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tennis glossary
Ace - A serve that is not even touched by the opponent. Andy Roddick has the fastest serve to date (6/18/07) clocked at 155 mph.
Advantage (Ad) - The player who scores immediately after a deuce point is said to have the Advantage. If the server has the advantage, many people will say “ad in”. If the returnee has the advantage, many will say “ad out”.
Aerobeam - The Aerobeam is a technology from Babolat which focuses on aerodynamics to reduce wind drag, and to increase a player's swing speed.
Aerogel - Aerogel is a technology used by Dunlop in its series of racquets. Aerogel is a light material which has a three-dimensional nanometer-sized molecular network that delivers an unmatched strength to weight ratio for enhanced stiffness and increased power.
All - A term used when the game score is tied. Instead of calling out a 30-30 score, many players will say 30 all.
Alley - See Double’s Alley
Andre Agassi - Former great American player who is one of only five men in history to have won all four Grand Slams.
Andy Roddick - A top-ranked American player and third-ranked player in the world as of June 2007. He also holds the fastest serve recorded in professional tennis, clocked at 155 mph, or 248.2 km/h.
Approach Shot - A shot, usually a groundstroke, that is hit hard and deep to allow the player time to come in and rush the net.  
Australian formation – A formation used in doubles wherein the net player begins roughly at the center of the net. The Australian formation is used mainly to counter teams that prefer a crosscourt return.
Backboard - A wall, usually constructed of wood, which is used for practice. It is often marked with a line indicating the height of the net.
Back court - The area of the court from the service line to the base line.
Backhand - A shot hit from the side of the body opposite the racket (the left side for a right-handed player). A backhand can be hit with either one or two hands. A one-handed backhand offers longer reach and more variety because they can be hit with topspin or underspin. The two-handed backhand tends to be more stable and powerful.
Backspin - Also known as slice or underspin, the backspin is a shot such that the ball rotates backwards. It is a good defensive shot because of the low bounce and longer travel time.
Back stop - A boundary behind the end of the court that retains balls and restricts them to the confines of a certain area.
Bagel - To win a set 6-0.
Ball boy/girl - A person who retrieves balls when it has gone out of play (usually a younger tennis player).
Ball hopper - A container used to hold tennis balls. Also known as a ball basket, a hopper, is great teaching equipment because of its abillity to stand up to allow easy access to balls while feeding.
Ball toss - The initial action of tossing the ball which starts a serve.
Band - A strip of canvas at the top of the net.
Baseline - A line at the end of the court, parallel to the net, which marks the vertical or lengthwise boundary of the playing area.
Baseline judge - An official who is responsible for declaring whether shots are in or out. The baseline judges are seated on the same side of the court as the umpire.
Baseline player - A player who seldom takes the net, instead relying heavily on his or her groundstrokes at the base line. Andre Agassi is an example of a base line player.
Big Serve - A term used to describe a serve which gives advantage in the point to the server. Usually a big serve is used to describe a very fast and often times flat serve. Andy Roddick has a big serve.
Boris Becker - Boris Becker is a former world number one from Germany. He is a six-time Grand Slam singles champion, and the youngest person to win the singles title at Wimbledon at the age of 17.
Break - To win a game as the receiving player or team.
Break point - One point away from having a service break. Expressed as the score (30-40).
Bryan Brothers - Twin brothers Rober Charles Bryan (Bob) and Michael Carl Bryan (Mike) are American professional tennis players. Between 2005 and 2006, the Bryan Brothers reached an Open Era record of six consecutive Grand Slam finals.
Buggy whip shot - Describes a forehand hit with a follow through which does not go across the body and finish on the opposite side but rather goes from low to high and finishes on the same side. Lindsay Davenport is known for her usage of the buggy whip shot when on the run.
Bye - The advancement in a tournament without playing a match. A player who automatically proceeds to the next round without facing an opponent is given a bye.
Call - When a judge declares that a ball was hit outside the designated play area.
Carry - An illegal shot in which the ball is carried by the racket instead of being struck.
Center line - The line down the center of the court which includes both the line dividing the service boxes and the smaller hashmark that bisects the baseline.
Center line judge - An official who watches the center service line to make sure the serve has entered the service court.
Center mark - A line, 2 inches wide and 14 inches long, that marks the midpoint of the baseline.
Center service line - A line which extends from the net to the midpoint of the service line which marks the boundaries of the service courts.
Chair - The umpire's seat.
Challenge - When a player requests the official review of the location where the ball has landed after a shot using the means of electronic ball tracking technology.
