17 Problems Only a Tennis Player Will Understand

Ever talked to your non-tennis playing friends about your #tennisproblems, and had them look at you with a blank stare? Of course you have. There are certain things that only a tennis player can understand. Here are our favorites.

1. The awkward moment when your opponent is losing his/her mind


2. The emotional roller coaster of a tough match


3. The frustration of non-players thinking tennis is easy


4. When your doubles partner is missing EVERYTHING and you need to tell them “It’s OK,” even when it’s definitely NOT


5. When the sun is perfectly in your eyes on your ball toss


6. Disproportionate muscles


7. Playing in the wind


8. When you’re bouncing the ball before you serve and it hits your foot and rolls all the way to the net


9. The rage you feel when you are losing to someone you shouldn’t lose to


10. Talking to yourself after a stupid shot


11. When you hit your shin on your serve follow-through


12. Ridiculous tan lines


13. Blaming your equipment when you know it was all your fault


14. When you explain tennis scoring to someone who doesn’t know tennis and they ask, “Why wouldn’t each point just be one point? Why 15? And what’s deuce?”


15. When your opponent calls your winner that was clearly in, out


16. When you have to play a pusher


17. How you think you look on the court vs. how you actually look


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33 thoughts on “17 Problems Only a Tennis Player Will Understand”

  1. Very surprised to see thr current voting result… Sampras is the definitely the most powerful player who ever existed. Best serve, best (running) forehand, best volley and best touch of all.. Backhand was less powerful but strongly compensated by all other qualities… I guess most votes come from rather young people who haven’t experienced Pete’s carreer live… Second best player is Roger but he would have lost against a Pete playing at his best.
    Thanks for this nice question.

    1. How can you be the best player ever and not be able to win on clay? Pete was outstanding, but Roger or Rod Laver more complete.

    2. Except roger won 17 slams instead of 14 and won the French.

      Pete never won the French so roger is clearly ahead of him.

    3. Mischa, I respectively disagree with you as Sampras was no doubt great, but definitely not the most powerful. He was very strong and executed his game style greatly, but the fact he couldn’t win the French proves he was not the greatest. I am surprised Bjorn Borg was not at least on the list, although, I believe Roger is the greatest, but its hard to compare eras. As for best volley I would give to Edberg, best touch McEnroe, and best serve I would have to give to Goran

    4. I remember Sampras. Impressive career… One of the best, but clearly not best ever. You want to be in that discussion, you have to win all four majors…, his best showing at the French is one trip to the semis. #StuckInClay

      1. Yep he lost to Kafelnikov who only won 2 majors, in the semis in straight sets. Sampras is the best American male player ever though, and probably in the top 5 male players ever

    5. I have to disagree. Sampras was great, in his game style and his time. Modern tennis however requires more physical and an all around skillset. Watching Federer played at his only encounter against Sampras and you’ll see how much he’s improved his game to be at the top 3 today. Defeat Sampras at the net with Nadal and Djokovic’s passings and he’s screwed at the baseline grinding.

    6. I’d have to very respectively disagree. I started playing tennis on Johnny Mac, and Pete was in his prime when I was wrapping up my college tennis years and a few years later. He was my favorite type of player to watch and mimic with the crashing serve and volley, and I thought nobody would eclipse his greatness. Then there was Fed, who’s reinvented greatness and even further change the game. He has the full package and can still compete at the highest level. I truly believe that if they played each other, both in their primes (Sampras 96, Fed 04/05), Roger would pull it out more times than not. He could defend anyone’s best offense…

    7. Pete Sampras was the reason they changed the weight of the ball as he served so hard that there was no variation.Personally,if you have a hard serve,go for it.Pete Sampras was an excellent player but boring.Much prefer Roger.

    8. Misha, have you watch Federer play tennis? Have you witnessed his command of all the strokes, back hand/fore hand/serve and volley? Guess not. Federer is the very best we have ever seen in the modern era, 20th century +.

    9. Defending champion, 28-year-old Sampras, lost against 19-year-old Federer at Wimbledon. That puts that argument to bed!

  2. How about rampant foot faulting? Giving trophys to players who foot fault every time? Now they don’t even bother to call it at the French Open. Watch Shelby Rogers’ feet. Is it because Muguruza is not French, like Cornet, who they cheated for?

    1. Yes, according to many people. Many have kind of been expecting Cornet to win a big tournament, at least during the clay season, and she was the home favorite in this matchup so where do the possibilities with the officiating end?

  3. How about wanting to squeeze the life out of your doubles partner when they miss the easy put aways or call “yours” when it is clearly their ball????.

  4. Djokovic needs to be in the conversation for the greatest since he has dominated all his peers … including Roger in recent years.

