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Realsports Tennis - Atari - Atari 5200     HTML Manual   



  • Insert your 5200 game cartridge so the label faces you and reads right-side-up. Be sure the cartridge is firmly seated in the center of the console, but do not force it. Then press the POWER switch on. See your Owner's Manual for further details.


    1. Match Point
    2. Game Play
    3. Using the 5200 Controller
    4. Atari Trak-Ball Controller Option
    5. Scoring
    6. Game Variations
    7. RealSports TENNIS Glossary



  • It's your serve, the score is 6-5. If you take the point, the match is yours.

  • It's been a long hot afternoon at center court. Your opponent's striking forehand has given you difficulty all day. To top it off, he has a thunderbolt serve and a cruel overhand smash. Maybe you can beat him on stamina by running him around the court until he drops.

  • Every seat in the stadium is filled with tense and anxious fans. You nervously bounce the ball two or three times to relieve the tension. You're ready for the serve...he returns it with a forehand dropshot. You can't let this point get away. Like lightening, you mentally pinpoint where your next shot will go; and then execute it by driving the ball down the sideline.

  • The crowd's with you; they groan as your opponent saves the ball with a driving forehand, forcing you back to the baseline. Quickly rethinking your strategy, you hit a defensive lob. Your opponent returns it with one of his classic smashes to your backhand. But this time, you're ready! You whip a passing shot down the sideline to his backhand. He lunges for it--but not far enough. The crowd cheers as the ball whizzes past his astonished face.

  • The point is yours; you take the match!

    2. GAME PLAY

  • The object of ATARI RealSports TENNIS is to score enough points to win a match. A match is the best of three sets. (See Section 5, SCORING for games, sets, and matches.)

  • Choose from three game variations: singles against the computer, singles between two players, or doubles in which each team has one human player and one computer player.

  • You can also choose between two skill levels--INTERMEDIATE or ADVANCED. In advanced games, the ball travels faster than in intermediate games.

  • At the end of each game, the receiver becomes the server, and the server becomes the receiver. The players also change ends of the court after every odd-numbered game.


  • Use your 5200 controllers with this ATARI game cartridge. Plug the controller into jack 1 for one-player games; plug a second controller into jack 2 for two-player games.


  • For your convenience, two keypad overlays are included with this game. Slip the tabs into the slots above and below the keypad on your controller (see Figure 2).

  • When not in use, your keypad overlays can be stored on the back of your game cartridge. Simply slip the tabs into the slots provided on the cartridge.


  • After inserting the cartridge and turning the console POWER on, the program displays a selection screen.


  • Press the left * key to select an automated game (the squared marked AUTOMATED on your overlay). An automated game allows you to play with either one or two computer players. (See Section 6, GAME VARIATIONS for automated games.)

  • Press the right # key to choose an intermediate or advanced game (the square marked SKILL LEVEL on your overlay).


  • Press the O key to choose the number of players (the square marked NUMBER OF PLAYERS on your overlay). Press the key until the desired number of players appears on the court. All doubles games require two human players; one for each team.


  • Personalize your tennis match by programming your name into the scoreboard at the upper left corner of the screen. First, use the top fire button to place the cursor (blinking square) over the P. Then press the lower fire button to cycle through the alphabet until you reach the desired letter. When you've reached the correct letter, simply press the top fire button and the cursor will move to the next letter. When you have completed your name, cycle through the alphabet until you find the "blank space". Then program blank spaces until you've entered a total of seven characters. Each player uses his own controller to personalize the scoreboard (see Figure 3).


  • Press START when you're ready to begin playing. If you don't make a specific selection, the program automatically sets to an AUTOMATED INTERMEDIATE game for one player. When a game ends, press START to begin the same game variation again.


  • Press PAUSE to suspend the game in progress. PAUSE MODE will appear at the top of the screen and all action will freeze instantly. Press PAUSE again to continue game play.


  • During game play, press PAUSE (PAUSE MODE must appear on the screen) and then RESET to return to the selection screen. ALL players' names will be erased when the program is reset.


  • The server has a choice of serving to the opponent's forehand or backhand. Press the upper fire button to serve to your opponent's backhand; press the lower fire button to serve to your opponent's forehand. The player using the controller plugged into jack 1 serves first. Once the ball is in play, use your joystick to maneuver your player around the court.

