What Is Fault In Tennis? (The True Meaning Of This Popular Term In Tennis!)

Last Updated on October 26, 2020 by

A fault occurs in Tennis when a player makes an unsuccessful serve which will not start any point. This is because the tennis ball did not land in the opponent player’s specified service box. In this article, we are going to talk about some popular terms in the game of Tennis. 

Reasons For Fault In Tennis

You will find several reasons why a service trial might lead to a fault. In case the ball fails to disengage the net or bounces anywhere apart from the cross-court service box, it’s a fault. This is probably the most frequent reason for a fault occurrence in Tennis.

Whenever a server takes a wrong place when serving, it is normally called a fault. When the server’s foot mistakenly touch the ground line behind the baseline, just between the sideline and the extensions of the middle line. It is a fault! The server’s feet mustn’t touch the baseline of the centerline or the extension or even the sideline just at any time before he/she plays or strikes the ball. To help stop the serve receiver from being misled of where the service will be played at, the server also needs to remain at the same point on the court. A server can only jump while serving, however, he/she can’t run or walk when making a serve.
Unlawful Ball Discharge; The ball should be released by the server with only one hand. The only exception is for one-handed players, who sometimes use the racket to pull out the ball.
A Miss; a fault also happens when a server moves while making the serves and still miss the ball. However, if a serve doesn’t mean to shoot the ball even after releasing it to the air, he/she will be required to retake the serve, and no fault is committed. A fault is also committed whenever the tennis ball, prior to bouncing, hits any other item apart from the opponent’s body, racket, or the net cord. For instance, if the tennis ball hits the net post, then bounces into the appropriate court, the service is nevertheless a fault.
A play stops immediately after a fault is being committed. After the first fault foul committed, the serve will be given another chance to make the service. If after this chance, the server commits the same fault foul to make it two in a row, then the point will be awarded to the opposition. This is popularly known as a double fault.

Serve In Tennis

A shot-to begin a game in the game of Tennis is called service (or more technically, a serve. As the tennis ball is struck by the player, it must not be stopped by the net while it goes into the crosswise service box of the opposition player. The serve is always started when a player strikes the ball just after tossing it into the air. When the net completely stops the tennis ball from crossing over to the opponent’s area, then the point will be awarded against the server. However, if the tennis ball touches the net, but not stopped by it, and proceed into the appropriate opponent’s service box, it is called a let. The server is normally done overhead by the players, players are allowed to make service overhead. A serve is normally the only chance that a server has to create his own shot rather than receiving the opposition’s shot. Fortunately, there’s a 25-second limit which is allowed in between points in 2012.
For a beginner, one of the hardest tennis shot is normally accredited to the serve. But as soon as you master and perfect your serving skills as a beginner, pull realize that serves are a significant edge. Professional and Experienced tennis players are able to reach the serve in a number of different ways and sometimes utilize it as an offensive weapon in order to get a benefit in the stage or even to win it outright. Due to this reason, when skilled players play against newbies, they are foreseen to win the majority of the service games of theirs. Also, the ability to break an opponent’s serve, plays an important role in the game. The server has to stay behind the baseline without touching it to provide a legal serve.

Fundamental Rules

Good Serve

When a legal ball is sent across the opponent’s service box without touching anything during flight, it is called a great serve. The gameplay starts immediately a great serve is made.


Whenever a server makes a serve and the ball touches the net (but not obstructed by it) on its way to landing on the cross-court service box, it is called a let. The play would be stopped so that the server could retake the serve. Let is very common during the first serve of the game, this is because most services do not repeat the same mistake of letting the ball touch the net before crossing over to the opposition’s service box for the second time. However, in 1997, the Men division one tennis has enhanced the rule of the game to allow for continuous let serve to be retaken as many as possible.

There are four widely used serves in the game of Tennis, they include; the “slice serve”, the “underhand serve”, the “flat serve”, and the “kick serve”. They are all legal services in professional and amateur tennis competitions. The word kick-serve is normally used in exchange with the word “American twist or even “twist serve”. When a serve has a topspin or probably a serious kick on it, it is commonly referred to as kick-serve. Most times, when servers change their ball placement or the way they serve, it is usually done as a tactical offensive trick. The kind of serve at the initial serve that makes a great change-up in the game is known as the kick-serve. Next serves ordinarily have a slice, kick or topspin on them, making them not as likely to end up in the net or perhaps out of bounds.

The list below includes a lot of different tennis terms used by experienced tennis players and enthusiastic fans. If you would love to be a tennis player one day, then you definitely should be acquainted with nearly all these terms!

The table below consists of some other popular terms in Tennis.

Popular Tennis TermServices Outcomes In Tennis
Deuce Fault
Cross-courtA great serve

Popular Tennis Terms


When a serve lands inside the appropriate service box without it being touched by the opponent, it is called an Ace.


It is the point that follows a deuce score. So, any player that win after the deuce score, wins the game.


The tennis court has a left part, and it is called the Ad-court. Since the ad factors are always played from the left part of the court, the part was named Ad Court.

Approach Shot

An approach shot is when a player strikes the ball and follows it up to the net.


The ATP, Association of Tennis Professionals, governs the Men’s Tennis.


It happens when the tennis ball rotates in reverse due to the shot with backspin. These shots generally stay rather low.


If a tennis player got a point in a game when his/her opponent was serving, it’s known as a break in Tennis!

Breaking Point


When a shot is made into the opposition’s court diagonally, it is popularly called Cross-court in Tennis.


When a shot does not land anywhere near the service line but lands really close to the baseline, it is called Deep!


An expression that can be used once the real score is 40-40.


It is a part of the tennis court where most of all deuce factors are played from. It is known proper side of the tennis court.

Two-fold Bagel

When a match finishes with the score 6-0/6-0, it is usually known as a two-fold bagel of tennis sectors. This is probably the funniest tennis terminology in our opinion.

Two-fold Fault

A server normal has two serve opportunity to start a game. If he misses his/her two chances, it is known as a double or two-fold fault.


This is a kind of match in tennis in which four players participate in the game, facing each other two by two. This kind of game in tennis is referred to as doubles match.

Down The Line

It is a shot which is struck directly on the sideline into the opponent’s court.


An error in tennis is when a player serves or shots the tennis ball only for it not to land within the legal line in which it supposed to land.

Feet Fault

When the server’s foot mistakenly touch the ground line behind the baseline, just between the sideline and the extensions of the middle line. It is a fault!

Pressured Error

A forced error happens when a tennis player hits a great shot that makes the opponent to miss the ball.


Groundstroke happens in Tennis when the tennis ball bounces on your side before hitting it. Slice Backhands, Forehands, and Backhands are groundstrokes.

Final Words

We’ve come to the closing session of this blog post. We hope you enjoyed every bit of it!

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