More Tennis Language

Now we have broken down what exactly an ace is in tennis language. We can take a look at some other key terminology used in tennis.

Key Term 1  –  Deuce

Person Playing Tennis

Another strange but important tennis term is ‘deuce.’ This word refers to a game where the score is 40-40, in which a player will always serve from the court’s right-hand side.

Therefore, the right-hand side and left-hand side of the court are often referred to as the deuce and advantage sides.

The word deuce originates from both the Latin and French words for two, reminding us of the French heritage of tennis. This indicates that both players are on the same score in the game.

Key Term 2  –  Double Fault

Another key tennis term that some players may be unfamiliar with is the double fault.

This is actually a self-explanatory phrase, which indicates that a player has missed both their serves in a row. In tennis, serving players have two opportunities to get their serve in the service box.

If they miss both their first and second serves, they will automatically lose the point immediately. This is known as a double fault.

Key Term 3  –  Break Point

When returning an opponent’s serve, the aim is to win the game and ‘break’ the serve.

In tennis, serving offers a significant advantage. If a player can break their opponent’s service game, they gain a scoreboard advantage.

Therefore, a ‘break point’ refers to a returning player having a game point in their favour  –  the returner being 40-0, 40-15, or 40-30 up. The returner could also have the advantage point after deuce.

The pressure is then on the serving player to save these break points and close out their own service game. Otherwise, they will have the difficult task of breaking their opponent back.

This is why holding your own service game is so important in tennis. In order to break serve more often in tennis matches, it is important to learn how to improve your returns.

Key Term 4  –  Let

Aged tennis player with ball and racket

Another strange but important tennis language to understand if you are new to the game is the let.

In tennis, a let-in occurs when a player hits a serve that clips the top of the net but still lands inside the service box. This then means the server can have another server in most cases. There are some formats of the game when a let is considered to still be in play.

Even if the ball hits the net and drops dead into the service box, the point is still live. This can call for some pretty interesting rallies compared to when a let doesn’t count as live under traditional tennis rules.

Key Term 5  –  Tie Break

A tie break is a scoring format that occurs at the end of a set to decide a winner. A tie break is traditionally played as a first-to-7-point scoring format, with one player having to win by 2 clear points.

Tie breaks are now common in tennis. They provide a concise way to decide matches and ensure both players serve every two points.

Tie breaks are usually played when a set reaches 6-6, or a tie break to 10 is sometimes played in place of a full third set.

Simple Guide to Key Tennis Terms

Tennis has its own language of key tennis terms that are important to understand when you start taking the game a little more seriously.

We hope this simple guide to a selection of tennis words helps you feel more comfortable on your local tennis court!

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