Popular Expressions in Tennis
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Popular Expressions in Tennis
Steven Saslow worked with the Blackstone Group in
New York City as chief investment officer of the
Blackstone Relative Fund and managing director of
the hedge funds solutions group BAAM from 2002 until
his retirement in 2007. Continuing to serve Blackstone
as a consultant, Steven Saslow also enjoys staying in
shape by playing tennis and exercising regularly.
There are a number of expressions unique to the sport
of tennis that may be unfamiliar or confusing to first-
time players. One of the most common tennis
expressions involves substituting the word “love” for
the number zero when reading game or set scores.
At the start of a match or game, for example, a
player or umpire might announce the score as, “love
serving love,” or “love all.” The expression derives
from the French word for egg, “l’oeuf,” because
eggs are shaped like the number zero.
Similarly, the words “donuts,” “bagels,” and “bread
sticks” are popular tennis terms. Donuts and bagels
refer to sets that end by a score of 6-0, with the zero
again being represented by similarly shaped foods.
The terms are often used as verbs, such as, “I was
bagelled in my last match.” A bread stick,
meanwhile, signifies a 6-1 set.
“Take one” and “take two” are also phrases
commonly used during tennis matches,
particularly matches with no chair umpire or
tournament referee. These phrases are
generally used after a service let or stoppage
in play to refer to how many serves the server is
permitted. In most cases, a server makes the
announcement after clipping the net on his or
her serve. The player will call out, “take two,” if
the let occurs on a first service, meaning he or
she has two more chances to put in a good
serve, or “take one” if the let occurs on a
second serve and only one chance remains.