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Glossary of Tennis Terms

Tennis - Glossary of Terms follows below:

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Mid-court – the area around the service lines, halfway between the net and the baseline. Also known as
“No man's land.”

Moon ball – A very high lob mixed into a baseline exchange, primarily used to change the tempo.

Net rusher – player who aggressively moves forward to a position at the net.

Match A tennis contest made up of sets, as a set is made up of games. In major competition, a men's match is made up of five sets and the winner is the player who first wins three sets. Women usually play best-of-three matches.

Match point A point that will end the match if it is won by the leading player or side. See also set point; game point.

Midcourt The area of the court in the vicinity of the service line.

Mini-break Loss of a point on service during a tie-breaker.

Mixed doubles Doubles competition in which each team is made up of one female and one male player.


Net The barrier that divides a tennis court into lengthwise halves. It's a web, usually made of braided synthetic material, suspended from a steel cable that's strung between two 3½-foot metal posts located 3 feet outside the sidelines. The cable is covered by a band of canvas or synthetic material, 2 to 2½ inches wide. A 2-inch wide center strap, also made of canvas or synthetic material, holds the net taut at the center. As a verb, "to net" means to hit the ball into the net.

Net cord The cable that supports the net.

Net cord judge An official who is responsible for calling lets on service. This judge sits in front of the umpire's chair, at one end of the net, and rests one hand on top of the net in order to feel vibrations set up if the ball hits the net cord. Also called net judge. See let.


Net game A playing style in which the player takes every opportunity to rush the net. To be contrasted with baseline game.

Net man In doubles, the partner who is stationed near the net during his or her partner's service.

No-man's land The area between the baseline and the service line, so called because a player who is caught there finds it difficult to hit ground strokes and isn't close enough to the net to hit slams.

Not up Said of a ball that is hit just as it's bouncing for the second time. Results in loss of point.

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