The Ultimate French Tennis Vocabulary List

To celebrate the French Open starting this week (or “Roland Garros” as we call it in French), I wanted to put together the most comprehensive list French tennis terms I could think of. I’m a big fan of tennis myself and also play about 3 to 4 times a week so I hear these terms all the time (although the ones about me leading in the score not as often as I wished!).

I’ll keep adding to this French tennis vocabulary list as more of them come up.
Feel free to suggest new ones in the comments below.

Let’s start by a French pronunciation note: although many final “s” in French are silent, the “s” of “tennis” is pronounced.

1. Tennis Match Names in French

  1. Men’s singles match = un simple messieurs
  2. Women’s singles match = un simple dames
  3. Men’s doubles match = un double messieurs
  4. Women’s doubles match = un double dames
  5. Mixte doubles match = un double mixte
  6. Junior = junior
  7. Senior = senior
  8. 3 set match = match en trois sets (gagnants)

2. Main Tennis Tournament Names in French

  1. A tournament = le tournoi
  2. The French Open = Le tournoi de Roland Garros (or most often just “Roland Garros” or even “Roland” for the hip or tennis players)
  3. Wimbledon = le tournoi de Wimbledon or just “Wimbledon” as in “il vient de remporter Wimbledon” (he just won the Wimbledon tournament)
  4. US Open = le tournoi de l’US open or just “l’US open” – pronounce: “lu-ès” open
  5. Australian Open = l’Open d’Australie
  6. The Davis Cup = la Coupe Davis
  7. A Grand Slam® tournament = un tournoi du Grand Chelem
  8. A grand slam = un Grand Chelem
  9. A grand slam + gold olympic medal = un Grand Chelem doré

Tennis Tournament French Vocabulary

  1. First week = La première semaine
  2. Second week = La deuxième semaine
  3. Qualifying rounds = les qualificatifs
  4. 1st round = le premier tour
  5. 2nd round = le deuxième tour
  6. 3rd round = le troisième tour
  7. Round of 16= les huitièmes (f) de finale
  8. Quarter Finals = les quarts (m) de finale
  9. Semi-Finals = les demi-finale (f)
  10. Final = la finale
  11. Round robin = une poule (yes, the robin becomes a hen!)
  12. The cup = la coupe
  13. The trophy = le trophée
  14. Wild card = une invitation
  15. Championship = le championnat
  16. A prestigious tournament = un tournoi prestigieux
  17. The circuit = le circuit
  18. The draw = le tableau
  19. Random draw = un tirage au sort
  20. A ball change = le changement de balles
  21. Official tournament ball = une balle homologué

Tennis Players and Team French Vocabulary

  1. A player = un joueur/ une joueuse
  2. A doubles’ pair = une paire de double
  3. An opponent = un adversaire
  4. A team = une équipe
  5. A mixte team = une équipe mixte
  6. A team captain = le capitaine de l’équipe
  7. A coach = un entraineur
  8. A national team = une équipe nationale
  9. French Tennis Federation = La FFT, La Fédération Française de Tennis
  10. Wheelchair Tennis = tennis en fauteuil roulant / tennis handisport / paratennis / tennis-fauteuil
  11. A wheelchair = le fauteuil roulant
  12. Center court = le court central, or just, le central

Tennis Match phases

  1. Training = l’entraînement
  2. Warm-up = l’échauffement
  3. A tennis match = un match de tennis, une partie de tennis
  4. A friendly tennis match = un match de tennis amical
  5. An exhibition game = un match d’exhibition
  6. A rained-out game = un match arrêté pour cause de pluie, un match interrompu par la pluie
  7. A defeat / loss = une défaite
  8. The winning match = le match gagnant
  9. The losing match = le match perdant
  10. The winner = le gagnant
  11. The loser = le perdant
  12. The cup ceremony = une (cérémonie de) remise de coupe

French Terms for Tennis Officials

  1. Line judge = le juge de ligne
  2. The empire = l’arbitre de chaise/juge de chaise
  3. The tournament judge = le juge-arbitre
  4. Ballboy/ballgirl = un ramasseur de balles

3. Tennis Game Scoring in French

0-15 = zero quinze

15 – 15 = Quinze A (most often) or sometimes Quinze partout

30 – 15 = Trente quinze

Deuce/40 – 40 = “égalité”
In ‘real’ tournaments, the first time players hit the deuce, the judge will instead say “Quarante A “ and then when players hit the deuce in the same game again, the judge will then say “égalité”

(I don’t know why. I’ve looked everywhere and asked many tennis club members and no-one has a valid and verifiable answer… maybe it just sounds ‘more logical’ – like there is anything logical in tennis scoring ;-)

A – 40, Ad in, advantage in =

  1. Avantage service (when players call their own scores)
  2. or/ Avantage Federer (when a judge calls score in major matches)
  3. or/ Avantage Paimpol (when a judge calls score on an intercity/town/club tournament)

40 – A, ad out, advantage out = Avantage dehors (when players call their own scores) or/ as above