    IMPORTANT: To stop your player, return your joystick to the upright center position.

  • Choose your strategy before returning the ball by selecting your desired target area on the court. Each half of the court is divided into nine target areas (see Figure 4). Both the top half and bottom half are numbered from left-to-right and correspond exactly to the numbers on your keypad. Whether you are playing the top or the bottom half of the court, you view the target areas as shown in Figure 4.

  • To program your return, press the button (numbers 1 through 9) that corresponds to the area where you want to place the ball. If you don't select a target area, a groundstroke will automatically be made to area 5.

  • To select a lob shot, press O during game play. But watch out, the computer player can smash a lob so fast, you won't be able to return it.

  • Here are a few suggestions for using your joystick controllers along with your keypad.

    * Place the controller on your lap; keep one hand on the joystick and the other hand on the keypad. Use either hand to press the fire buttons for serving the ball.

    * Try keeping your fingers over the keypad like a 10-key adding machine, or just use your thumb or one finger to press the keys.

    * If you have large hands, try to maneuver the joystick with your thumb. This will free your other hand to place your shot.


  • This RealSports TENNIS cartridge offers an ATARI TRAK-BALL option which may be purchased seperately (available in mid-1983). The TRAK-BALL can be plugged into either jack at the front of the console. (Follow the instructions in Section 3, USING THE 5200 CONTROLLER for player and game selection, and using the keypad). Move your TRAK-BALL in the direction you want your player to move on the court. See your TRAK-BALL owner's manual for further details.

    5. SCORING

  • You score points in ATARI RealSports TENNIS as you would in real tennis.
    0 (ZERO)  =   Love
    Point 1   =   15
    Point 2   =   30
    Point 3   =   40
    Point 4   =   Game (not shown on screen)
  • The first player to win a fourth point wins the game. However, if both players score 3 points (40 each), the score is DEUCE. After deuce, the next point scored is called advantage. If that point is scored by the server, the screen displays AD IN. If that point is scored by the receiver, the screen displays AD OUT. To win a game, you must have a two-point lead.

  • The first player to win six games wins a set, provided that the winner has a two-game lead. The player to win two out of three sets wins the match. If, at the end of a set, the score is 6-all, the players compete in a tie-breaker; they alternate serves until one player wins at least seven out of twelve points. The winner of the tie-breaker must have a two-point lead to win the set.

  • Scores are displayed at the top of the screen; player 1's score is displayed above player 2's score. The game score is displayed at the upper right; the set score is displayed at the upper left (See Figure 5 for scores.)

    How points are scored:

    * The server wins a point if, for any reason, the opponent fails to return the ball.

    * The receiver scores a point when the server fails to return the ball.


  • There are three game variations and two skill levels in this ATARI RealSports TENNIS game
    One-Player Singles    One player challenges the
         (AUTOMATED)      computer to a tennis match
    Two-Player Singles    Two players vie for the 
    Two-Player Doubles    Two players each team-up 
         (AUTOMATED)      with a computer player for 
                          a game of doubles. You 
                          must select the desired 
                          target area for your 
                          computer teammate.

    INTERMEDIATE -- An average game of tennis, which requires a basic knowledge of tennis rules and strategy.

    ADVANCED -- A faster than average game of tennis in which the ball travels faster, and the emphasis is on strategy and quick moves.


    A point earned by serving a ball which cannot be returned by the opponent.

    Short for advantage. A point won after a score of deuce. If the same player wins the next point, he wins the game. If he loses the next point, the score returns to deuce.

    A stroke made with the hitting arm and the racket across the front of the body and the back of the hand facing the direction the ball is to go.

    A tie after each player has a score of 40. To win a deuce game, a player must score two consecutive points.

    A soft shot that falls just over the net.

    A stroke made with the palm of the hand facing the direction the ball is to travel.

    Hitting the ball after it bounces.

    A stroke that sends the ball high in the air, over the opponent's head, and lands in the backcourt.

    In ATARI RealSports TENNIS, the best two out of three sets.

    Hitting the ball while it is in the air, above the head.

    Running to the net in order to volley a return.

    A hard overhand stroke.

    Hitting the ball before it bounces.


    Typed by Keita Iida

    Used with permission from Atari Gaming Headquarters