Tennis is a popular sport in the UK, and has been intertwined with British culture since 1877, when England hosted the first Wimbledon championship. Tourists, as well as sports lovers flock from all around the world to watch the games unfold.


Along with such traditions as drinking Pimm’s and eating strawberries and cream, tennis uses some unusual jargon on the courts and during the matches. It might be difficult to get your head around these terms, so here’s a list of tennis vocabulary to help you understand the game more clearly.



Marks the front and back of the tennis court.

E.g. The ball landed outside of the baseline.



The barrier separating the two halves of the court.

E.g. The ball got caught in the net.


Service box

Where the players serve into.

E.g. The ball bounced into the service box.



Area of court between service line and net.

E.g. She aimed the shot into her opponent’s forecourt.



Left and right edges of the tennis court.

E.g. If the shot lands outside of the sidelines it is out of bounds.



How the point begins. One player hits the ball towards the other.

E.g. They decided who would serve first by flipping a coin.



A score of 40-40 after which a player must win two consecutive points to win the game.

E.g. The score was at deuce.



A score of 0.

E.g. It was 15 love to Serena.


Match point

When a player only needs one more point to win.

E.g. She won on her second match point.



If during serve the ball does not land inside the service area.

E.g. The ball landed out of bounds, resulting in a fault.



When a served ball hits the net and lands in the service area.

E.g. The first serve was a let.


We hope this helps you understand more about tennis and the terms that are used during matches. If you’re interested in learning more about popular sports in the UK, please take a look at our previous blog post.