Tennis Terms 2023
12 Point Tiebreaker : Used to end a set if tied at 6 games each.
Ace: a serve that is a winner without the receiving tennis player able to return the ball.
Ad court: the part of the tennis court that is to the left of the tennis players
Ad in (Advantage in): Game point for server.
Ad Out (Advantage out): Game point for receiver.
Ad service box: The box to serve into when the score is ad.
Advantage: when a tennis player needs one more point to win the game after the score was deuce.
Alley: the extra area of the side court used for doubles.
ATP: stand for the Association of Tennis Professionals
Australian doubles: Where the server and partner stand on the same side of the court during the serve.
Back swing: The swing of the racquet before the ball is hit.
Backhand: a way to swing the tennis racquet where the player hits the ball with a swing that comes across the body.
Backhand: A shot were your arm goes across your body on the back swing.
Backspin: spin of a tennis ball that causes the ball to slow down and/or bounce low.
Backswing: the motion of a swing that moves the racquet into position to swing forward and strike the ball.
Ball: The tennis ball is made rubber with a green/yellow fury coating
Ballboys: Assistants whose job it is to collect the ball and return it to the serving player.
ballperson: youngsters who collect balls from the court and give them to players as required
Baseline: the line indicating back of the court.
Baseliner: a tennis player whose strategy is to play from the baseline. See Tennis Strategies for more.
Break: when the server loses the game
Break point: one point away from breaking serve
Center mark: The tab that marks the center of the court at the baseline.
Center service line: The line that divides the court in half and is used to determine where to serve.
Chip: blocking a shot with backspin
Chip and charge: an aggressive strategy to return the opponent's serve with backspin and move forward to the net for a volley
Chop: a tennis shot with extreme backspin. Meant to stop the ball where it lands.
Coman: A variety of tiebreaker.
Continental Grip: Tends to be used for serves and volleys. In between a eastern and western grip.
Counterpuncher: another name for a player who is a defensive baseliner.
Court: the area where a tennis game is played
Cross court: A shot hit diagonally from corner to corner.
Crosscourt: hitting the tennis ball diagonally into the opponent's court
Deep: refers to a shot that bounces near the baseline verses near the net
Deuce: when the score in a game is 40 to 40.
Deuce court: the right side of the court
Deuce service box: The box to serve into when the score is deuce.
Deuce: Tie game score over 40
Double Fault: two missed serves in a row. The server will lose the point.
Double fault: You have two attempts to serve into the appropropriate service box. If unsuccessful you lose the point.
Doubles: a tennis game played by four players, two per side of the court.
Doubles alleys: The thin areas on the outside of the court used only for doubles matches.
Doubles lines: The very outside lines and used for doubles play or 4 players.
Doubles: Tennis with 4 players.
Down a Break: Having lost one more service game than your opponent. At the pro level this is very important because serving is such a big advantage.
Down the line: hitting a tennis shot straight down the baseline
Down the line: A shot hit that stays on the same side of the court. It goes over this highest part of the net.
Drop shot: a strategy where the tennis player hits the ball just go over the net. It is used when the opponent is far from the net.
Drop shot: A softly hit shot that bounces just past the net usually hit with slice or backspin.
Drop volley: a drop shot from a volley
Eastern Grip: Tends to be used for backhands.
Fault: a service that is not in play.
Fault: A serve that does not land in the correct service box.
First Service: the first of the two serves of a tennis ball a player is allowed. Generally the server will try a more difficult serve on the first service.
Flat: a shot with little to no spin
Follow through: the part of the swing after the ball is hit. A good follow through is important for accuracy and power.
Follow through: The swing of the racquet after the ball is hit.
Foot fault: when the server steps over the baseline while making a serve.
Footfault: When a server places their foot over the service line in the process of serving the ball
Forecourt: Area of court between the service line and the net
Forehand: a tennis swing where the player hits the tennis ball from behind their body. Often the forehand is the players best stroke.
game: in scoring, a game is won by winning points, a set is won by winning games, and a match is won by winning sets
Game point: one point away to win the tennis game.
Games: Are won by winning the appropriate number of points and add up to a set.
Grand Slam: any one of the four most prestigious tennis tournaments including the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Ground Stroke: A ball hit after it bounces usually from behind the baseline.
Groundstroke: a forehand or backhand shot made after the tennis ball bounces once on the court
Half volley: A shot that is hit immediately after the ball bounces.
