Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tennis Terminology


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Volley
Occurs when a player strikes the ball before it bounces. The volley is most often employed when a player is playing close to the net. The half volley is a low return of the ball just after it has bounced.
Underspin
The way that a ball rotates. Occurs when a player strikes the ball so that it spins from high to low as it travels forward. The bottom of the ball spins against air resistance, which forces the ball upwards.
Underspin shots need to travel much lower over the net than basic drives unless you are playing an underspin lob. This shot is called a slice. Underspin causes the ball to lose speed and to bounce lower.
Backhand
For right-handed players this is a stroke played on the left hand side of the body, with the back of the hand towards the net.
Rally
An exchange of strokes after the service has been 
delivered.
Sidelines
The boundary lines of the court lengthwise.
Continental grip
Name of the service grip that originated in Britain. Method of holding the racquet for playing powerful backhands, serves, volleys and smashes. The most common grip for forehand and backhand strokes.
Baseline rally
A rally where both players repeatedly exchange shots from their respective baselines.
Advantage
The score that follows one point played beyond deuce. If a player wins the "advantage" point, he or she wins the game.
Slice
A slice shot differs from a "drive" in that the backspin applied keeps it in the air for longer, causing it to travel further before bouncing.
Centre mark (center mark)
A 10.16 cm (4 in) line that marks the centre of the baseline.A 10.16 cm (4 in) line that marks the centre of the baseline. When serving, players must remain on the correct side of this mark.
Hitting area / zone
The general area of the court where you strike the ball.
Serve and volley
A tactic where players serve and then rush to the net with the aim of playing a winning volley off the opponent's return.
Forehand
A stroke played on the right hand side of the body for right handed players and on the left hand side for left handed players.
Let
When play is interrupted a let is called and the point replayed. If the ball touches the net and then falls into the diagonally opposite service box, a let is called, and the server is permitted to serve again. When a service let is called, only the service in question is replayed.
Set
Singles: Usually composed of six games unless there is a tie at six. If there is a tie at six, a tie-breaker is used to determine the winner of the set. There are six games in a set and three or five sets in a match.There are six games in a set and three or five sets in a match. Doubles: In dual format, a "pro set" is used, which is composed of eight games.
Best of three (or five)
Refers to the maximum number of sets in any match. In "best of three" matches, players need to win two of the three sets. In men's tennis, most matches are "best of five," i.e. a match finishes when a player has won three sets.
No man's land
The area between the service line and the baseline also known as a taboo zone.
Double-fault
Two successive service faults from the same court (both serve attempts fail). The opponent wins the point.
Stop volley
A volley where the player takes the pace off the ball,so that it drops softly on the other side of the net -making it difficult or impossible for the opponent to reach.
Fault
Called if the ball is served into the net, or if it strikes the net before hitting the opponent's court outside the service box or before exiting the court altogether.
Second flight
The flight of the ball after it has bounced.
The 'V'
The angle made between the thumb and first finger of the hand.
Ace
A valid serve that is not reached by the opponent. The server wins the point immediately.
Love
In tennis scoring love means nothing, hence love-thirty is 0-30. A common (but unproven) explanation for the term "love" to signify a score of zero is that it originates from the French term "l'oeuf." Another explanation is based on the idea that to do something for love is to do something for nothing (zero).
Eastern grip
A basic tennis grip originating on the East coast of the USA. Forehand grip. Describes a grip which allows the ball to be hit easily ahead of the body and the racquet swung all the way through.
Loop
In groundstroke play the racket forms a loop as backswing and forward swing are joined in one continuous movement.
Serve or service
Every point begins with a serve. From a position behind the baseline, the server has to hit the ball diagonally over the net into the opponent's service court. Players get two attempts to serve the ball correctly in each point. In the first point of any game or set, the serve is played from the right-hand side of the court. After this the server alternates side (from right to left and vice-versa) at the start of every new point.
Drive
A powerful stroke with slight topspin. Given its long, straight trajectory it is well-suited as a passing shot or attempted winner.
Match point (match ball)
The score where a player only needs one more point to win the match.
Service
The stroke used at the start of each point.
Cross court (shot)
A stroke played diagonally across the court from right court to right court or left court to left court, either long or short.
Shadowing
Going through the motions without hitting the ball, hence 'shadowing the stroke'.
Overhead Smash
Powerful shot often used to return a lob that has not been hit high or deep enough. The shot is hit in a similar manner to the serve.
Bye
Free passage into the second round of a tournament. Players may be given a bye if a tournament doesn't have enough players (e.g. if there are only 28 players in a tournament designed for 32, there will be 4 byes in the first round). Byes are always awarded to seeded players.
