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5 things we guarantee you hear on the tennis court in 2016

January 6, 2016 04:46 PM

Tennis is full of noises, shrieks, shouts, and squeaks. What will you hear in 2016? Here's our best guess. 

1. "Come on!"

Step on the court for even just 10 minutes in 2016, and we're sure you'll hear tennis' favorite rally cry. The two-word favorite of pros and rec players has likely been around for decades, but it was Lleyton Hewitt, according to this 2013 Deadspin story, who made the quick phrase nearly everyone's go-to shout.

Now it can't be stopped.










2. "Are you sure?"

If "come on" is tennis' favorite phrase, "Are you sure?" might be the sport's least favorite utterance. You'll hear, "Are you sure?" during a few possible situations.

One possible hearing comes when your opponents think you're hooking them on calls. They'll ask, "Are you sure?" because they want you to know that they notice this trend. We'll call that the "subtle, passive-aggressive, 'Are you sure?'"

The second scenario comes when your opponents feel angry and think – incorrectly – that you're cheating them. Maybe they've lost a few games in a row, thrown in a double fault or two. But then they finally hit a good shot, or what feels like a good shot, only to have you call it out.

Let's call that the "desperation, 'Are you sure?'"

The third scenario is when you – reluctantly and against your good-faith tennis conscience – resort to questioning your opponent's call. You, of course, say those three words only after knowing beyond a reasonable doubt that your opponents have cheated you on at least two prior calls. After the third missed call, you finally raise your eyebrows and ask, "Are you sure?"

This is the "last-resort 'Are you sure?"


3. “You idiot, (insert your own name here)!”

If tennis players know how to do one thing, it is talk to themselves. Loudly. (For the record, tennis self-talk remains another phenomenon well documented in tennis writing.)

And we're often berating ourselves for our errant shots. Well, that is when we're not trying to pump up ourselves. (See No. 1.)


The closest thing tennis has to football's lookout block. "Yours!" is the sometimes desperate shout to your doubles partner to retrieve the lob or take charge and blast a winner. It's often heard when the net player has been eliminated by age, injury, or both from tracking down a sky-high lob sent forth from his or her opponent.

"Yours" also is heard under less stressful situations, such as when two players stand at the baseline and the ball comes in between the players. Or when you're trying to save your life, see below.


5. "Love, all."

You knew we had to end this on a soft note, right? In tennis, love starts every game, set, match. Ideally, it ends the contests, too.

Happy tennis in 2016! Learn about opportunities near you here.