One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in tennis, badminton, and other sports) a line on a court marking the limit of the area into which the ball must be served.
- ‘The wind forced the players to step back several times from the service line and dodge paper and plastic debris blowing onto the court from the stands.’
- ‘It's supposed to be 21 feet from the net to the service line and then 18 feet to the baseline.’
- ‘A double fault on 15-30 gives Serena two match points - and she duly converts them when Mauresmo fires a forehand wide of the service line.’
- ‘After a four-set loss to Italy in their first game, the Americans put on an impressive show on defense and especially at the service line.’
- ‘With a bit of clever footwork we managed to get great seats right behind the service line so he'd see our flag.’
- 1.1 (especially in handball and paddleball) a line on a court marking the boundary of the area in which the server must be standing when serving.
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