All about tennis: clothing, tennis tournaments 2023, rules, and ATP ranking

Tennis is one of the most elegant sports in the world, both in terms of athletic movements and social references. The carefully coordinated tennis clothing, the swiftly darting tennis ball, the tennis courts on different terrains, and the silence of the stands accompanying the tension of a forehand, backhand, or volley that decides a game. André Agassi, one of the most successful and iconic tennis players in the history of the sport, describes it like this in his autobiography Open:

“Tennis is so damned lonely. In tennis you stand face-to-face with the enemy, trade blows with him, but never touch him or talk to him, or anyone else. The rules forbid a tennis player from even talking to his coach while on the court.”

Tennis Terms and Tennis Glossary

It is necessary to know the tennis terms by heart, as there are several terminologies in the tennis glossary that can be difficult for beginners to understand.

Let's start with the heart of the sport, which is the tennis shots, primarily four of them:

  • The serve is the starting shot of a tennis rally and can be repeated immediately after a fault on the first serve.
  • Forehand, or direct shot, is the principal response to a tennis shot, hitting the ball with a full swing.
  • Backhand, the tennis shot made with the racket crossing the non-dominant arm, also done with a two-handed grip.
  • Volley, a shot hit in mid-air, which the tennis player executes before the ball touches the ground.

More important tennis glossary terms to know, which cover different aspects of a match, include:

  • Ace: A point won directly from an untouchable serve.
  • Lob: A tennis shot that clears the opponent, often executed with a high, looping trajectory.
  • Smash: A powerful shot executed after a high bounce, struck forcefully from above and directed downward.
  • Topspin: A way of hitting the tennis ball that will rotate forward while moving: this happens by hitting the ball from low to high.
  • Backspin: The opposite of topspin, hitting the tennis ball from high to low, causing it to spin backward.
  • Serve & Volley: A serving technique where the server rushes to the net to attempt a volley.
  • Swing: The stroke style, the arm movement a tennis player makes to hit the ball.
  • Breakpoint: When the next point in a game could lead to victory for the player who is in the advantageous position.
  • Tweener: A shot executed with the racket between the legs, facing away from the net.
  • Deuce: A tied score (starting from 40-40), often referred to as "advantage parity" or "equality."
  • Tie-break: A shortened form coming after an extended tie in a set. The player who first reaches at least 7 points with a 2-point advantage over the opponent wins the tie-break and, consequently, the set.
  • Wild card: A player invited to compete in a tournament without having qualified based on sporting merits.
  • Seed player: A highly ranked player that keeps a prominent position in international rankings.
  • Let: When a player's serve touches or hits the net during play. Often mistakenly referred to as "net" in Italian.
  • Code violation: A possible disciplinary sanction imposed by the umpire on a player for unsporting behavior, time-wasting, improper celebrations, or profanity.
  • Hindrance: A situation where one player disrupts the other, resulting in the umpire awarding the point to the disturbed player.
  • Hawk-eye: The camera system used to determine whether a tennis ball, when struck, lands within the valid boundaries of the playing court.

Why is zero called "Love" in tennis?

When one player is leading, and the other hasn't scored any points yet, the chair umpire says "15-love" (or 30, 40-love, depending on the score difference). But why is "love" used to represent zero in tennis scoring? The origins of this tradition are not entirely clear. It is said to have French roots, where the word zero is "l'oeuf," which means egg. The shape of an egg somewhat resembles the number zero. However, this theory lacks concrete evidence. According to the renowned Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term "love" in tennis has a deeper meaning and refers to the player who is losing but continues to play because they are "in love" with the sport, competing solely for the love of tennis.

Tennis Rules

The rules of tennis involve two players facing each other or two pairs of players when playing doubles. The objective of tennis is to score more points than the opponent through exchanges. The exchanges between players are the core of the game. It starts with the serve, which must be executed with both feet behind the baseline, without a running start, by simply tossing the ball in the air and hitting it with the racket. The exchanges continue with various strokes, such as forehand or backhand, until a shot is precise or unreachable enough to score a point.

How does scoring work in tennis?

To understand how scoring in tennis works, imagine a hierarchical structure: a tennis match consists of sets, which can be three or five depending on the tournament, games, and individual points.Tennis, unlike other sports has no time limit, and the player with the most points wins. Instead, the victory goes to the player who first reaches the required number of sets to win the match.

