Anyone for Tennis? English for Tennis.


  • Basic tennis vocabulary,
  • Tennis fashion history,
  • 10 curiosities about Wimbledon tennis championship,
  • Vocabulary Notes,
  • Jane Russell Anyone for tennis? Anyone for love? Video,
  • Something for people who don’t like tennis.



With the Wimbledon tennis championship starting this week I thought that a little about tennis could be useful.

When I was a child Wimbledon meant the school classrooms were warm and when I got home from school my mum would* be watching the tennis on TV. My brother would get the 2 tennis racquets out and we would try to hit the ball between us in the garden.

(would + verb for repeated past habits. e.g. Every year we would go to the beach on holiday)



Click here for more tennis vocabulary


Tennis fashion

I think the changes in women’s clothes for playing tennis have been for the better. Unbelievably, at the beginning ladies used to play with corsets (v1) on!


Marie Claire magazine wrote a great article with pictures about it.

Click here to see the article in Marie Claire


10 facts about Wimbledon.

  1. Wimbledon tennis tournament started in 1877.
  2. Rufus, the hawk (v2) flies around the tennis courts each morning to scare away (v3)  pigeons.
  3. The men’s trophy (v4) is topped with a pineapple shape.
  4. 54,250 tennis balls are used at each championship.
  5. There are more than 200 ball boys and ball girls who collect the tennis balls.
  6. Maria Sharapova broke the record for the loudest grunt (v5) on court at 101.2 decibells.
  7. 23 tonnes (v6) of strawberries are eaten by the spectators, usually with cream.
  8. The longest match (v7) was 11 hours and 5 minutes! Between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. It was held over 3 days.
  9. The top selling item in the Wimbledon gift shop is a keyring (v8) with a mini tennis ball on it.
  10. Zero is called Love (in tennis) because… the French expression ‘lóeuf’  which means egg which is similar to a zero shape.


Vocabulary Notes

  •  v1 Corset = a restricting garment for ladies which makes them look thinner.
  •  v2 Hawk = a big bird which flies very well and eats smaller birds (halcón in Spanish)
  • v3 to scare away = to frighten and make go away form the place.
  • v4 Trophy = the decorated award cup or prize given to the winner
  • v5 Grunt = a guteral cry/shout sound, made deep in the lungs.
  • v6 Tonnes = a measurement of weight, it is 1,000 kilograms.
  • v7 Match = the collection of games between 2 people to see who wins.
  • v8 Key ring = a ring to put your keys on usually with something decorative on it. 


Tennis Anyone? Love anyone?

I love Jane Russell’s attitude towards tennis in this song from Gentlemen prefer Blondes.


Click here to watch Jane Russell singing it on You Tube


For lots more about tennis have a look at my Pinterest tennis album.


If you don’t like tennis here is a little something for you!



Have a great weekend!















About Kim Griffiths

Hello, I'm Kim. I'm a qualified English ESL teacher with a CELTA A qualification and I have over 25 years of experience teaching English to non-native speakers. I love teaching! I also write about English, sing jazz, paint and make things.

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