What Are the Types of Faults In Tennis?

Last updated on September 28th, 2022

In many forms of competitive sports, there are several different types of faults.  

The most common types of faults are – 

  • Rule violations, 
  •  Illegal tackles,  
  • Incorrect technical throws, and  
  • Hindering other players. 

Faults occur during the game for a variety of reasons.  

In tennis, for example, a player can get faulted for failing to serve.  

In baseball, a player can get faulted for fouling a batter or hitting the ball. 

In volleyball, a player can be faulted for fouling the ball. 

A player can also get faulted for fouling the umpire or violating a rule. 

Tennis Faults 

In tennis, there are different types of faults.  

  • The first is a normal fault. A normal fault occurs when the racquet hits the ball with too much power or strikes the ball in an incorrect position.  
  • The second type is a double fault. This is an error that happens when a player serves and plays the ball outside the court.  

A player can even lose a game after committing a double fault at a crucial juncture. Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2012 and won the tournament that same year on a double fault committed by Novak Djokovic. 

  • Another type of fault in tennis is a foot fault. The ball cannot touch the court or the baseline before the server serves. A foot fault is a failure to put a serve in play.  

The ball must land in the opponent’s service box. A player is allowed two attempts to make a good serve. A foot fault, on the other hand, can send a player into a rage. 

Serve fault 

Another type of fault is a serve that goes outside the service box. A serve that does this must clear the net and a net post. A double fault means that a player is serving outside of the service box twice, and it costs him a point.  

An electronic eye is often used to determine when a player is serving outside the service box and is four centimeters above the court surface. 

Other types of serve faults are caused by the ball striking the net during the serving motion, such as when a player runs or walks while serving.  

  1. Other common serve faults include the ball touching a player of the serving team or an overhead obstruction that prevents the ball from reaching the opponent’s team area.  
  1. A serve fault can also be caused by the player not following the rules of the game. If the server does not serve in the proper order, he will be called for a fault.  
  1. The server’s next serve must land in the opponent’s service court, but the ball should not touch the net. This is a fault. As a result, the player will have to serve again, which can lead to a match-winning point for the other team. 
  1. A player may be flustered or in a hurry when serving, resulting in an unnecessary fault.  

Foot fault 

Another common serve fault is a foot fault, which is when a player’s foot touches the baseline while serving. A foot fault may occur on the first serve or the second serve.  

When a player’s foot faults, they are simply throwing away a point that they don’t deserve. This can be a tricky part of tennis for new players. 

Foot faults are mistakes that occur while a player is in motion. In a sport, the player’s foot is placed at the wrong time or in the wrong place, causing them to lose possession of the ball.  

This is an error that can be committed by either team. This can be an unfortunate situation for the player, or it can also cost a team a point or match.  

Foot faults are not common in tennis games. For example, a player cannot play with their foot off the mat while serving the ball. If the ball hits the mat, the player commits a foot fault and will be warned.  

In tennis, the fault can cause the ball to be dead. As a result, the player will lose a point. It’s crucial to understand foot fault etiquette before you make your serve. 

A foot fault can occur during a serve or a rally. Beginners and intermediate players frequently hit the baseline. However, players need to understand that a foot fault can occur at any point in the game.  

Likewise, a player can be called out for a foot fault if he steps on the baseline before serving.  

Another penalty is called a “stance violation” and can be costly in tennis. Often, the player’s foot is outside the throwing area and can cause the ball to be thrown out.  

This mistake can cost a player a match or even a tournament. So, the way they are enforced can lead to embarrassing situations. 

When attacking the net, players should balance their steps so that their feet release the ball consistently. Landing on both feet at the same time gives a player more power when serving.  

While attacking the net, players should also try to stay out of foot fault zones to avoid being called for a foot fault. If a player commits a foot fault, they will get a warning or may even lose a point. 

Double Fault 

In tennis, a double fault is when a player makes two errors in two consequent serves. The second fault must be caused on the second serve, for which the player loses the point.  

A normal fault is any fault that results in an error. It’s rare to commit two faults in a single serve, but it does happen. A double fault can occur in any game, and it can change the momentum of a match. 

Even though tennis is a challenging sport to play, double faults can be frustrating for players. It can make it difficult to score in a match and can make a game a real challenge.  

Distraction Faults 

In the sport of tennis, distraction faults can be highly damaging to a player’s game. In a match, a distraction can cause a player to make a bad shot or to shout at his opponent.  

In such a case, the officials can call the player for a distraction fault. Luckily, there are ways to prevent distractions during a match.  

A distraction is any factor that diverts an athlete’s attention away from the game. Distractions are widespread in competitive sports.  

These distractions can be external or internal. External distractions include noise, opponent behavior, and playing conditions. Distractions can be psychological or physical, and competitors use several strategic behavioral ploys to distract themselves.  

Double Hit Faults 

In sports, a double hit fault is a result of a player hitting the ball with more than one body part. Often, this occurs on the shoulders or upper arms.  

Sometimes, a player can hit the ball with one hand before it hits another body part. The ball then bounces off the second hand, resulting in a double hit. While the secondary contact is often an unintentional error, double hits are still not allowed. 

Many rules govern double hits. Traditionally, tennis players were not allowed to hit the ball more than once. If a stronger player hit the ball twice, it was considered a double hit.  

The ball would hit the player’s hand and finger, resulting in a fault. In some cases, the ball may hit both players and continue the rally, but it would result in a double hit.  

Courtesy Faults 

Usually, a player who commits a courtesy fault can be told to pay closer attention to the game in which he is participating. The player can also be given a courtesy violation for refusing to pay attention to his teammates.  

In rare cases, a player can be given a courtesy violation even if they are not violating the rules. However, a courtesy violation can be justified if there is evidence of no fault on the part of the player. 


Competitive sports have specific rules to ensure a fair game. With all these different rules, it’s hard to keep up with all of them. This can cause players to commit faults without knowing the result. 

For new players, this can be incredibly frustrating or intimidating. They may not know what consequence they will receive, and so it makes playing feel risky and unfair. They want to be good players but are afraid to make a mistake. 

There are various types of faults in tennis that can cost a player or a team their match. 

If you don’t understand a tennis fault, then it’s pointless to try and play tennis. You might as well give up on your ambitions for success in life.  

There are various types of faults in tennis that can cost a player or a team their match. These can be service fault, double fault, foot fault, or courtesy fault.  

So, understand all these faults in tennis and improve your game by avoiding them. 

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