How to win a tennis match?

To win a tennis match, one must defeat the opponent by winning two sets in the case of a best-of-three set match or three sets in a best-of-five set match. To win a set, a player must win at least six games. A tennis player must outscore the opponent by earning four points to win a game. The scoring sequence in tennis goes as follows: 15, 30, 40, and the win. The first point in a game is worth 15, the second is worth 30, the third is worth 40, and the fourth can lead to victory. If the game reaches a tie at 40-40, it follows the advantage rule: the player must surpass the opponent by at least two additional points.

How many referees are there in tennis?

There are two distinct roles in tennis: the chair umpire or umpire and the line umpire. The chair umpire oversees the fairness of the match, issuing penalties such as point penalties (awarding a point to a player) or game penalties (awarding a whole game to a player) based on code violations. They also vocally call and update the score. The line umpires verify that the tennis ball is in or out of the court on each shot. In the most important tournaments, the role of line umpire is considered outdated due to the use of Hawk-eye technology.

Tennis Court Dimensions

A tennis court is a rectangular area measuring 24 meters along the sidelines and 11 meters in width along the baselines. The side alleys are 1.37 meters wide and are relevant for scoring in doubles matches. The tennis net has a height of 0.914 meters at the center and 1.07 meters at the supporting posts, which must be positioned 0.914 meters outside the court. The net divides the tennis court into two distinct sections, then divided into three parts: two rectangles under the net and one rectangle at the back.

Types of Tennis Courts

There are three main types of tennis courts based on the surface material used:

  • Grass
  • Hard Court
  • Clay

Grass courts are rare, and it's the most prestigious tennis tournament played on grass: Wimbledon, at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, also the oldest tennis tournament in the world, first held in 1877. The most common tennis courts are the Hard courts, typically made of cement or similar materials, used in tournaments such as the US Open and the Australian Open.; or the captivating Clay courts, also known as red clay courts, made of crushed brick or stone, commonly used in tournaments like the ATP Masters 1000 Italian Open, held at the Stadio Nicola Pietrangeli in Rome.

Tennis Ball: Weight and Measurements

A tennis ball made of rubber and covered with a layer of colored felt, usually yellow or lime, to have maximum visibility. It has a diameter ranging from 6.54 cm to 6.86 cm and weighs between 56 grams and 59.4 grams.

Tennis Apparel

Tennis apparel combines technical functionality with aesthetic considerations. In the wardrobes of tennis players, you can find Polo shirts, t-shirts, blazers, shorts, socks, skirts, and other clothing items that aim to showcase stylish and impactful outfits on the court. One notable event related to tennis apparel occurred at Wimbledon when French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen replaced the long skirt traditionally worn with a calf-length model.

Some major fashion brands started with the tennis world or have created lines specifically designed for the sport. Are you familiar with names like Fred Perry or René Lacoste? These former professional tennis players turned into designers who shaped their fashion styles inspired by the tennis courts and the environment of tennis clubs’ iconography.

Tennis Accessories

Tennis accessories serve practical purposes during the game, such as visor caps or wristbands that help reduce the impact of sunlight and absorb sweat, enhancing a player's performance, protecting them from external elements, and adding style to their on-court appearance. It is not uncommon, for sponsorship reasons as well, to find watches and bracelets worn by tennis players on their wrists. There are various tennis accessories available:

  • Visor cap
  • Headband
  • Wristbands
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Tennis bag
  • Bracelets

A bracelet in cord, decorated with glass Murano beads, perfect to show off during a relaxing moment in the Club House: discover the AUA Bracelet Collection.

The History of the Tennis Bracelet

Do you know the history of the tennis bracelet? Perhaps you are unaware that until 1987, this diamond-studded piece of jewelry was called an "Eternity bracelet." Then, during a crucial match at the US Open, tennis player Chris Evert, who was wearing an Eternity bracelet on her wrist, lost it. As soon as she realized she had misplaced her bracelet, she requested a suspension of the match until it was found. The incident had a significant media impact, and from that day forward, the Eternity bracelet became known as the tennis bracelet.

We have told the story of the bracelets in this article.

What are the most important tennis tournaments?

The major tennis tournaments are the Grand Slams, the ATP Finals, and the ATP Masters 1000. These are individual tournaments where the world's top tennis players participate. They have the highest prize money, and media exposure, and carry the most ranking points. The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals): is the governing body of the men's professional circuits and organizes the tournaments. The WTA (Women's Tennis Association) is the counterpart for women's tennis.

