Tennis is played between two or four athletes on a court 23.77m long x 8.23m wide for singles or 10.97m wide for doubles, with a net stretched across the middle. Play begins with one player serving the ball from the right-hand side behind his/her baseline diagonally across the net into the opposite service court. The server has two chances to put the ball into play. The opposing player must then return the ball into the other court after no more than one bounce. If the ball touches the net on its way over during a rally, the play continues.
Each player or doubles’ team serves one complete game, alternating between serving to the right and left service courts, after which the opposing player or team serves a complete game. Doubles’ team members take turns serving complete games.
Tennis uses a traditional, arbitrary scoring sequence. A score of zero is called ‘love’. The first point for either player brings the score to 15, the next 30, then 40, and the next point ends the game, unless the score is then tied at 40-40 (‘deuce’).
From deuce, play continues until one player leads by two. A one-point lead after a deuce score is called ‘advantage’. The first player to win six or more games, with at least a two-game lead, wins a ‘set’. If the score within a set reaches 6-6, a ‘tiebreaker’ is played during which the first player to reach seven or more points with a lead of two wins the set.
All matches will be the best of three sets with the exception of the men’s singles final, which will be the best of five sets, and all mixed doubles matches, which will be resolved by a first-to-10 tie-break if they reach one set all.
The tennis tournament is played according to a knockout format, with the winners of the semi-finals in each event going head-to-head for the gold medals.