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Whether you are playing social tennis or tournament level, there is one thing that is essential and that is Tennis Etiquette.

Reputable tennis clubs around Australia such as Tennis World North Sydney, enforce etiquette at all times and the club professionals are happy to point you in the right direction.

Perhaps of all sports alongside golf, tennis is famous for its etiquette. It might sound out-dated and old-fashioned but tennis etiquette is there for a purpose.

Having correct etiquette won’t make your serve any better but it will certainly let you enjoy your game more. Etiquette is another way of enforcing the rules and gives you ideas of how to behave correctly if there is a dispute.

So what are the rules and scoring guidelines?

Wait Your Turn

Don’t barge onto the court till your allotted booking time, and whilst waiting behave in an orderly manner not to disrupt other players. Before your turn comes, let the other players finish the game that they are playing.

Starting The Game

To decide who will serve first, toss a coin or spin the racket. The person who wins the toss may choose to serve, receive, pick which end of the court they would like or even hand over all the decisions to their opponent.


Before you serve, ensure that your opponent is ready to receive, although the rules say you should take no more than 20 seconds between points use your discretion. It would be a sad way to win a point serving at a player’s back.

Respect Your Environment

Don’t walk behind an adjacent court during a point, across someone else’s court while they are in the middle of a game or interrupt a point on another court to retrieve a ball.

General Behaviour

Make line calls clearly and honestly, always giving your opponent the benefit of any doubt. It happens so often that calling a disputed call will only find your own game reap the unwanted backlash from the tennis gods.


Make sure the server always has two balls at the end of the court. When you are feeding balls up the court, hit or roll them gently within reach of the server, don’t delay play by spraying them around.

Respect Your Opponent

At all times show respect to your opponent. It is okay to celebrate your successes especially after a hard earned point, but it is not polite to pump your fists etc.

Apologise if you win a lucky point or if you accidentally hit your opponent with the ball.

Never do anything that may put your opponent off his game, including shouting and general unsolicited behaviour.

Focus On Your Game

Keep your attention on the court, don’t chat to friends or spectators. Never take a mobile phone on court unless it is switched off. And do not ever deliberately hold up play and waste time.

Leave The Tantrums To The Kids

Although some people found the likes of John McEnroe’s tantrums highly amusing it must said that they were gamesmanship. An attempt to blatantly put the opponent off his game and destroy his concentration.

It is not considered good etiquette to shout and scream at disputed points or lucky shots, play the game with consideration to everybody concerned.

Concluding The Game

Win, lose or draw, ensure you shake hands with your opponent and take victory or defeat like an adult. This is what is meant as sportsmanship.