is called "deuce." At this point a lead of two

is necessary to win. The side winning one of the two points at this

stage is said to have the "advantage," or, as it is expressed,

"vantage in" or "vantage out," depending upon whether it is the side

of the server or his opponents, the server's score always being called


A set of tennis consists of enough games to permit one side to win

six, or if both are at five games won, to win two games over their


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