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Glossary of Tennis Terms

Tennis - Glossary of Terms follows below:

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"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

Tension degree of tautness in the strings of a racket.

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

T The midcourt area, where the service lines meet the center service line.

Take the net   To move into the forecourt and toward the net to be able to hit volleys quickly into the opponent's side of the court.

Tandem A doubles formation in which each partner is responsible for one half of the court, as divided by the center line. Compare up and back.

Tape The band of white canvas or synthetic material, 2 to 2 inches wide, that covers the top of the net.

Team tennis A type of competition between teams of players, involving singles and doubles matches, in which the victory is the team that takes the most games.

Tennis ball The ball used in tennis is a hollow rubber sphere, 2 to 2 5/8 inches in diameter and weighing between 2 and 2 1/16 ounces, filled with pressurized air and covered with a nap of wool and nylon.


Tennis elbow Tendinitis of the elbow, often caused by the strains placed on the joint by playing tennis, though it may have other causes.

Thirty The second point scored by a player or side in a game. See point; scoring system.

Throat The thin area of a racket handle, where it meets the head.

Tie-break A tiebreaker.

Tiebreaker A method of determining the winner of a set that's tied. The most commonly used is the 13-point tiebreaker, which is won by the player who first wins 7 points, provided that the margin of victory is at least 2 points. This is sometimes called a "lingering death" tiebreaker, on contrast to the sudden death tiebreaker.

Top seed The player judged to be the best in a given tournament, usually on the basis of computer rankings. See seed.

Topspin Forward spin, around the ball's horizontal axis, that's applied by drawing the racket strings up and over the ball at the moment of impact. A shot hit with topspin is more likely to stay in play, because it drops sharply after reaching its highest point, and it takes a high bounce.

Touch Precise control of a shot, often resulting in a placement, as in "She hit that shot with perfect touch."

Triple The feat of winning the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles championships at a tournament.

Twist A combination of topspin and sidespin on a serve. See, for example, American twist and reverse twist.

Two-handed backhand A backhand shot on which the player has both hands on the racket handle.

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