  5. All these great Tennis players are Saints for Tennis technique, tactics, conditioning, and mind control, are gifts from our Creator.

    Keep it up Tennis ball strikers!

  6. Laver “likely” would have won at least another 10 slams between ’63-68 since he was so dominant over his peers before and after that time frame (Grand Slams in ’62 and ’69). Perhaps out of those 20 slamcompetitions, he wins 3 Aussies, 2 French, 3 Wimbledons and 2 US Opens. 21 slams would surely stand through today’s generation. Roger’s probably done winning slams. Rafa too. Novak might pass Roger but there are young guns on the rise and Murray now could stop some of Novak’s upcoming slam runs so 21 would be unlikely for the Djoker. Therefore I vote for Rocket as GOAT.

  7. Sampras was great…Bjorn Borg spectacular, stopping playing too soon perhaps..Andre
    Agassi with his looks and emotion made tennis exciting again, loved him!, Nadal exciting player no doubt. Roger Federal tho, reminds me of boxer Muhammed Ali..”dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. He seemed to “float” over the court. Beautiful & dangerous to watch. Would have loved to see Roger & Andre in their prime play…whew…emotion against floater..Whew!!

  8. Pete in his prime with today’s technology would be something to see. Also, conditioning is a different animal as well. Given all that, I think Roger would still have a slight edge on Pete because of a better backhand.


  10. As a lefty, Nadal must be a tough challenge for Federer, because Federer has played so many right handers and with Nadal’s power and speed he has been able to a very good head to head record against Roger. Imagine how many more wins Nadal might have scored over Federer if Nadal had fewer injuries and less time off of the tour to recover!

    1. All left handers have an advantage as there are more right handed players.Right handed players play more Right handed players as do left hand players although I would think when left handed players play each other,with being more used to the moves that they themselves make,they would be more familiar with each other’s games

    2. Jesse, just imagine if Federer hadn’t had mono in 2008 and pneumonia in 2010! He’d have beaten Nadal in at least 2 other majors (W 2008 and AO 2009), I reckon.

  11. Tennis players like to say, “How can you judge the Greatest Player of all time, if you never saw Bill Tilden play ?” Well, nobody alive today, saw Big Bill play; but the new racquets and training regimens, have made the argument moot.

  12. I agree with Alexander Waske, Matt, Noni and Tennis Addict: Roger Federer is the greatest player ever. Bill Tilden and Rod Laver fill the top 3 for all time. As a pro, Rod was forbidden to play the Grand Slam events for 6 years during his prime. He won all four Slam titles in the same calendar year in 1962 and again in 1969. We can only speculate how many titles that he would have won with 24 more tries

  13. You can use Pete not winning the French Open for an excuse to not being the best ever. If he could beat everyone else at the other 3 Majors, that means he is best 3 out of the 4, so use the math for your answer. Also, he was a mentally stronger player than Roger… but still I am not sure unless they did play together with the same technology and peak performance. No one will ever know. Maybe it’s better that way. ✌️

  14. How can Federer be the best ever when Nadal basically owns him in head-to-head, winning two out of every three they okay? And Nadal has won every Grand Slam, unlike Sampras…Federer in his prime was no match for Nadal.

  15. Roger is definitely the best because he makes it look so easy and it doesn’t hurt to have 18 slams under the belt. Sampras could never win the French Open so he shouldn’t even be in the running. If Federer could execute his backhand as he has been doing it in 2017, he would have won over 75% of his meeting against Nadal including at least one French Open. The back hand part has been talked about in this wonderful article I recently discovered …. http://www.138mph.com/rogers-backhand-the-new-kid-in-town/

  16. It is still remarkable to me that people have themselves in knots about who is the best. In the final analysis, career stats are the last word. Neither Federer nor Nadal (nor Djokovich) have retired, putting them in the running. Everyone, especially Roger, concedes that the “career” stats will always short Rod Laver in that assessment given his missing six years due to needing to earn money. Borg retired–we can venture that he could have been the “greatest”, but greatness, just like at any tournament, is only proved match after match, year after year. Yes, Nadal owns Fed in the head to head, but so what? How they have fared against the entire field is the measure of their careers. So, look at career totals, career percentage against top-ten, top-five, career appearances in finals, etc., and be patient. These guys haven’t retired–thank God, because it is so fantastic to watch them still evolve and perfect their games. In that respect, WE are all winners!

  17. You people must be very young. The greatest player of all time is Rod Laver. He was barred from playing the Slams for 5 years of his prime but still won 11. He had TWO grand slams. One before the 5 year ban and one after. He was 116-16 one year. He won 4 consecutive Wimbledon for him (with the 5 years) taken out of the middle. If he had been allowed to play those five years he would be the slam record holder by a mile. This really isn’t close.

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