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Jargon Buster Directory  

The Central Source for all Jargon

Sports - Tennis



Tennis jargon

Kill – to "put the ball away" and end the point.

Lob – a high-arcing shot, usually hit from behind the baseline, using topspin or under-spin to regain position.

Lob volley – hitting a lob off the volley before the ball bounces. Often used when both players are at the net.

Mid-court – the area around the service lines, halfway between the net and the baseline. Also known as "No man's land."

Moon ball – A very high lob mixed into a baseline exchange, primarily used to change the tempo.

Net rusher – player who aggressively moves forward to a position at the net.

Offensive lob – played from an intermediate or offensive position, usually hit with a lower trajectory than the defensive lob, and intended to win the point. Often hit with topspin.

Open stance – any hitting stance where the back foot is closer to the path of the ball than the front foot.

Overhead smash – stroke played above the head with a service-type action, usually from near the net and in response to a lob.

Passing shot – groundstroke that passes a player at the net on either side.

Punch volley – marked by a very short ‘punching' movement of the racket.

Put away volley – hit beyond the opponent's reach.

Rally – Play exchange between two or more players.

Ready position – shot preparation. Weight slightly forward, knees slightly bent, racket up and in front of the body.

Semi-Western grip – midway between the Western and Eastern grips.

Serve-and-volley – style of play that involves rushing toward the net immediately after the serve, in order to make a volley off the return.

Service box – area on the other side of the net in which a serve must land in order to be legal.

Service break – one player wins a game while the other player is serving.

Service line – line in mid-court that marks the boundaries of the service boxes.

"T" – mid-court area formed by the junction of the centre service line and the service lines. You may hear "a player serves down the T for an ace."

Tennis elbow – pain caused by too much play, improper technique, racquet tension or even racquet grip size.

Tension – degree of tautness in the strings of a racket.

Topspin – hitting over the top of the ball for forward rotation in flight

Volley – playing the ball in the air before it bounces.

Western grip – developed on hard courts in California, allowing a player to hit high-bouncing balls with power and topspin





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