Head: the top part of the racket that has the strings and is meant to hit the ball.
Hold: when the server wins the tennis game.
Jamming: to hit the tennis ball straight to the opponent's body not allowing them to extend the racquet to hit the ball well.
Kick serve: a serve with a lot of spin causing the ball to bounce high
Let: when the tennis ball from a service touches the net but still lands within the service box. The server gets another try as this does not count as a fault.
Let: When you replay a point, usually when the serve hits the net and bounces in the appropriate service box.
line judge: an official who judges whether or not shots land in the court
Linesman: Official who sits in a chair along lines of the court to call whether balls are in or out.
Lob: a tennis shot where the ball is lifted high above the net. Can be a defensive shot in some cases, but also may cause a winner when the ball is just out of reach of the opponent, but still lands in play.
Long: A ball that is hit past the appropriate court area (baseline or service line).
Love: Is the tennis term for zero. Not something I want when playing.
Match point: when one tennis player only needs one more point to win the entire match
Match: Is where you can brag that you beat somebody or team.
Mini Break: Winning a point on your opponents serve during a tie breaker.
mixed doubles: doubles format in which each team is made up of one female and one male player
Mixed Doubles: Tennis with 4 players 2 males and 2 females. Rumored to be the cause of many divorces.
Net: The barrier that separates the two halves of the court.
Net cord judge: Official who determines if the serve hits the net.
Net: The piece of material separating the 2 sides of the court.
No : Ad scoring
No man's land: The area between the baseline and the service line.
On Serve: Neither player has lost their serve or each player has lost equal number of service games.
Out: any tennis ball that lands outside the area of play.
Out: A ball that does not hit in the appropriate court area.
Overhead: Similar to a serve but hit during the point.
Passing shot: when the tennis ball is hit such that it passes by the opponent at the net without them being able to hit the ball.
Poach: A doubles tennis term when you cross in front of your partner and hit the ball, usually a volley.
Poaching: an aggressive strategy in doubles where the tennis player at net attempts to volley a shot hit to their partner on the baseline.
Point of Contact: The location the ball is hit.
Points: A rally ends with a player winning a point and add up to a game.
racket / racquet: a stringed 'bat' that players hold and use to hit the ball
Rally: Multiple good shots that make up a point.
Receiver: Hits the ball second.
return: to hit a shot back to the opponent
Second Service: the second serve that the server is allowed after missing the first serve. This serve must be successful or the server will lose the point (called a double fault).
Serve: starts the point by the server hitting the tennis ball into the opponents half of the court
Serve and volley: a tennis strategy where the player serves and then charges forward to the net for a volley off of the return.
Server: Hits the ball first.
Service Line: The line that designates the end of the service box.
set: in scoring, a player must win at least six
Set point: when a tennis player needs one point to win the set
Sets: Are won by winning the appropriate number of games and add up to a match.
Singles Lines: The lines running the length of the court beside the doubles lines.
Singles: Tennis with 2 players.
Slice: The spin put on the ball when you hit under the bottom of the ball.
Smash: Synonym for an overhead. Similar to a serve but hit during the point.
Spin: rotation of the tennis ball as it moves through the air. Skilled tennis players can control the spin and, therefore, the ball's trajectory and bounce
Stance : Position of the body prior to playing a shot
Straight sets : when one player wins every set in a match.
Super Tiebreaker: A tiebreaker used by the USTA to end a match at 1 set apiece.
Tennis Racquet : the main piece of equipment in tennis. It has a long handle and a oval shaped head with a string mesh stretched across it. It is used by the tennis player to hit the ball.
Tiebreaker: A different scoring game to quickly end a set or match.
Topspin : when the tennis ball spins forward. This can cause it to bounce higher as well as dip down quickly.
Umpire : Official who keeps score during the match
Underspin : A backwards rotation of the ball after a shot
Unforced error : a missed shot by a player that was not caused by any excellent play by their opponent.
Up a Break: Having your opponent lost one more service game. At the pro level this is very important because serving is such a big advantage.
Volley : a shot where the ball is hit by the player's racquet before the ball hits the ground.
Volley: A shot hit before the ball bounces.
Western Grip: When used for a forehand it typically generates a lot of top spin.
Winner : an outstanding tennis shot that cannot be returned by the opponent.
WTA : stands for Women's Tennis Association