Posted: February 16th, 2022

The difference between tennis and ping-pong


Tennis is a racquet sport, like pickleball, beach tennis, and table tennis. The types of equipment used in tennis are the ball, net, and racquet. Tennis traces its roots back to the 12th century in France. Other racquet sports are very similar or not so similar to tennis, which is played over a net with a racquet hitting balls of different sizes, textures, and bounce. Individuals new to racquet sports may wonder, is tennis like ping-pong? Are they the same? I will elaborate further as you learn along.

Tennis and Ping-Pong

 Table tennis or Ping-pong was invented in the 1880s when tennis players looked for other ways to play tennis indoors. Ping-pong is played by two or four players who hit a ball over a net on a complex table. The name ping-pong refers to table tennis and table tennis equipment. It is a fast game, played for a short period. Ping-pong is a sport that individuals can play with physical and intellectual disabilities.

In tennis and ping pong, the playing fields and the types of equipment are the same. Some suggest that ping-pong is like mini tennis played on a table with a smaller net because ping-pong uses more petite balls, paddles, and playing field compared to tennis. In addition, the basics of both games are similar.

A net is at the center of the playing area and separates the two players or the two teams depending on whether it is a single or a double match. 

The balls used in tennis and ping-pong are similar in function and features. Modern tennis is played the same way as ping-pong.

Change of sides is another similarity; the players in tennis and ping-pong change sides frequently during the game. They also switch up serving, and each player gets a chance to serve.

In tennis and ping-pong, the players stand on either side of the net. The players ensure that the ball does not go out of bounds in their area or hit the ground. The players create time to re-position themselves if they are out of position.

The flow of a point is similar for both ping pong and tennis. In tennis and ping pong, players have two games lead over the opponent to win a set. In case of a tie, in tennis and ping-pong, the first player to have at least 2 points ahead of the other wins.

The difference between tennis and ping-pong

In as much as both sports have the same principles, they are fundamentally different, and each is unique in its way. Physical skill sets overlap. The two games differ in how they are played and the physical aspects of each.

In tennis, the pieces of equipment are more prominent- the balls, racquet, and the tennis court or the playing field, while in ping-pong, the pieces of equipment are much smaller.

The time taken to play each game- tennis takes much longer, about 3 to 5 hours to complete a match, while ping pong only takes 10 to 30 minutes.

The scoring system is different in both ping pong and tennis. In ping-pong, a serve begins at zero-zero, with each player serving five times in a row, then giving the other player the chance to serve.

  • A match is won by being the first player to win 21 points and be at least 2 points ahead of the opponent.
  • A player wins a point when the opponent cannot hit the ball to the other side of the table. To score a point, the player keeps the ball longer in play than the opponent. 

The scoring system for tennis is as follows.

  • Zero= love
  • 1 point= 15
  • 2 points= 30
  • 3 points=40
  • 40- 40 Deuce

How to serve in ping-pong

The ball must rest on the palm first, be tossed in the air, and then struck. In tennis, the server stands at the right side of the court behind the baseline, hitting the ball towards the opponents’ side.

 In ping-pong, a player needs to make smaller rapid movements. There is a lot of wrist movement while, in tennis, a player needs energy when serving and receiving and running back and forth the big court. The entire body is fully involved.

How similar is pickleball to tennis

Pickleball is a racket sport that is similar to both tennis and ping-pong. Pickleball is a game played on a smaller court compared to a tennis court by two or four players.

Scoring in pickleball- To win, a player must lead by 3 points, and the game is usually the best of 11 points. Serving in pickleball- anytime a player loses a point, the opponent gets the serve.

How similar is beach tennis to tennis

Beach tennis is among the oldest racket sports. It is a blend of tennis and volleyball. As the name suggests, the sport is played on a beach, in singles and doubles like tennis. Scoring in beach tennis is similar to that of tennis.

Zero= no point

1 point= 15

2 points=30

3point= 40

The only difference in scoring in beach tennis is that there is no deuce and advantage

How similar is squash to tennis

Squash is an indoor racket sport and ball sport. The ball and racket of squash are smaller than that of tennis. Similar to tennis, the court is rectangular though smaller. The game is played in either singles or double. Each game is being played up to the best of 11 points. Squash is a speedy game; the players use the net painted on the front wall. The game is mainly enjoyed for its recreational value, unlike tennis played professionally.

How similar is soft tennis to tennis

Soft tennis is a racquet sport and is a lot similar to tennis. A net separates the court into two halves, and a vertical line further separates each side of the court. It is played in both singles and doubles, and the players attempt to hit the ball over the net in a way that will prevent the opponent from returning it. The ball is hit back and forth, just like in tennis. The court is more prominent, but the soft tennis balls are softer, just like the name suggests. It is not a professional sport; it is played mainly for fun by older people who are not strong enough to hit the hard tennis balls.

How similar is badminton to tennis

Badminton is played on a rectangular court, smaller than tennis. Badminton also requires rackets, and it is usually either with two or four opposing players, just like in tennis- singles or doubles. The racquets hit a shuttlecock onto the opposite side of the net, making it impossible for the opponent to return the shuttlecock. To play a game successfully, 

  • The players must correctly serve the shuttlecock over the net to land on the opponent’s court.
  • The opponent must select the most appropriate shot to return the shuttlecock to gain a tactical advantage or win a point.
  • To win a point, the player must shoot the shuttlecock so that it hits the opponent’s floor in a way that the opponent will not be able to return it.

 How similar is paddle to tennis

Paddle is a racquet sport that is similar to tennis and was invented in 1969. Unlike tennis, the court is surrounded by windows in paddle, and they can hit the balls. The courts are smaller than that of typical tennis. The scoring is the same as tennis ( zero, 15, 30, 40 Game). The game can be competitive and can also be played for fun.

How similar is platform tennis to tennis

Platform tennis is very similar to tennis. It is an outdoor racquet sport played in cold weather. The court is rectangular and looks exactly like a tennis court, but smaller. It is played on a raised platform which is heated- very suitable for winter to eliminate snow and cold. The balls are made of sponge rubber. Unlike tennis, this sport is only played in doubles. The scoring is the same as in tennis. The players keep score with zero, 15, 30, 40, and game. As it is played in doubles, they have to have 2 points consecutively over the opponents’ for a team to win. Unlike in tennis, the court is surrounded by wire fencing to keep the ball in play after it hits off the court.

How similar touch tennis is to tennis

Touch tennis was founded in 2002. It is relatively new compared to other racket sports. Touch tennis is one of the rackets sports in this list that is very similar to tennis. It is a modified version of tennis. The court is rectangular, and the lines are identical to those of the regular tennis court but shorter. The ball, made of foam, and the racquets are shorter. The players in touch tennis are only allowed one serve. Unlike in tennis, there are no lets; the play continues when the ball touches the net and still manages to cross over. The match is won at the best of 3 sets. How about the scoring? The points scoring is from zero, 15, 30, 40, just like tennis.


In conclusion

Reading these articles should enlighten you on how similar tennis is to other racquet sports. Is tennis like ping? Tennis and ping pong, tennis, and other racket sports are much identical in terms of equipment, ideology, and some of the basic rules. But other racket sports seem more like a modification of tennis to suit particular phenomena. The sports are similar, but the differences certainly outweigh the similarities in how it is played- the movements involved. They are like alternative ways of playing tennis.

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