College Tennis: What is it? In Depth Guide With Rules

College sports are an important activity besides studying. If we talk specifically about college tennis, we see that around 600 spectators are usually seen in tennis matches.

This is a surprisingly huge number of crowds, more than the crowd seen in the big tournaments.

American colleges more specifically offer a large number of resources including academic tutors, fitness trainers, athletics trainers, nutritionists, sports psychologists, and what not. These benefits include top-notch tennis facilities ranging from 10+ million dollars.

To emphasize the importance of tennis in college, we have curated this article for you. This article is going to speak about the rules and college tennis recruitment of division 1 tennis, division 2, and division 3, college tennis facts, how to recruit, and a lot more.

So, let’s not just wait and dive straight into the details.

What is College Tennis? A Comprehensive Guide

"College Tennis Scholarships
College tennis is one of the most thrilling sports in the world. It is the most rewarding experience that an enthusiastic tennis player would want.

In the world of tennis, college tennis is a gem. For those who want to advance their career, college tennis is a great experience for both players and as well as fans.

Being a student, participating in tennis can be a fun experience along with studies. Playing tennis on campuses is entertainment for the spectators too as the players who dedicate their lives to this sport show their passion.

With that being said, the NCCA has changed the rules of the tennis match over time to reduce the length of the match.

These new rules have taken college tennis to another level of competition and more like professional tournaments.

How Does College Tennis Work?

It is a fair statement if we say that we have all had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of playing tennis while still keeping up with our degrees.

We all get the chance to play tennis matches as a team at the college level. And we think everyone should try it.

Unlike other famous college sports such as football and basketball, playing tennis on campus can still draw a big crowd to the match.

The concept of college matches catches the attention mostly of those who have a basic knowledge of tennis rules.

Moreover, if you ever watched a tennis match close you must have an idea about how to play college tennis and how thrilling it can be.


Doing a good warm-up is greatly important in college tennis. Since it is not allowed to warm up with your opponent, therefore, all of the players of a team warm up together. This warm-up is followed by some doubles drills.

College tennis venues usually cover 6 courts. The home team takes the 3 main courts while on the other hand, while the away team takes the rest of the 3 courts.

In some scenarios, venues have 3 to 4 courts, if that is the case then the teams need to take turns. One team will start the warm-up 2 hours before the match starts.

The team stops for 1 hour and 15 mins till the game starts. The other team will warm up for 45 minutes and 30 minutes before the match. Both of the teams split up to do the last warmup.

During The Match

College tennis matches have a very unique format different from professional tournaments.

The most interesting thing about college tennis is that on-court coaching and loud cheering both are allowed.

The match for college tennis has a format that keeps the spectators entertained. This doesn’t let the players become exhausted.

After The Match

Play out vs. Settle

Sometimes, the coaches of the team decide whether the players are playing further after winning or just going back home. At times, it is decided to play more to bring the players in rhythm. When a team gets 4 scores and wins, they may choose to play or they can stop the remaining matches.


Normally after the match, the team players recover. Some of the players sit with their coaches to get feedback. The players do body stretches not to get injuries and others take big meals, physiotherapy, and ice baths.

How Long Does A College Tennis Match Last?

While the real number may vary, the standard college match will end up in between 2 to 3 hours. The doubles points last up to 30 to 45 minutes, while on the other side, singles end up between 1.5 and 2 hours.

However, if a venue has 3 or 4 courts, college tennis matches take up to 5-6 hours.

College Tennis Recruitment & Scholarships

College Tennis Scholarships

Every college tennis has a common thing which is good recruitment. It is all up to the coaches to recruit the best players as tennis has so many rules.

But the best coaches have mastered recruiting. College tennis recruitment is the most important part when it comes to making a good team.

If you are aiming for a college tennis scholarship then prepare a resume. This resume should provide your short bio, your athletic accomplishments, your tournament results, and your references for coaching.

In addition, you should also stay in contact with the coaches to get on their recruitment and tennis scholarship list.

You must reach out to the coaches as they are there to recruit you and give you scholarships and increase your grades.

If two student-athletes have matching tennis skills, the coach will go for the one who is a good student as well.

What does a scholarship include?

  • Tuition
  • School stuff such as books etc.
  • Room
  • Board

If you are looking forward to getting scholarships, you must keep the following list of the best colleges for tennis scholarships

College Tennis Rules

College tennis rules are nicely modified and are made to assure that the players do not get exhausted.

The NCCA has reduced the time of college matches compared to the typical match time.

Here are some notable rules that tell how college players play tennis matches.

  • No warm-up with the opponent is allowed. It is a standard to warm up with the opponent before the match at almost all tennis levels.

    However, in college tennis, players go straight to the tossing session and start playing the first point. This can be difficult for both teams to get in the rhythm.

    It becomes difficult for the away team due to traveling and the home team comes to the match straight from the class.

    It is not easy to take control of the match because of the no warm-up rule.

  • Three continuous doubles matches begin the match. The doubles teams are the first to face a single-set match. In college tennis matches, only one point is awarded to the team that wins 2 out of 3 doubles matches.

    If the score is tied by 5-5, then the teams have to win 7 games. If the set reaches 7-7 they will play for 7 points to break the tie.

  • Six simultaneous singles follow the doubles matches. College single matches differ from doubles matches in two ways:

    Firstly, singles matches are decided when a player wins 2 matches out of 3.

