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Padel Tennis Terminology: A Beginner’s Guide

3 min read

Padel Tennis Terminology: A Beginner’s Guide

Padel tennis is a popular racquet sport that originated in Mexico and is now played all around the world. It is a fun and exciting game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. However, it can be quite confusing for newcomers due to the many unique terms used in the sport. In this article, we will provide a beginner’s guide to padel tennis terminology, so that you can feel confident on the court.

The Basics

Before we dive into the specific terms, let’s review the basics of padel tennis. The game is played on a court that is half the size of a tennis court, with walls on each side. The objective is to hit a small, bouncy ball over the net and inside the opposing team’s court. Points are scored when the ball bounces twice on the opponent’s side, goes out of bounds, or is hit into the net. Padel tennis is typically played in doubles, with each team consisting of two players.

The Terminology

Here are some of the most common padel tennis terms you will come across:

  • Forehand: A shot hit with the front of your racquet hand facing your opponent.
  • Backhand: A shot hit with the back of your racquet hand facing your opponent.
  • Volley: A shot hit in the air before the ball bounces on the ground.
  • Smash: A powerful overhead shot hit downwards towards the opponent’s court.
  • Serve: The shot used to start each point.
  • Fault: An error in the serve where the ball does not land in the correct area.
  • Double fault: Two consecutive faults by the same player, resulting in a lost point.
  • Deuce: When both teams have 40 points, the score is tied and the game enters a “deuce” state, where a team must win by 2 points.
  • Advantage: When one team wins a point after a deuce, they take the advantage and must win the next point to win the game.
  • Match point: The final point of the match, which can win the game.
  • Net cord: When the ball hits the net while crossing over to the opponent’s side.
  • Let: When a serve hits the net and lands in the correct area, it is considered a “let” and the serve is replayed.
  • Wall shot: When a player hits the ball against the wall to set up a shot.
  • Lob: A high, arching shot that clears the opponent and lands in the back of their court.
  • Cross-court: A shot hit diagonally across the court from one corner to the other.
  • Baseline: The back line of the court.
  • Tiebreak: When the score is tied 6-6, a tiebreak is played to determine the winner of the set.


Learning the terminology of any sport can be daunting, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. These are just a few of the many terms you will encounter while playing padel tennis, but they are enough to get you started. As you continue to play and immerse yourself in the sport, you will quickly learn even more terminology. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the game!

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