Chip - To block a shot with underspin. A chip is usually a soft shot, hit with backspin, that just drops over the net. While it is similar to the drop shot, it is more commonly used to force a difficult volley from an opponent who is already at the net.
Chip and Charge - An agressive strategy for returning an opponent's serve. The strategy involves returning the serve with underspin and moving forward to approach the net.
Chop - A shot with extreme backspin that is hit with a sharp, downward chopping motion.
Clay court - A court with a surface made of crushed shale, stone, or brick. Clay courts can be either red or green. The French Open is played on clay, and Rafael Nadal is an example of a player who excels on this particular surface. Clay courts are considered "slow", because the balls bounce relatively slowly with less forward motion. Clay courts favor baseliners who are consistent, generally more defensive, and hit shots with heavy spin.
Closed grip - Also called a closed face, the closed grip is when the racket face is tilted downwards toward the court. The face of the racket is inclined slightly forward, tilted towards the oncoming ball.
Closed stance - A classic technique that involves hitting the ball with the body facing perpindicular to the baseline. It's easier to hit and to learn with the closed stance, as it builds better habits. However generally playing in the closed stance limits body rotation and gives a player less spin.
Code violation - When a player commits an offense while on the ATP tour. Violations range from such activities as voicing an obscenity or hitting a ball into the stands ( not during the point). The first violation results in a warning, the second a point penalty, the third a game penalty, and the forth forfeiting a match.
Contact point - The area where the racket and the ball meet.
Continental grip - A grip where the racquet is held so that the hitting surface is vertical to the ground, the handle is gripped on its top as if the player were shaking someone's hand or grasping a hammer. The continental grip is unique because the forehand and backhand are hit the same way.
Cortex system - The Cortex System is a technology from Babolat which greatly reduces vibrations for a purer feel of the ball. The Cortex System includes an interface between the handle and the frame for reducing vibrations.
Crosscourt - A technique in which the ball is hit diagonally to the opponent's court traversing the area of the net which is lowest.
Cross slice - A shot hit with backspin and sidespin at the same time.
Cut - A technique used in which the ball is hit with a short, downward slicing motion, which gives it sideways spin in addition to backspin. This is due to the drawing of the ball across the racket strings.
David FerrerDavid Ferrer is a professional tennis player from Spain. He is known as a particularly dangerous clay court player, and is known for his fighting spirit and his unwillingness to concede defeat
David NalbandianDavid Nalbandian is a current (June 18,2007) ATP tour player from Argentina. He is sponsored by Yonex.
Deep - A shot that lands near the baseline, as opposed to near the net.
Default - When a player refuses or fails to take part in or complete a match, resulting in a win for the opponent. Defaults can occur due to injuries or other such occurrences.
Deuce - When players are tied at 40, the score is called "deuce". Expressed as the score (40-40). When playing Ad scoring, a player must win two points in a row to win the game. However when playing No-Ad scoring, a player only needs to win one more point after deuce to win the game.
Deuce court - The side of the court in which the first point of each game begins, also called the right court or the forehand court. The receiver's right service court, where he or she receives serve when the score is deuce.
Dinara SafinaDinara Safina is a Russian professinal tennis player. She is sponsored by Adidas and Babolat, and is well known for her play on clay.
Dink - A shot hit with no pace, often times a soft dipping shot that just clears the net; often times used in doubles, especially on return of serve.
Double fault - The failure of the server to place either of two serves into play (into the service court). When a server double faults, the server loses the point and the receiver wins the point.
Double hit - The act of hitting the ball twice during a single stroke. When a player double hits, he or she loses the point.
Doubles - A tennis game played by four players, two per side of the court. Mixed doubles is doubles played by a team of one girl and one boy.
Down the line - A technique in which a player hits straight into the opponent's courts, usually down the alleys.
Drag volley - A volley hit with backspin, which occurs because the racket face is slighlty open. A drag volley is usually used for control purposes.
Drive volley - A volley hit by playing the ball in the air with a longer swing than the normal short volley "punch" movement.
Drop shot - A soft, delicate shot that barely drops over the net, and falls short in the opponent's court. It is usually hit with backspin to minimize its bounce, and is commonly used against baseliners who play deep.
Drop volley - A shot similiar to the drop shot except it is hit at the net, and taken as a volley.
Eastern grip - A strong groundstroking grip that employs separate hand positions for forehand and backhand. With the eastern grip the racquet is slightly rotated so that the palm of the hand is now somewhat more on the larger side of the handle. The result is a " flatter" forehand with less spin on it than a Continental forehand. For the Eastern backhand, the raquet is rotated slightly in the opposite direction from which it is rotated to form the grip of the Eastern forehand. Roger Federer is an example of a player who utilizes the Eastern grip for his backhand.
