Glossary of Tennis
- Glossary of Terms follows below:
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Qualifier A small tournament where a specified
number of players will earn their way into the main
tournament. Also refers to a player who has earned a
spot in the main draw.
Rally – Play exchange between two or more
Ready position – shot preparation. Weight
slightly forward, knees slightly bent, racket up and
in front of
Racket The instrument that's used to hit the ball.
It has a long, straight handle and an oval frame
strung with natural gut or a synthetic material. Up
until the late 1960s, rackets were made of wood, but
then steel and aluminum frames were introduced,
followed by frames of graphite, fiberglass, titanium,
and carbon. Maximum dimensions are 29½ inches in
overall length, 12½ inches in overall width. The
hitting surface can be no more than 15½ inches long
and 11½ inches wide. Also spelled racquet.
Rally An extended exchange of shots between
players or sides.
Ready position The position adopted by the
receiver in anticipation of the serve.
Receiver The player who receives service
throughout a game.
Referee The official who is in overall charge of a
tournament. The referee doesn't officiate at matches,
but may be called upon by the umpire to interpret a
Retrieve To reach and return a shot that's
difficult to get to.
Retriever A player who tries to wear down the
opponent by concentrating on defense, continually
chasing down and returning difficult shots.
Return To hit an opponent's shot back over the net
and in play. After service, every successful shot is a
Reverse spin See backspin.
Reverse twist A serve that has spin
causing it to bounce high and to receiver's right, off
a right-handed player's racket. Opposite of an
Round A series of matches in an elimination
tournament, the winners of which advance to the next
Round robin A tournament in which each player
meets every other player and final standings are
determined by the won-lost records. Such a tournament
is sometimes a preliminary round to determine seedings
and order of play.
Run around the backhand To make excessive movement
in order to play a ball on the forehand rather than on
Runback The area between the baseline and the
Run down Same as retrieve.
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