Some of the most promising players in tennis have the best serves in the game, and having a good serve is an excellent skill to win matches. A tennis ace occurs when players serve a ball, which lands in the service box, and the opponent cannot touch the ball with their racquet. An ace is considered a legal serve, and the player who served the ball receives the point.
Aces ten to occur on a player’s first serve, and it’s crucial to have reasonable control in the serve so that the player can hit certain places along with the court that gives them the best chance of the umpire calling an ace. There also is the possibility of hitting an ace on a rally, but they occur mainly on a player’s serve.
Here is the complete guide about why it is called an ace, can you obtain one on your second serve, who has the most in tennis history, and more!
Why Is an Ace Called an Ace in Tennis?
The word ace has been around for longer than tennis has existed. The word originally came from middle English but had been around in old french and Latin before that. In Middle English, it means one unit. How the ace transitioned to tennis is not entirely clear.
Still, there is an idea that because an ace in playing cards is a significant card, and being able to hit an ace is an exceptional move, that is how it became a term in tennis. Allison Danzig is known to have been the first person to use the word ace in tennis. Allison was a sportswriter who covered tennis, real tennis, and other sports.
Can You Hit an Ace with a Second Serve?
Just as plausible as hitting an ace on a first serve, it is conceivable to do it on a second serve. In a tennis match, a player has two serve opportunities or risks losing the point. The same rules apply for the second serve as the first serve. As long the player can get their serve perfected and the ball past their opponent, they can win the race.
However, most servers don’t record an ace on their second serve. That is the case because the server tends to hit the ball slightly slower to ensure they don’t give up a point via a double fault. Sometimes the second serve might also have less spin since it won’t be traveling as fast as the first serve, which means it is easier for the opponent to return the serve.
How Do they Mark an Ace in Tennis on a Score Sheet?
The letter A marks an ace on a score sheet, and the serving player receives one point.
How Many Aces Typically Occur in a Tennis Match?
A professional tennis player can score as many aces as they are capable of winning. Still, with professional tennis being a highly even-matched game, the average amount of aces in 2020 in a single ATP tennis match is 0.52. Currently, on the ATP tour, Roger Federer has the highest average ace per match count, presently sitting at 0.63 with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal behind him, but he is also significant for having an average above a half.
Of course, players can hit above their average at any given time. Still, with some players performing better on certain types of courts than others and players often training on how to return even the fastest ace, the number of aces in a single match is so low.
Who Has the Most Aces in Tennis?
Ivo Karlovic has scored the most aces throughout his career, with 13,728 aces credited to his name. He also holds the record for most aces without a double fault, having recorded 49 in his 2016 Davis cup match, and most aces at a US open match with 61 recorded in the 2016 match.
Other records regarding aces include the most consecutive aces, which belongs to Sam Querrey in his 2007 match against James Blake. The most aces scored in a single season belong to Goran Ivanisevic, who had 1,477 aces during the 1996 season. Roger Federer, today, one of the best player when hitting aces, holds the record for most aces in a grand slam championship when he hit 50 aces in the 2009 Wimbledon.
Finally, when it comes to who has scored the most aces to ever occur in a single match, that record belongs to the American-born player John Isner in his 2010 Wimbledon against Nicolas Mahut. John hit an astounding 112 aces, but Nicolas Madut was not far beyond, scoring 103 aces himself. This match also stands out in the tennis history book as it is the longest tennis match ever.
What is a Return Ace in Tennis?
A return ace in tennis is when the receiver of the serve hits the ball back to the server, who doesn’t make any contact with the ball.
Conclusion: What is an Ace in Tennis?
Hitting an ace in tennis is not the easiest thing to do. Most beginners will have a difficult time hitting an ace because unless they have a swift pace, it requires a certain level of skill. The player must place the tennis ball in a position where the ball bounces and their opponent can’t make contact with it.
If a player is hitting many aces within a game, then it is clear they are playing their best tennis, and nothing can get in their way. Players in both the WTA AND ATP will spend countless hours working on their positions and endurance to avoid an ace and give themselves a chance for the point.
Finally, aces can bring a tennis game to an end much faster and help a player conserve energy for the next round, which is always something a player is looking to do. Especially if a player came out of a long rally, having a quick ace on their next play can give them more time to catch their breath and energy.