why do we say love in tennis

A novice tennis fan wouldn t be blamed for being confused about who s winning a matchБan understanding of the language of tennis scores is needed to appreciate the game! Unlike soccer, basketball, and baseball, which simply count points for every goal, basket, and run, tennis has a scoring system (and lexicon) all its own. At the beginning of the game, when both sides have no score, the game is
love-love because in tennis, means having a score of zero or nil. One point brings a player to 15, two to 30; and three to 40. The next point wins the game, unless a complex series of tiebreakers comes into play, because in order to win a tennis match, a player must win by a margin of two. Where did the game gets its affectionate score for zero? The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the term might be rooted in the colloquial phrase Бfor love,Б meaning Бwithout stakes being wagered. Б This theory reflects the sport s long history of etiquette and sportsmanship.


Others theorize that love arose from the French word for Бegg,Б l oeuf, because a zero on a scoreboard resembles an egg. This is a clever claim, but it remains unsubstantiated. Tennis might have ended up with a different name altogether. Major Walter Wingfield, who laid down the rules for modern tennis, had another name for tennis. He called it sphairistike, based on the Greek phrase Бskill in playing at ball. Б The word tennis most likely comes from the French word tenetz Б meaning Бhold! Б Б the imperative conjugation of the verb tenir. Etymologists hypothesize that this was an early command used in the game, but there is no firm evidence to support this. Have you heard other theories about why love is used in tennis? Curious what the term love means in tennis? We ve got you covered. Read on to learn everything you need to know. While you re here, you may also want to check out our article on the score of or our complete article on.


What does love mean in tennis scoring? Love in the tennis scoring system translates to a score of zero within a single game. For example, if you re serving and you win the first point of a game then the score would be 15-love. With that in mind, let s do a quick review of how the score of love fits into a single game by outlining the point system quickly. The term all is used to express when the score is even at one or two points, i. e. , 15-all or 30-all. While the definition of love is quite simple, it can still trip players up. Let s take a closer look at some examples with the score of love. There are only a few scenarios where we use the score of love in tennis so let s take a look at those. Here are the possible scores with love if you were serving as you d be calling your score out first. Here are the possible scores with love if your opponent is serving where they d be calling the score out first.


It s important to note that the term love is typically only used to express a score of zero within a game. If you re playing a set and you win the first three games, then it s perfectly acceptable to call out a score of three to zero. On the other hand, calling out the score of three love is acceptable too. To bring more context to the score of love let s walk through a few examples so you can see how it works. Let s imagine you re going to play two games with a friend and you ll start the first game serving. Remember, as the server you ll always call out your points first. Your friend is now serving for the second game so they ll call their serve out first this time around. When starting a new game, the score is technically love-all or zero to zero. However, players do not report the score of the current game when a new game starts.


Instead, the player serving will say the score in games for the current set. As a result, players never use the score of love-all. The only relevant time to even consider using that score would be prior the first point of a match starts which again is unnecessary. While the exact origin of the term love in tennis remains a bit of a mystery, there are two commonly shared ideas. The first, and less likely, would be that the term love is an adaptation of the French word l oeuf which translates to egg or the shape of a 0. Unfortunately, this reference doesn t hold much water and is considered an unlikely origin. Instead, there is a stronger belief that the score of love originates from the phrase to play for love (of the game). In other words, to not play for nothing. Hopefully, you found this article helpful. Have any thoughts or questions you d like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment in the section below.

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