    Secondly if the player wins their singles matches they are rewarded with an additional score on the overall score.

    This tells that college singles are more important than doubles since each match is worth one point.
  • Matches are played with no ads. When the score is tied 40-40 the returning team can choose which side they want to return from. The player who wins this point wins the match.

  • Cheering is allowed. In the rulebook of tennis, this would be the first rule to avoid cheering during the match. In contrast to this, college tennis matches allow cheering during the match as long as it stays nice and friendly.
  • College players call their lines. While there is officiating available for college sports throughout the season, however, the college tennis players have to call their lines. They are their referees.

  • The first college to win 4 points wins the match. Coaches decide whether the players are going to play further after reaching the four-point threshold or just stop. However, players can play after the 4 points to gain more experience.

College Tennis Facts

  • One of the interesting facts about college tennis is that NCAA universities and colleges have enrolled more than 15 million students.
  • About 360,00 enrollments care of student-athletes. They all are not on scholarship and most of them do not get any athletic aid.
  • Division 1 women’s teams include 312, and Division 2 includes 210 and 358 in Division 3.
  • The men’s tennis team includes 269 from Division 1, 166 for Division 2, and 309 for Division 3.
  • 133 women’s teams and 113 men’s teams are offered in colleges associated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
  • The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) offers 84 men’s teams and 88 women’s teams.

College Tennis Players

We have researched and gathered a list of some of the college tennis players administered by the ITA IN 2021. Here is the list of the top 10 college tennis players.

  1. Liam Draxl
  2. Daniel Rodrigues
  3. Gabriel Decamps
  4. Duarte Vale
  5. Valentin Vacherot
  6. Carl Soderlund
  7. Hady Habib
  8. Alastair Gray
  9. Sam Riffice
  10. Johannus Monday

College Tennis Teams

The life of any team player depends on mental and physical health. Along with experience and performance, your study level also matters.

That’s why the NCAA has set some rules for the teams and coaches. They make sure that players are not overworked by the coaches. Hence, enhancing the power of the team and performance.

These rules are here below.

  • Teams have to give 20 hours per week to their training. This training includes practice, fitness, and team meetings.
  • Coaches must give a complete day off in a week. On this day they are not required to do anything, not even travel.
  • Coaches can not take up to more than 4 hours of the team every single day.

College Tennis Rankings

The team ranking is based on how the team coaches schedule the matches for the team. Usually, the teams are ranked based on the quality of their work. Every team that wins ranks up high from the one that is defeated.

The rankings are basically in the top 50 or 75, however, each team has its ranking. Additionally, there are singles and doubles rankings as well. the better you perform you can get more points.

You might also be interested to learn in detail about the tennis ranking system.

Best Tennis Colleges

Looking to enroll in the best tennis college? Here is the list of tennis colleges given below are the top ones.

  1. Princeton University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University
  4. University of Florida
  5. Yale University
  6. University of California
  7. University of North California
  8. University of Michigan
  9. Columbia University
  10. University of Virginia

College Tennis Camps

On your journey to college, tennis on campus is the best way you can get serious instructions on every aspect of the game.

It is fun being in a tennis camp and staying in touch with your coaches on the court. You can use the following list to find the right tennis camp nearby you.

While examining a tennis court for yourself consider these important points:

  • Who will be instructing you at the court?
  • What is your family’s state of summer vacations? Do they go on vacations? Does this factor make it hard for you to schedule your camp?
  • What do you want to learn from tennis camps? Every camp has a different mixture of fun and experience. Is it important for you to spend some hours on the court to be confident in regular matches?

Summary – A Quick Recap of College Tennis

College tennis is such a fun sport. Passion, dedication, and competition are very commonly seen among the players. Thus, the spectators also get enthusiastic. If you are also a fan of tennis, you should consider seeing the men’s and women’s college tennis schedules.

In addition to it, if you are willing to start playing tennis then you should come forward to participate in college tennis.

I hope you must have learned something new about tennis from this article. Don’t forget to share this article with others.


1. What college has the best tennis program?

The top 10 colleges that offer the best tennis program are:

  1. Princeton University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Harvard University
  4. University of Florida
  5. Yale University
  6. University of California
  7. University of North California
  8. University of Michigan
  9. Columbia University
  10. University of Virginia

2. What college has the best women’s tennis team?

So far, Vanderbilt University and Stanford University have the best women’s tennis team.

3. Who is the best college tennis player?

So far, Liam Draxl from the University of Kentucky is the best college tennis player.

4. How do you get recruited for college tennis?

To recruit to college tennis, first, make a list of schools/colleges offering tennis programs and choose the college that suits you better. Then start getting in touch with their coaches and start pitching your résumé that must include your height, weight, playing style (left-handed or right-handed), and your school name. Make sure, you also include your previous tennis experience and winnings (if any).

5. Can you get a college scholarship for tennis?

The answer is yes. At the collegiate level, both women and men tennis players get a scholarship program opportunity for their talent. This program may include:

  • Tuition
  • School stuff such as books etc.
  • Room
  • Board

6. What do college coaches look for in tennis players?

Generally, your talent matters when getting into college tennis. So, coaches look at your basic shot skills, previous playing experience, division level, reaction time, agility, and a lot more depending on the coach’s evaluating criteria.

7. How many sets are there in college tennis?

Generally, a singles game is played as the best of 3 sets without any ‘advantage’ points.

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment