Phrases for Wimbledon: The Ball Is in Your Court and Game, Set, Match
  • 2-minute read
  • 28th June 2021

Phrases for Wimbledon: The Ball Is in Your Court and Game, Set, Match

The Wimbledon Championships are back after last year’s cancellation because of the pandemic. And to mark the return of the world’s first tennis championship, we’re taking a look at two tennis-related phrases you can use in your writing.

The Ball Is in Your Court

On one level, ‘the ball is in your court’ has a clear meaning: when the ball is on your side of the court during a tennis match, you need to hit it back to your opponent.

But this phrase also has a more figurative meaning. When we say ‘the ball is in your court’ outside of tennis, we mean ‘this is your responsibility now’:

I’ve done my part. The ball is in your court now.

I texted her last night, so the ball is in her court.

You can use this phrase when passing responsibility over to someone else, or when it is someone else’s turn to take an action. You could also shout it at your opponent while playing tennis, but that might become tiring over a long rally.

A tennis player returning a shot near to the net.
Someone passing on responsibility for a tennis ball.
(Photo: LisaVanDorp)

Game, Set, Match

In a competitive match, tennis is scored with points, games, and sets:

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  • Getting four points wins a game.
  • Winning six games (by a margin of at least two) wins a set.
  • Winning two out of three (or three out of five) sets wins the match.

Thus, the final point scored will win the last game, set, and match. As such, the winner of a tennis match is often declared with the phrase ‘game, set, and match’.

This sporting usage has given rise to the idiom ‘game, set, match’. Typically, people use it when some form of rivalry or competition has reached an end:

After many arguments, they conceded I was right. Game, set, match to me!

After that last move, it is game, set, and match to you.

If you need to declare that something is well and truly over, you can use this phrase.

Expert Proofreading Service

If you have time to write between tennis matches over the coming weeks, don’t forget to have your work proofread! You can even try our services for free!

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