The most important tennis tournaments are the four Grand Slams:

Australian Open - Melbourne, Australia (hard court)

Roland Garros (French Open) - Paris, France (clay court)

Wimbledon - London, United Kingdom (grass court)

US Open - New York, USA (hard court)

In terms of importance, the ATP Finals follow the Grand Slams. The tournament will be held in Turin, Italy, at the Pala Alpitour until 2025.

The ATP Masters 1000 tournaments are nine prestigious events played around the world:

  • BNP Paribas Open - Indian Wells, California, USA
  • Miami Open - Miami, Florida, USA
  • Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters - Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Mutua Madrid Open - Madrid, Spain
  • Internazionali BNL d'Italia - Rome, Italy
  • National Bank Open - Toronto, Canada
  • Western & Southern Open - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  • Rolex Shanghai Masters - Shanghai, China
  • Rolex Paris Masters - Paris, France

There are also ATP 500 and ATP 250 tournaments, which are more frequent on the tennis calendar but carry less significance for ranking points and prize money. If you still want to follow these tournaments, you can find all the dates on the official ATP website in the "Tournaments" section.

How much does a tennis player earn?

A professional tennis player earns money both by winning prize money in the ATP tennis tournaments they participate in and through sponsorships that support the player. There are no fixed earnings figures, but it could be said that the top 100 players in the ATP rankings enjoy a high-profile lifestyle, with extremely high peaks in the top 10-15 positions, where players become multimillionaires. In 2022, the highest-paid tennis player was Roger Federer, who didn't participate in any tournaments but earned 90 million euros through sponsorships alone.

Tennis Tournaments 2023: The Calendar

There are many tennis tournaments yet to be played in 2023, as summarized in the following tennis calendar:


  • ATP 1000, Italian Open, Rome - May 10th to May 21st
  • ATP 250, Geneva - May 21st to May 27th
  • ATP 250, Lyon - May 21st to May 27th
  • Grand Slam, Roland Garros, Paris - May 28th to June 11th


  • ATP 250, Stuttgart - June 12th to June 18th
  • ATP 250, Libema Open, Netherlands - June 12th to June 18th
  • ATP 500, London - June 19th to June 25th
  • ATP 500, Halle (Germany) - June 19th to June 25th
  • ATP 250, Mallorca - June 25th to July 1st
  • ATP 500, Eastbourne (United Kingdom) - June 26th to July 1st


  • Grand Slam, Wimbledon, London - July 3rd to July 16th
  • ATP 250, Newport (USA) - July 17th to July 23rd
  • ATP 250, Gstaad (Switzerland) - July 17th to July 23rd
  • ATP 250, Bastad (Sweden) - July 17th to July 23rd
  • ATP 500, Hamburg - July 24th to July 30th
  • ATP 250, Atlanta - July 24th to July 30th
  • ATP 250, Umag (Croatia) - July 24th to July 30th
  • ATP 500, Washington - July 31st to August 6th
  • ATP 250, Los Cabos (Mexico) - July 31st to August 5th
  • ATP 250, Kitzbuhel (Austria) - July 31st to August 5th


  • ATP 1000, Toronto - August 7th to August 13th
  • ATP 1000, Cincinnati - August 13th to August 20th
  • ATP 250, Winston-Salem (USA) - August 20th to August 26th
  • Grand Slam, US Open, New York - August 28th to September 10th


  • ATP 250, Chengdu (China) - September 20th to September 26th
  • ATP 250, Zhuhai (China) - September 20th to September 26th
  • ATP 250, Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) - September 27th to October 3rd
  • ATP 500, Beijing - September 28th to October 4th


  • ATP 1000, Shanghai - October 4th to October 15th
  • ATP 500, Tokyo - October 16th to October 22nd
  • ATP 250, Antwerp (Belgium) - October 16th to October 22nd
  • ATP 250, Stockholm - October 16th to October 22nd
  • ATP 500, Vienna - October 23rd to October 29th
  • ATP 500, Basel - October 23rd to October 29th
  • ATP 1000, Paris - October 30th to November 5th


  • ATP 250, Metz (France) - November 5th to November 11th
  • ATP 250, Tel Aviv - November 5th to November 11th
  • ATP Finals, Turin - November 12th to November 19th

Where to watch tennis on TV?

