Tennis Vocabulary and Phrases for English

This week, there is a very popular sporting event happening in Wimbledon. If you have been watching TV over the past few days, you may have noticed a lot of tennis being played. It is actually the Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, which are held each year. A lot of famous people watch the tennis games, including Queen Elizabeth II. With this post we hope to help you better understand the game and learn some more phrases related to tennis.

Geograph.org.uk: Creative Commons License

Geograph.org.uk: Creative Commons Licence


Tennis Vocabulary

Just below, you will see some common vocabulary related to tennis and corresponding pictures.

Tennis Racket (also tennis racquet) /tenɪs rækət/ noun: the racket that you use when you play tennis.

tennis racket

Tennis Ball /tenɪs bɒl/ noun: the yellow ball that you use when you play tennis.


Net /net/ noun: a type of material that is made of string, thread or wire woven or tied together, with small spaces in between.

Court /kɔ:t/ noun: a place where games, such as tennis, are played.

Umpire /ˈʌmpaɪə/ noun: a person whose job is to watch a game and make sure that rules are not broken (especially in sports such as tennis and baseball).

tennis umpire

Ball boy (also ball girl) /bɔːl bɔɪ/ noun: a boy (also girl) who picks up the balls for the players in a tennis match.

ball boy

Five Phrases

The ball’s in your court: When you are speaking to someone and you say ‘the ball’s in your court‘ it means that it is the other person’s opportunity to answer or act and no other progress can be made.

“I’ve told John that if he says sorry he can have his job back. The ball’s in his court now.”

Game, set, match: This phrase is used to show a person or yourself has won a particular discussion or activity.

“Okay, you win! Game, set and match to you!”

Making a racket: If you are ‘making a racket‘, it means that you are making a lot of loud noise.

“Jason! Stop making a racket! You’re giving me a headache.”

What’s the score?: This question is used to ask someone about what is going to happen, especially when arrangements have been confused.

“What’s the score for Saturday”

“What’s the score then? Are we going out tonight or not?”

On the sidelines: If you are on the sidelines, you are watching and not contributing to a debate or taking part in a discussion.

“David stayed on the sidelines until he heard from everyone and then contributed to the discussion.”

If you have a chance to study at LTC Eastbourne, you will also be able to play tennis on our very own tennis courts. So what are you waiting for?

Posted in The LTC Blog, English Vocabulary |