More Tennis Scoring French Vocabulary

  1. Tie break = un tie break or un jeu décisif
  2. A game with no score from the opponent = un jeu blanc
  3. Federer leads 4 games to 2 = Federer mène quatre jeux à deux
  4. Federer leads 2 sets to 1 = Federer mène deux manches à une or/ Federer mène deux sets à un (depending on the judge)
  5. Federer is the number one seed = Federer est tête de série numéro un
  6. Federer is serving = Federer (est) au service
  7. Federer is receiving = Federer (est) à la relance
  8. To break serve = prendre le service
  9. A non-scoring game/a shutout = un jeu blanc
  10. Fist game = Premier jeu
  11. First , second, third, fourth, fifth set = la première, seconde, troisième, quatrième, cinquième manche or/ le premier, second, troisième, quatrième, cinquième set
  12. Game, set and match = Jeu, set et match
  13. Break point = une balle de break
  14. Set point = une balle de set
  15. Game point = une balle de jeu
  16. Match point = une balle de match
  17. Deciding point = un point décisif
  18. A side change = le changement de côté

French Tennis Calls

  1. Foot fault = une faute de pied
  2. Let = Filet or Let (although some people in France will sometimes say “Net” instead)
  3. Out (as screamed by the line judges) = faute
  4. Double fault = une double faute
  5. An insult = une insulte
  6. Break your racket = casser sa raquette
  7. A warning = un avertissement
  8. Unsportsmanlike conduct warning = un avertissement pour comportement anti-sportif
  9. Point deduction = un point de pénalité
  10. A bounce = un rebond
  11. An unpredictable bounce = un faux rebond
  12. Double bounce = un double rebond

4. Tennis Equipment/Facilities in French

The Tennis Court in French

  1. A court = le court (t silent) de tennis, le terrain de tennis
  2. A grass court = un court en gazon
  3. A clay court = un court de terre battue
  4. A hard court = un court en dur/synthetique
  5. The net = un filet
  6. A net post = un poteau
  7. A net stick = un piquet
  8. Lines = les lignes
  9. Service box = le carré de service
  10. The inside line = l’interieur de la ligne
  11. The outside line = l’exterieur de la ligne
  12. Sideline = la ligne de côté
  13. Service line = la ligne de service
  14. The baseline = la ligne de fond (de cours)

Tennis Racquet French Vocabulary

  1. A racquet = une raquette (de tennis)
  2. A ball = une balle
  3. The strings = le cordage
  4. The string tension = la tension (de cordage)
  5. The string pattern = le plan de cordage
  6. A strung racquet = une raquette cordée
  7. Unstrung weight = le poids non cordée
  8. To break a string = casser son cordage
  9. Balance = le point d’équilibre
  10. The racket head = le tamis
  11. The racket grip = le manche
  12. Stiffness = la rigidité (du cadre)
  13. Over Grip = un surgrip
  14. Replacement Grips = un grip de rechange
  15. Vibration Dampener = un antivibrateur
  16. A hammer grip = une prise marteau
  17. A continental/chopper grip = une prise continentale

Others Tennis Equipment French Vocabulary

  1. A tennis bag = un sac de tennis
  2. Racket compartment = le compartiment à raquettes
  3. The bag handle = la poignée
  4. The bag strap = La bretelle
  5. Stringing Machine = une machine à corder
  6. A cap = une casquette
  7. A headband = un bandeau/ un bandana

5. Tennis Shots in French

  1. First serve = le premier service
  2. Second serve = le second service
  3. The (serve) return = le retour (de service)
  4. Forehand = un coup droit
  5. One-hand backend = un revers (à une main)
  6. Two-handed backend = un revers (à deux mains)
  7. A slice = un slice
  8. A smash = un smash
  9. A dropshot = une (balle) amortie
  10. A lob = un lob
  11. A volley = une volley
  12. A half-volley = une demi-volley
  13. Topspin = le lift
  14. Sliced shot = (un coup) coupé – ex: un revers coupé)
  15. Chop shot = (un coup) chopé
  16. Ace = un ace
  17. A serve = un service
  18. Shanked shot = un coup boisé
  19. A lobbed shot = une chandelle
  20. A passing shot = un passing
  21. A winning server = un service gagnant
  22. Winner = un coup gagnant
  23. Unforced error = une faute directe

6. Common French Tennis Expressions

  1. Tu m’as mis la paté (slang) = you really beat me hard
  2. Remonter au score = to catch up in the game/to reduce the opponent’s lead
  3. Avoir 2 jeux d’avance = to be 2 games ahead
  4. Etre le favori = to be the favorite to win
  5. To forfeit = declarer forfait / être WO (Walk Out)
  6. Arroser son service = to hit your serve all over the place
  7. Faire un bois = to shank the ball
  8. Se prendre une bicyclette = to lose 6-0 6-0 (the zeros look like bicycle wheels) / bagel

If you can think of more French tennis vocabulary, please write it to the comment below and I’ll add it up to the list. Merci !