Tennis

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Net
Profit made by Wimbledon from hundreds of thousands of visitors who claim to like tennis for two weeks of the year when, in fact, they spend most of their time eating soft fruit, drinking Pimm’s, and waving dementedly at TV cameras like middle-class versions of the auditionees in The X Factor.

Fred Perry
Evil genius who used his fame as a winner of Wimbledon to flood the world with pastel-coloured short-sleeved sports shirts.

Real tennis
As opposed to the matches that took place inside Tim Henman’s head, and which he won.

Sharapova, Kusnetzova, Petrova
It’s all ova now.

Scoring system
In the men’s game, generally heterosexual. The women’s game is more fluid.

Knock up
See “Scoring system”

Lawn Tennis
Form of tennis that caught on in the Victorian era. Larder Tennis, Cupboard Under The Stairs Tennis, and Horse-Drawn Carriage Tennis didn’t really catch on.

Tennis Pro
See “Knock Up”.

Davis Cup
Variety of Pimm’s served with strawberries.

Smash
One Davis Cup too many.

Ball boys and girls
In days gone by, when players ran out of balls, children from the local workhouse were hit over the net.

Racquet
Noise the ballboys and girls made.

Tramline
Way that poor ballboys and girls used to get to Wimbledon. Commemorated in the name of the part of the court where their dead bodies would be laid out before collection at the end of each match.

Umpire
Referee who sits on a tall chair. When tennis began, local workmen were employed to ‘ump ‘im ‘igher, leading to the name.

Lob
Spectator who didn’t go to a good enough school.

Ooh I say
Tennis equivalent of “f*ck me!”

Backhand
Type of compliment that’s really an insult, eg, “She’s the British number one”.

Rally
The Nuremburg Open.

Service line
White mark you stand behind waiting for strawberries and cream.

Service break
The strawberries have run out.

Cliff
What anyone who sings at Wimbledon should be thrown off.

Murray mount
That girl with the long hair and the sunglasses next to his mum.

Nadal
Type of Spanish orange. Spanish, orange, tennis player, that is.

Federer
Type of hat worn by stylistically-challenged Swiss men.

Sampras
Character from The Virginian who went on to have a successful career as Pistol Pete the tennis player.

Borg
Automaton at war with the Tennis Federation.

Lendl
Film starring Barbra Streisand as a cross-dressing Jewish tennis player.

Hawkeye
Friend of Sampras.

Slice
Lemon found in Davis Cup.

Return
Cheapest ticket for the tramline. Many ballboys and girls didn’t use the second portion of the ticket.

Doubles
It’s happy hour at the Davis Cup tent.

Mixed doubles
The snakebite of the Davis Cup tent.

Top seed
Type of grass favoured by Wimbledon.

Second seed
Sowing the court takes a long time as they have to…

Third seed
…count every bit of grass…

Fourth seed
…that goes into the court.

Set
Comprises two racquets, a net and some balls. They cost £9.99 from Argos.

Tiebreak
When the game has to stop because someone in the crowd isn’t correctly attired for the occasion.

Wimbledon
Head of the Tennis Mafia.

Advantage
What the children of rich parents who can afford tennis lessons have.

Overrule
There are six balls in an over. Not a lot to do with tennis.

Conclusion
F*ck me! Sorry, we mean, Oh I say!

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Not FOR beginners, but BY beginners…

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