Can You Ace This Tennis Terminology Quiz?


By: Gavin Thagard

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Service! We're serving up all kinds of questions in this quiz! When it comes to tennis terminology, only a tennis expert can get 30 of 35 questions right. Can you?

When it comes to the origins of tennis, the history is a little cloudy. While many believe people have been playing the sport for centuries, the game was officially introduced by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield in 1873. The game would then take off from there. 

Since then, the game has bred a series of All-Stars that are synonymous with the athleticism of the sport. The men have had greats such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, and Pete Sampras. The women have had strong athletes such as Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf. All around the world, tennis fans have tuned into the Grand Slam events: Australian, French, U.S. Opens and Wimbledon. 

Although many fans have spent their time watching these tournaments, only a real tennis expert could ace the meaning of the sport's terminology. On the court, do you know where you'd find the baseline? Could you identify the number of players during a doubles match? Do you know how many serves each player is given? If you can answer these questions, you're well on your way to proving you're a tennis expert. It won't be that easy though! 

You'll need 30 of 35 to prove you're a tennis expert. Do you have what it takes? Will you be serving up an ace or will your score leave you out of bounds? There's only one way to find out!


What's it called when a score is 6-6?

Before rackets were introduced in tennis, players used their hands. They would slap the ball back and forth across the court.


What is the area called where a server must hit the ball?

The fastest serve ever recorded came from Sam Groth. He once hit a ball 163 mph.


What do you call a shot hit down the sideline?

The first Wimbledon Championship was played in 1877. This would be the first time square courts were used.


What is an out of bounds shot called?

Tennis balls weren't made yellow until 1986. The change came because people wanted to see the ball while watching matches.


Where is the ad-court?

The longest tennis match ever was over eleven hours. It took three days to complete.


Where is the baseline?

A tennis court extends 78 feet from baseline to baseline. However, the servers box is only 21 feet from the net.


What is it called when a player fails to touch the ball during a serve from the opponent?

Since 1991, the most recorded aces in a tennis match was by John Isner in 2010. He finished the match with 113 aces against Nicolas Mahut.


What happens if a server's foot touches the baseline while serving?

John Isner may have had 113 aces in 2010, but his opponent, Nicolas Mahut, had 103. This was the second most aces recorded since 1991, making for quite the showdown between the two.


What happens when a serve hits the net?

A tennis net stands three and a half feet tall. It is required that the holes of the net are small enough that the tennis ball cannot go through.


What's it called when a ball spins backward?

Backspin shots are meant to trick the opponent. When the opponent thinks the ball is going to drop one place, it actually drops a little short because the backspin causes it to slow down.


What happens when you hit the ball before it hits the ground?

The longest back and forth rally ever recorded came in 1984 between Vicky Nelson and Jean Hepner. They hit the ball back and forth 643 times.


What are one-on-one matches called?

Rodger Federer has won nineteen Grand Slam titles. This is the most titles by any male player.


What's it called when a player hits a good shot that the opponent misses?

At Wimbledon, games are played on a grass court. This is the only major tournament that still uses grass.


What's it called when you only need a point to win?

There are four Grand Slam tournaments across the world. They are located in the United States, Britain, France, and Australia.


What is a shot hit high over the net called?

The first African American to win the U.S. Open was Arthur Ashe. He won it in 1968.


What's it called when a player misses an easy shot?

If the ball touches a player before going out of bounds, then that player's opponent gets the point. This includes a piece of clothing or the tennis racket itself.


Which point follows a deuce score?

A professional tennis racket is allowed to be up to 29 inches in length. A tennis ball weights about 56 grams.


What is a shot hit near the baseline called?

The youngest player to win at Wimbledon was Boris Becker in 1985. He was seventeen years old.


Where is the deuce-court?

Susan Tutt and Marion Bandy played a twenty minute game at Wimbledon in 1969. This is the shortest tennis match ever recorded.


Who governs male tennis?

ATP was created in 1972. Its goal was to protect the rights of male tennis players at the professional level.


What is a shot hit diagonally across a court called?

In women's tennis, Venus and Serena Williams were the first to win Gold Medals in the Olympics as sisters. They first accomplished this in 2000, then again in 2008 and 2012.


What happens if you get a point during a tiebreak on your opponent's serve?

Tennis has been an Olympic game since 1988. Previously, it was an Olympic game from 1896 until 1924.


What's it called when the ball hits the ground before you hit it?

The women's tennis trophy at Wimbledon is known as the Venus Rosewater Dish. It dates back to 1886 when it was first introduced to the champion of the challenge round.


What is a player who enters a tournament without being ranked called?

Goran Ivanisevic is the only player to win Wimbledon as a wild card entry. He accomplished this in 2001 when he was ranked 125th.


What's it called when a ball is hit with topspin​ during a serve?

The first US Open tournament took place in 1881. It was hosted in Newport, Rhode Island at the Newport Casino.


What happens when a server misses both serves?

Marc Rosset holds the record for the most double faults during a match. This occurred when he hit 26 at Wimbledon in 1995.


What's it called when you hit a ball above your head?

Fabrice Santoro appeared in 70 Grand Slams during his career. With so many appearances, he holds the record for most losses at 444.


How many points does the loser score in a double bagel?

Serena Williams has the most titles out of any female professional tennis player with 23. Steffi Graf follows right behind Williams with 22.


What's it called when you win a game during your opponent's serve?

The Australian Open started in 1905. The first winner was Rodney Heath, who was from Australia.


What is it called when a score is 40/40?

Margaret Court has more singles titles than any player that has competed in the Australian Open. Her last win came in 1973.


How many players play in a doubles match?

Nicolas Massu is the only male player to win the Olympics in both the singles and doubles. His partner in the doubles was Fernando Gonzalez.


What is it called when you lose a tennis match on purpose?

In the US Open, three men are tied at seven for the most singles titles. Bill Tilden was the last to reach seven, with his seventh title coming in 1929.


What do you call finishing a swing after the ball is hit?

Steffi Graff has the most consecutive Grand Slam titles with thirteen. Her streak ran from 1987 until 1990.


What is it called when you hit the ball straight at the other player?

Only eight male players have won all four grand slams for the singles division. On the other hand, ten female players have accomplished this.


What is it called when you hit the ball in an unintended direction?

Since 2000, Venus Williams has won four gold medals at the Olympics. She also won a silver medal during the 2016 Olympics.


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