Hopper
The container for balls in a ball machine or a separate basket for holding large quantities of tennis balls.
Groundstroke
A forehand or backhand stroke played after the ball has bounced.
ATP
Association of Tennis Professionals - a body to represent the leading players.
The ATP Tour, the men's professional tennis organization. The ATP Tour includes tour events outside of the Grand Slam events, Grand Slam Cup, and Davis Cup.
Ball machine
Powered by pneumatic propulsion, a ball machine such as this one holds 135 balls and will fire them every 3 seconds at speeds of up to 33m (110ft) per second. It measures 96cm (38in)x 56cm (22in)x 33cm (13in).
Open
Refers to racket face angle when a greater hitting 
area is presented to the ball.
Game
Part of a set. Every set consists of at least six games. Composed of four (love, 15, 30, 40) and possibly five (advantage) scores.
Overrule
The umpire's option and privilege to correct a decision made by one of the judges.
ITF
International Tennis Federation - the body that oversees the Grand Slams, Grand Slam Cup, Davis & Federation Cup, and the Olympics.
Change of ends
The players change ends of the court regularly during tennis matches, e.g. after every "uneven" game (1,3,5) in a set.
Approach shot
A groundstroke played just before you approach the net to volley. A shot played with the aim of winning a point quickly, often hit from mid-court deep into the corner of the opponent's court. The attacking player normally goes to the net to intercept any return with a volley.
Split step
Assuming the ready position before changing the direction of a run.
Set point (set ball)
The point needed to win a set.
Ready position
A position of readiness adopted to receive the service, which acts as a starting point for all groundstrokes and volleys.
Service sideline
The boundary line of the service court.
Second serve
When serving, players have two chances to hit the ball in the opponent's service court. If the first attempt fails, they receive a "second serve."
Game point (game ball)
The point needed to win a game.
Kick serve
A serve with heavy spin, causing it to change direction or bounce unexpectedly when it lands in the service court. Also known as a twist serve.
All-rounder
A player with the ability to play well both offensively and defensively.
Chip
A short underspin ground stroke usually played to return a spinning serve or high bouncing ball.
Twist serve
A service played with topspin and side spin. The ball bounces awkwardly sideways and upwards from the service court.
Take-up
The preparation of the racket in serving and smashing prior to the racket head being lowered into the 'throwing' position.
Lucky Loser / Playback
In some knockout tournaments, one defeat does not automatically result in elimination. Beaten players have the chance to play against other such losers, with the winners being awarded places in later rounds. These players are known as "lucky losers."
Tramlines
The area of the court between the singles and doubles sidelines, also known as the 'alley'.The area of the court between the singles and doubles sidelines, also known as the 'alley'.
Palming the ball
Hitting or playing the ball with the palm of your hand.
Placement
The ball is hit to a precisely chosen part of the court, usually one that the opponent cannot reach.
Forecourt
The area of the court between the net and the service lines.The area of the court between the net and the service lines.
Centrepoint
A mid-point between two angles of a possible shot.
USPTR
United States Professional Tennis Registry.
Deuce
A tie at 40 is called deuce. Because a game must be won by two points, play continues from deuce until one player leads by a margin of two points.
Lob
A ball sent high in the air. A high, soft return behind an opponent who has approached the net. It is frequently used to force the opponent to retreat to the back of the court to play the ball. The lob can also be used as a defensive stroke, providing time for the hitter to regain court position.
Semicontinental grip
A combination of the forehand and backhand grips. This grip can be used for most shots, but particularly for volleys, serves and smashes.
Follow through
Refers to the continuing travel of the racket after the ball has been struck. The follow-through affects the length, direction and speed of the ball.
Big point
A crucial point deciding which player wins a set or an important game. For example, when the scores are level and the server is 30-40 down.
Net or Let
The call from the net-cord judge when a serve touches the top of the net.
Tie-break
This is a point scoring system designed to shorten the length of a set. It is usually brought into operation when the set score reaches six games all. During tie-breaks players are awarded points numerically. The first player with 7 points wins the set, provided he or she has a lead of 2 points, e.g. 7-5. If not, play continues until this two-point advantage lead has been established, e.g. 10-8. The score for the set is then recorded as 7-6, i.e. seven games to six.
Double-handed
A player who keeps both hands on the racket handle during the forward swing of the racket.
Chop
A backspin, defensive shot used to return fast services. Occasionally also used for drop shots.
Place-up
The ball toss during the service.
Half-volley
A groundstroke played immediately after the ball has bounced.


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