To watch tennis on TV, you have several streaming options through apps on devices and free-to-air channels:

Tennis TV, the official ATP circuit, broadcasts all professional tennis tournaments at a monthly price of €14.99.

NowTv offers coverage of Wimbledon, all ATP 1000 tournaments, Australian Open, and Roland Garros, as well as 5 ATP 500 and 5 ATP 250 tournaments.

SuperTennis, channel 64 of Italian TV, broadcasts various tennis matches for free, including the US Open.

Discovery+ broadcasts Roland Garros, Australian Open, Laver Cup, and US Open.

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ATP Rankings

The ATP rankings, or ATP ranking, certify the best tennis players in the world and position them based on their victories in ATP circuits. This ranking is updated constantly after tournaments, and being number 1 in the ATP rankings means being the strongest tennis player in the world, which is currently Serbian Novak Djokovic with 7240 points.

Here are the top 10 positions in the ATP rankings:

Novak Djokovic, Serbia - 7240 points

Carlos Alcaraz, Spain - 6770 points

Casper Ruud, Norway - 5255 points

Daniil Medvedev, Russia - 5240 points

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece - 4950 points

Andrey Rublev, Russia - 4380 points

Holger Rune, Denmark - 3865 points

Jannik Sinner, Italy - 3525 points

Felix Auger-Aliassime, Canada - 3450 points

Taylor Fritz, USA - 3245 points

Who is the strongest tennis player of all time?

It is impossible to define who the strongest tennis player of all time is. The 2000s have provided unforgettable champions: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal. In the past, there have been formidable players like Rod Laver, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, and Bjorn Borg. Also, in contemporary tennis, some talents could become new sports milestones, such as the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz or the Italian Jannik Sinner.

If one were to seek an objective measure, the question would be which tennis player has won the most Grand Slam titles in their career. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the tennis players with the most Grand Slam victories, with an impressive twenty-two each. The tennis player with the most individual ATP titles won is the American Jimmy Connors, reaching his peak in the '70s. Connors won an impressive 109 ATP tournament!

Here's the WTA ranking

As with the ATP ranking, the WTA ranking features the strongest female tennis players in the world. According to the Women's Tennis Association, the top-ranked player is Iga Swiatek, a 21-year-old from Poland, with 8,975 points.

Here are the top 10 positions in the WTA ranking:

Iga Swiatek, Poland - 8975 points

Aryna Sabalenka, Russia - 6891 points

Jessica Pegula, USA - 5735 points

Ons Jabeur, Tunisia - 5031 points

Caroline Garcia, France - 4990 points

Coco Gauff, USA - 4,346 points

Elena Rybakina, Kazakhstan - 4,305 points

Daria Kasatkina, Russia - 3,505 points

Maria Sakkari, Greece - 3191 points

Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic - 3162 points

History of Tennis

When was tennis born? Modern tennis was officially born on February 23, 1874, when English Major Walter Clopton Wingfield registered this new game, lawn tennis, at the "Office of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Tennis Rackets" in London. The game had a regulation similar to the current one, with a marked court, a net to separate the two halves, rackets, and a scoring system. It is said that the first recorded game took place almost twenty years earlier in Birmingham, between Harry Gem and Augurio Perera.

The history of tennis is ancient. The athletic act of hitting a ball with an appropriate tool or with one's hand dates back to ancient times. Ovid, in "Ars Amatoria," mentions a game similar to tennis called "palla trigonale," recommending it as a courting device among young people of that era. In the Middle Ages, the game of "pelota" was popular in Spain, while "jeu de plume" in France and "pallacorda" in Italy resembled tennis.

Many testimonies indicate the prevalence of games similar to tennis throughout history: King Charles IX of France is depicted in his childhood holding an early tennis racket, and even Caravaggio was involved in a crime during a pallacorda match in the 1600s. Not to mention that the tennis rackets used by Henry VIII were true wonders of craftsmanship.

What is the longest tennis match in history?

The match between American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in June 2010 enters the annals of tennis history as the longest tennis match ever played. It lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes, spread across five sets over three days, from June 22 to June 24, repeatedly suspended due to fading light. After an endless number of points and a total of 183 games, the winner was John Isner, who won the fifth set 70-68.

AUA Bracelets, an elegant accessory for tennis

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