What is Fault In Tennis | Reasons and Pro Ways to Fix 2024

In tennis, the fault is the loss of a serve when a player plays the game. If you lose one serve, it is a fault, when you lose two serves, it is called a double fault

If you are new to tennis, remember Fault is used in different games and situations with different meanings. The Tennis fault is about not hitting the ball in the central goal court. 

Tennis fault occurs when the player fails to hit the ball into the proper service court. Many things can be the reasons for that fault, like hitting the ball into the net and inaccurate foot movement.

What is Fault In Tennis

If you don’t want to play the fault and are interested in knowing the reasons for a fault and easy fixes, let’s discuss further. 

Types of Faults in Tennis

There are two main types of fault in Tennis. These are : 

Service Fault

The service fault occurs in any one of these given situations:

  • When the ball didn’t hit under the boundary of the service box. The ball must hit the service court. Otherwise, it will be considered a fault.
  • The fault occurs when the server does not work according to the rules of the play. When the server does not work in the proper order, it is called a fault. 
  • The fault occurs when players serve in a hurry and ignore the game.
  • When the server’s serve landed in the opponent’s service court, the ball didn’t hit the net. 
  • Another reason for fault can occur when the ball touches the players of the serving team.

Foot Fault

Foot fault occurs when the foot of the player touches the baseline while serving. It mainly occurs at the first and second serve. Foot fault is some kind of mistake that a player makes at the time of serving. The reasons for this fault are:

Understanding of Foot Fault
  •  The movement of the player while serving is like walking and running.
  • When the player’s foot touched with the extensions of the center mark.
  • When the foot is, the player feels the outside lines of the extension.

Types of Faults in Tennis 

Double Fault

Each player has two opportunities to avail. If the player fails at first serve, a fault occurs. The players have another option to play. But if the player fails at the second serve, also it is called a double fault. This means that making errors with the same sequence of two serves.

It’s not happening, actually, or many times. This happens rarely, but when it occurs, it creates a seemingly frustrating situation for players. Their interest in play loses, and matches become challenging for them.

Distraction Fault

Distraction Fault is the type of fault that damages the play. When the player’s attention diverts in some other way or place, he cannot play properly. May the player make high shorts or bad shorts. These types of faults occur when the player has any issues of stress or other internal factors that prevent him from focusing on play. It can also be caused by external distractions like noise, opponents’ behavior, and game conditions.

Double Hit Fault 

When the player hits the ball with more than one body part, such as the upper arms and shoulders, Players in tennis are mostly not allowed to hit the ball twice. But sometimes, due to mistakes or occasionally, they hit the ball double, called Double hit fault.

Courtesy Faults

Courtesy faults most commonly occur by being courteous to other players. These players are primarily called to pay full attention to the game and teammates. In rare cases, players are given courtesy violations when not violating the rules. 

Let Fault

A “let” is not a fault. It occurs when the serve hits the net but properly lands in the service court. But when the ball enters the wrong service court after hitting the net, it is called a fault.

What Causes Faults?

The main reasons that can cause faults are given below:

  • Failure to Clear the Net: A fault occurs when the player wants to get the ball close to the net because the slow ball is more challenging to return.
  • Illegal Release of the Ball: The player needs care before playing the game. They should keep the ball in one hand and the rackets in the other hand. The fault occurs when a player fails to serve in the same motion that requires playing.
  • Miss: A serve is considered a miss when the player swings and misses during the serve. 
  • Hitting a Fixture: If the ball hits anything else before hitting the service court, it’s called fault. So, be careful about the ball when you make a serve.
  • Poor Serving Skill: when the player doesn’t have the proper skill of hitting the ball and cannot make a final serve. This causes fault. 

Environmental Factors

Some environmental factors may also cause faults. These are as follows:


Looking towards the sun consistently while playing is not easy and may cause faults. But this problem could be solved by using sunglasses.


Winds of 15 to 20 mph may cause severe. When you feel that the wind is higher than the standard rates, it will hit your serve somehow, and your serve will automatically be distracted from the destination. This thing will fail to serve and cause the fault. But it’s sometimes in your favor when you are playing in pairs. One player wants to hit against the wind, and another wants to play with the wind, resulting in serving in progress. 


A fault is a missing shot. If you miss once, it is a fault, if you miss twice, it is a double fault. Now after learning about the types and knowing what is fault in tennis, do understand how to avoid a fault. You can simply avoid a fault by avoiding the situations that might create a fault. Keep practicing and learning. This is the only way to level up your game and win your matches. 


What happens when a fault occurs?

It depends upon the situation. Players are most commonly allowed two faults in one serve. Suppose the fault occurs on the first serve. There is a second option available to get. But if the player also makes a mistake at the second serve, they lose their points. This is called a double fault.

What Causes a Fault and How to Avoid It?

For many reasons, a fault can occur. These reasons or causes are :

Poor Serving Accuracy
Inconsistent Toss
Hitting Too Hard
Environmental Factors like Wind and the Sun.

All these factors may have their role in the occurrence of faults. But by avoiding these situations, players can remain secure from fault. All these factors can be avoided by taking care in play, and if a player has complete focus on the game and the environment, the chances of fault decrease.

What can you do if you are consistently missing the first serve?

Suppose you need to improve in properly serving your first serve. You will automatically pay your entire focus on the second to get and win a point. In this situation, you feel pressure just by losing the first serve. This thing makes the opponent tension-free because of the exact tension you are feeling yourself just for fear of losing a second serve. You can avoid it if you feel relaxed and don’t keep it in mind. By giving yourself some time, you can win the goal.

What should I do if I miss my first serve?

It’s not a critical situation. Many of the players fail on their first serve. But the solution to the problem is that don’t panic. Just feel free and relax. Take a deep breath and try to make your second serve; you will not fail.

Who wins the point on a fault?

As we know, the person who has performed a fault will lose that point.

Can you lose on a fault in tennis?

The player needs to earn a faulty point at the first serve. Instead of receiving a second serve, the opponent gets a point if the second serve is also faulted. Players can lose a match When they make two faults in the same sequence, which is extremely rare in professional tennis.

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