Tennis Terminology Glossary

If you are looking for tennis terminology, this site has common tennis terms. If you can’t find what you are looking for here, try searching the site.


The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is a worldwide organization that sanctions and governs the game. It was founded in 1886 and represents both professional and amateur players. The most important tennis association, it works to create an economically viable sport for all people around the world through…


The player in the net stands directly in front of the server in a somewhat unusual doubles formation. This forces the returner to go down the line, according on “theory.”


The tram rows are parallel lines that run behind the singles’ court on both sides. It’s also known as doubles alley and tram lines. The doubles court is larger thanks to a rectangular space beside the right and left sides that make it easier for doubles to play.

Best of three/five

The term “best of three” refers to the third and final set. The phrase “one set all” or “two sets all,” which means a third or fifth set is played, respectively.


Typically implies a brief burst in which no limb movement is used. Instead, the ball’s speed is utilized. “Block returns” are some returnswhereas


When a player doesn’t play in the first round of the tournament and instead plays in the second round.


When you hit the ball in a way that makes it bounce off of the table and jump up in the air, it is called “a short stroke with backspin.”

Chopper grip

A grip is used for the serve and volley.


A starter is the first thing you do before a game. It is like the beginning of a plan, but it is for your point.


When two individuals set up a sequence of shots that they want to work on. For example, they might hit a forehand cross-court against a forehand cross-court.

Davis cup

A global tournament held between countries. The best players from each country are chosen for the event. Each match is played in a best-of-five format, with four singles points and one doubles point awarded for each side.

Dead ball

A ball that doesn’t bounce well. A flat ball is a synonym.

Defensive player

A player that tries to win by retrieving every ball usually waits for the opponent’s blunder.


A tennis term for a score of 40-40

Eastern grip

A forehand grip that aids in more power and less spin.


When the coach throws or hits balls to the players side of the court, the player may practice in a more controlled scenario.


The follow-through is the player’s continuing arm motion after he or she has struck the ball.

Gut string

Animal intestines are used to make a natural tennis string.

Half court

The area between the net and the service line. However, if you’re dealing with controls, half court is a standard tennis term for designating one of the halves of the court (forehand or backhand).


A basket for balls generally has a stand to make feeding easier.

Knock out draw

A tournament in which a player is eliminated when he or she loses.

Inside out forehand

A forehand played on the other side of the body.


The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body for the sport of tennis, including professional and amateur competitions. The tour events are hosted by it.


A linesman is a person who stands on the court’s lines. His or her duty is to call out the balls. If the umpire deems that their decision was incorrect, he or she has the option of overriding it.


A word for zero points in a game.


The Lawn Tennis Association is a worldwide organization that promotes and organizes lawn tennis.

Lucky looser

If a player loses in the final qualifying round, they can register for lucky looser. Instead of the missing player, they will participate in the tournament if not everyone from the main draw shows up.

No man’s land

The zone in between the service line and the baseline. Because no tennis player should be stopped in this area, it is known as no man’s land!


An umpire’s call to correct a line bounce.

Penalty point

When a player’s point is taken away for unsportsmanlike behavior,


When the volleyer in doubles moves to the over-service box to attempt a volley.


We first look at the player’s performance in previous events. The player’s past results are analyzed, as is his/her projected performance in this event. They are split up into groups to avoid playing each other in the opening round.

Side spin

The ball rotates horizontally in a horizontal shot.

Split step

A small jump landing on two feet. It enables the player to push off in every direction.

Sudden death

Deuce is a term used to describe the death of a player in doubles. In doubles, after one person has won two games and the losing partner hasn’t yet lost once, it’s known as deuce. The losing partner doesn’t have to win before being able to lose again, but he or she will almost certainly be defeated if he or

Sweet spot

The sweet spot, which is typically found just above the center of the tennis racquet and has exceptional power and control when striking it.

The T

The center is where the horizontal and vertical service lines connect. It’s in the middle of the court.

Throat of the racquet

The “V” shape formed by the racquet’s head and handle.


A term that has two meanings in tennis. It may be used to describe the act of the server throwing the ball into the air to hit it, or it can be used to refer to flipping a coin to determine who serves first.


The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the governing body for tennis in the United States.


The Van Alen Scoring System, also known as the Simplified Scoring System, is a simplified scoring system used to assess an applicant’s technical knowledge and ability to communicate effectively.

Wrong footed

When the opponent is running in one direction and the player hits a ball back in that same direction. Sending the opponent in the wrong direction


When a player does not participate in the first round. It differs from a “bye” because the opponent did not appear or was unable to compete.

Wild card

A draw entry is said to be “direct” when a player may enter straight into the draw.


The WTA is the organization for women’s tennis in the United States, Mexico, Japan, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand.

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