Elena DementievaElena Dementieva is a professional tennis player from Russia. She is famous for her weak serve, which has earned her the nickname DD or doublefault Dementieva. She is the first woman from Russia to reach a U.S. Open semifinal.
Error - An error is a shot that fails to clear the net or is hit out of the bounds, either of which results in the loss of point. The two types of errors are forced and unforced errors. A forced error results from a good shot from the opponent, an unforced error is caused by a poorly hit shot.

Face - The flat area of the racket formed by the strings and bounded by the frame.
Fault - A service that fails to place the ball into the correct area of play, therefore not starting the point. A fault results in the server's loss of point.
Fernando Gonzalez - Fernando Gonzalez is a professional tennis player from Chile. He is nicknamed The La Reina Bomber because of his reknown hard hitting forehand. He has defeated many former world number ones, among these are Andy Roddick,  Lleyton Hewitt, and Andre Agassi.
Flat - A descriptive adjective that is used to describe a shot or serve that is low,fast, straight, and has relatively little spin.
Flat face - When the strings of the racket are perpendicular to the ground and the racket meets the ball squarely, with little spin.
Flat serve - A serve which is hit with little or no spin, usually hit with great speed and power. Serena and Venus Williams are examples of two women who are adept at using the flat serve.
Flat shot - A shot which is hit with little or no spin, usually hit with great speed and power. A flat shot is difficult to hit because it has no spin to help it clear the net. However because it is hit with alot of power, the ball is driven forwards alot faster.
Follow through - The finishing motion of the swing that occurs after the ball has been hit.
Foot fault - When the server steps on or over the baseline into the court before striking the ball. A foot fault may also occur when the player steps across the center mark and its imaginary perpendicular extension from the baseline to the net.
Foot fault judge - An official responsible for calling foot faults. The foot fault judge is positioned on a line with the baseline, on the opposite side of the court from the baseline.
Foot work - A player's technique for moving most economically to the ideal position to play a stroke. Foot work techniques include tango, side-step, and cross-step.
Forecourt - The area of the court between the net and the service line.
Forehand - A shot hit from the side of the racket. A method of wielding the racket where the player hits the tennis ball with a stroke that comes from behind their body with the front of their racket hand facing the ball. The forehand is usually every players dominant side, and is commonly used to hit winners.
Frame - The oval portion of the racket that contains the strings; an unstrung racket.
Frequency Tuning - Frequency Tuning is a racquet technology by Fischer which involves a specially calculated matrix structure which harmonizes irregular vibration patterns and converts excess energy into higher velocity rebounds.
Game - A contest in which a player serves throughout. The first contestant to score 4 points wins the game, but the score must be by a margin of two. Scoring follows the sequence, Fifteen-Thirty-Forty-Game. If both players or sides reach forty, it's called deuce. A set is made up of at least 6 games.
Game point - A point that will end the game if it is won by the leading player or side.
Goran Ivanisevic - Goran Ivanisevic is a former professional tennis player from Croatia. He is best remembered for being the only person to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon as a wildcard in 2001. He is also known for his strong serve and quick temper.
Grand slam - There are four Grand Slams in tennis. They consist of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open and occur in that order.
Grommet - A strip of plastic material containing small tubes that run through the frame's string holes. The plastic protects the strings from rubbing against the abrasive frame material. The outer, flat surface of wider grommet strips also acts as a bumper guard.
Groundstroke - The standard shot in tennis that is usually hit behind or near the baseline. The groundstroke is hit after the ball bounces and can be either forehand or backhand.
Gut - A responsive material used to string rackets. Natural and Synthetic gut are popular types of strings used by most tennis players.
Half-court - Also called the mid-court, the half-court is the area of the court midway between the baseline and the net. The half-court is the area around the service line.
Half volley - A shot that is hit just after it hits the courts. A half volley is usually hit on a low bounce, with a short stroke.
Hardcourts - A court which is made of asphalt or concrete. Essentially a court which is hard to the touch and hard on the feet. The U.S and Australian Open are played on hard courts.
Head - The area of the racket containing the strings. Head Racquets is also a brand which sells tennis rackets and other tennis gear.
Heavy ball - A shot with alot of topspin which causes the ball to drop sharply.
Hit on the rise - To play the ball before it has reached its highest point during the bounce.
Hold - To win a game while serving.
I-formation - A formation where the server and his or her partner stand on the same side of the court before playing the point.
Inside in - A technique where a player runs around a ball to hit a powerful down the line shot.
Inside out - A technique where a player runs around a ball to hit a powerful crosscourt shot.
Isis handle - The

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