As far as I know in table tennis, it is not allowed to serve over the sideline i.e. on the first hit of the ball, it is not allowed that the ball will go over the side of the table on the opponents side. It should reach the far end of the table.

My question is if in tennis there is a similar rule? I could not find anything here: Serve (tennis).

  • You need to be behind the baseline and for this fact to be easily visible you have to stay within the sideline boundaries.
    – Bax
    Apr 17 '19 at 15:24
  • 1
    You are incorrect regarding table tennis, a serve is allowed to go over the side of the table on the oppenents side and that is also a very common serve to do.
    – Ola Ström
    Apr 20 '19 at 21:17

There is no similar rule.

From the USTA's Friend at Court:


[...] The service shall pass over the net and hit the service court diagonally opposite, before the receiver returns it.

There is no requirement for it to exit the court via the baseline. In fact, it is very common for serves to be sent close to the sideline to make them more difficult to return.

There is a tennis strategy article that discusses some advantages of hitting very wide serves.

  • You are correct, but there is a rule about from where a serve can take place - both feet behind the baseline and within the imaginary extensions of the centre mark and the sideline. itftennis.com/media/298557/298557.pdf
    – Ola Ström
    Apr 20 '19 at 21:23

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