Key Tennis Court Terms For Understanding Tennis A to Z

Tennis is a game in which “Love” equals 0 and the scoring for games, sets, and matches differs. In other words, it can be unclear.

Here, we’ll look at some tennis court terms you might want to be familiar with before entering the courtroom. Although learning the correct vocabulary won’t improve your serve or forehand, at least in conversation, you can keep up with anyone.

Important Tennis Court Terms

Important Tennis Court Terms
Important Tennis Court Terms

Understanding the layout and size of the court is an essential component of the game of tennis since the markings on the court establish the boundaries for each shot. A tennis court has a total surface of 2,808 square feet and is 78 feet long by 36 feet broad, however only doubles matches use the entire court. The singles court is the same size as the doubles court, at 2,106 square feet overall, however, it is only 27 feet wide.

Let’s look at each area of the court separately since there are several of them:


The court’s baseline extends from end to end. Each point starts behind the baseline, regardless of whether you are serving or anticipating your opponent’s serve.

Pairs Sideline

When the court is being used for doubles matches at its full 36-foot width, this runs around the outer boundaries of the court.

Sideline Singles

This line is parallel to the doubles sideline and 9 feet inside it, marking the whole width and length of the singles court.

Basic Tennis Court Terms
Basic Tennis Court Terms

Service Box 

The opponent’s service box, which is diagonal across from where you are standing when you serve, must be the location of the ball. Each game’s opening serve is sent to the service box on your left. The right-hand service box receives your second serve. Continue switching until your service game is over.

Service Line Center

Service line center is the line separating the two service boxes is known as the center service line.

Product Line

For the ball to be considered in, it must land inside or on the service line, center service line, and within the appropriate service box.

Doubles Tramlines

This extra playing area is available to doubles players between the doubles sideline and the singles sideline.

Baseline Center Mark

To get the most court coverage when your opponent returns, it’s advantageous to stand directly to the side of the little baseline center mark when serving.


Shots down the line must account for the additional height, whereas volleys are played closer to the net since the net is slightly lower in the center.

*** Read more: Tennis Net Dimensions and Ultimate Guide To Tennis Nets

Other Tennis Terms For Beginners

Other Tennis Terms For Beginners
Other Tennis Terms For Beginners

#1. Type Of Strokes

A tennis racquet swing is referred to as a stroke when used to hit the ball.

  • Serve

The point is where the serve (or service) begins. From behind the baseline, players will often hit an over-arm stroke (although they can also hit underarm) into the service box diagonally across from them. Per point, a player has two serves, referred to as a first and second serve.

  • Forehand

Forehand is a shot that is made with the dominant hand’s palm pointing forward. If you are right-handed, for instance, you would play your forehand on the right side of the body.

  • Backhand

Backhand is the shot made with the dominant hand’s back facing the target. For example, if you are right-handed, you would play a backhand stroke on the left side of the body.

  • Volley

Volley is an aggressive tennis shot in which a player quickly returns the ball over the net before it can bounce. Volleys can be hit anywhere on the court, but they are most commonly done near the net.

Either a forehand or backhand, a player hits the ball back over the net before it rebounds on their side of the court.

*** Read more: What is volley in tennis? Definition, Steps & Useful Tips

Volley in tennis
Volley in tennis

#2. Types Of Play

  • Singles: a match of tennis between two opponents.
  • Duals Plus Mixed Duals: a contest between two-player teams. Tram lines are a factor in doubles tennis.

#3. Terms Of Play

  • In: a declaration made as a ball enters the playing area.
  • Out: a declaration made after a ball leaves the field of play.
  • Fault: when the opponent’s court is not where the ball lands. If a serve, forehand, backhand, or volley lands outside the playing area, a fault may be called.
  • Let: Most frequently used when a player’s serve lands in the proper service box but hits the net. If an outside intervention prevents a point from continuing, a let may also be called. A point is replayed if there is a let.
  • Ace: a point obtained by the server when the ball is not touched by the receiver.

#4. Scoring


To score four points first in each game is the objective. The following is the order of tennis points:

Love – Zero

15 –  the moment a player scores the game’s opening point. We say “15-all” if the opponent scores the following point.

30 – when a player earns two points in a contest.

40 – when a player earns three points in a contest.

When the score is 40-40, it is referred to as a “deuce.” To win a game, a player must score two points in a row beginning at deuce.

The point scored following a deuce has the advantage. The game is over if the person with an advantage wins the point.

Keep in mind that the server’s score is always called first in tennis. We say 15-love if they score the game’s opening point. We will say “love-15” if they lose it.

*** Read more: What Does Love Mean In Tennis? [Full & Detailed Explain]

Points in tennis
Points in tennis


The best of three or five sets rule in professional tennis matches.


Game is the pieces that make up a set. There are at least six games in each set.


Six games often make up a set. However, the set changes to the first to seven games if the players are tied after five games.

*** Read more: What Is A Set In Tennis? Full Explanation of Set In Tennis

Wrapping Up

There are a lot of different tennis court terms used by tennis players and fans. If you want to be a tennis player then you should be familiar with almost all of these tennis court terms! 

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