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Home   News   21 tennis nicknames you need to know

21 tennis nicknames you need to know

Nov 12, 2015
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada
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Whether you’re new to tennis or a longtime fan, some nicknames in tennis are practically required reading at this point. You might hear some on broadcast, and definitely a lot if you follow tennis on Twitter.

What better time than leading into the off-season to get caught up on a few favourites? BTW – this list is by no means comprehensive. Share your favourites with us at @tenniscanada and facebook.com/tenniscanada and vote on the best names below.

The basics

  1. Swiss Maestro — Roger Federer, often also known as simply the Maestro, RFed, Fedfan and, for many, the GOAT.
  2. King of Clay — Rafa Nadal has long dominated clay and has an astounding nine French Open titles.
  3. Djoker — Kind of an easy abbreviation for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, but also perfectly suited to his comedic and crowd-pleasing tendencies.
  4. Muzz — Originally “Muzzard”, Muzz is the more familiar moniker for Andy Murray these days. IMO, he kind of got the shaft on this nickname. Muzz? I dunno, it is what it is.
  5. Masha — Maria Sharapova’s nickname isn’t too original either – some think it’s a breakdown of her name Ma(ria) Sha(rapova), but it’s really just a common Russian pet name for girls named Maria. It does seem to suit her aggressive playing style though, so it works despite the meh origin.
  6. Stanimal — As if this wasn’t awesome enough, Stan Wawrinka also gets called Stan the Man quite a bit. But when he goes beast mode and shocks us all by making Grand Slam finals AND winning them, there’s only one name that will do.
  7. The Missile — Milos Raonic and his serve will forever be entwined, and the nickname solidifies this.

The classics

  1. Pistol Pete — As in Sampras, as in one of the toughest serve and volleyers the game has seen.
  2. Johnny Mac — Also called “Superbrat”, John McEnroe’s gentler nickname has served him well in his broadcasting career, widely considered one of the greatest commentators of all time.
  3. Hot Rod — Also the A-Rod of tennis, minus the controversy, Andy Roddick had a hot serve and a temper to match.
  4. Fraulein Forehand — All-time great Steffi Graf earned this nickname as a nod to her one of her best shots.
  5. Nails — Fan favourite Li Na, or Na Li, or “Nails” gets this acronymic name that also pointed to her ability to hang tough under pressure, and, we’re guessing her affinity for fancy nails doesn’t hurt either.
  6. Rusty —Recently retired Lleyton  Hewitt got this name from his one-time coach Darren Cahill, who said the young Lleyton reminded him of Rusty Griswold from National Lampoon movies of the 80s.

Cult faves

  1. Fedal — You  know Federer, you know Nadal, and what do you get when they face off? A battle Fedal… on Twitter, anyway.
  2. Pospisock — Everyone’s favourite delightful duo of Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock have my personal favourite mashup nickname. Gotta love ’em.
  3. Shankerer — Every Fed fan’s greatest fear and kinda self-explanatory – Shankerer arrives when Feds sends one flying.
  4. Glitter — Jelena Jankovic’s “official” nickname is JJ but fans who love her flair for the dramatic opt for the shinier version.
  5. Dr. Ivo — The height, the serve, mostly the name, lent itself to shortening Ivo Karlovic down to Dr. Ivo, with a nod to DC Comics’ Professor Ivo and Dr. Evil (to me, anyway).
  6. Deliciano — Arguably the most hilarious nickname (ever?), Feliciano Lopez’s good looks got him this alternate name.
  7. Hot Sauce — For Fernando Verdasco, because it sounds like Tabasco, and he’s … spicy? *shrugs*
  8. EuBou — For Genie. This is not a real thing but I heard this somewhere and love it, so maybe it will catch on? 🙂