Guide to Tennis

Ace - a valid serve which the returner cannot get the racquet on.

Advantage - after deuce, the person who wins the next point is said to have Advantage. Winning the next point wins the game, else it returns to deuce.

Backhand - a shot played whereby the arm goes across the body. A backhand may be double handed if both hands are on the racquet.

Deuce - a score of 40:40

Drive - a hard hit shot on the forehand or backhand.

Drop shot - a delicate shot that just goes over the net.

Fault - a serve that does not go in the service box. Two in a row makes a double fault, and the point is lost.

Forehand - a shot played where the arm does not go across the body

Game - winning four points in a game, or if at deuce, winning two straight points in a row.

Let - if the ball hits the net then lands in the service box, 'let' is called and the serve is taken again.

Lob - a ball hit high in the air over the head of the net player

Love - a score of zero.

Serve - overhead shot to start the game, there are two serves potentially per point.

Set - the first person to six games by two clear games wins the set, e.g. 6 - 4. If scores are level, then play continues until someone wins by two clear games, unless the rules dictate a tie-break occur at 6 - 6 (see tie break).

Slice - cutting under the ball so it bounces low and often goes low over the net. Americans call it underspin.

Smash - a shot hit from above the head, usually hit hard

Tie break - the first person to seven points is declared the winner of the set, by two clear points (e.g. score can go on indefinitely).

Topspin - hitting over the ball, giving accuracy and given the ball a looped flight and often kicking up on bouncing.

Umpire - officiates the match.

Volley - hitting the ball before it has hit the ground

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