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What is the difference between tennis and badminton

Tennis Vs Badminton: What is the Difference?

Tennis and badminton are the two most popular sports in the world with huge fan followers of 1.2 billion and 950 million respectively. Each game has its unique style and set of rules. Some are similar and some are different. “Tennis Vs Badminton” is an interesting topic, which I have represented in a simple way with the help of the comparative fact and findings.

What is Tennis?

Tennis is a racket sport that is played between two individual players or between two teams where each team is paired with two players. It is played in a rectangular field separated by a net. A strung racket is used to hit a yellow/ green ball over the net on the specified area of the court. The object of the game is to beat the opponent by the placement of the ball to win a point.

If you replace the word “ball” in the above paragraph with “shuttlecock”, it broadly defines the game of badminton.

So what do you think? Tennis and badminton are almost similar sports. The answer is “No”. They may sound alike in a broader sense, but they are very different in many specific areas like court size, rules, scoring pattern, and types of equipment used.

What are the Similarities Between Tennis and Badminton?

There are only two similarities between badminton and tennis.

  1. Types of games: You can play tennis or badminton either singles or doubles.
  2. No. of players involved: In badminton and tennis, singles is an individual game whereas the doubles game is played between two teams pairing two players each.

What are the Differences Between Tennis and Badminton?

Court Size and Net Height

Tennis court layout
Tennis Court Layout
Badminton court layout
Badminton Court Layout
  • Tennis is played on a rectangular field, known as a tennis court, of 78 ft. x 27 ft for singles and 78 ft. x 36 ft for doubles.
  • The size of a badminton court is 44 ft x 17 ft for singles and 44 x 20 ft for doubles.
  • The net height in tennis is 3 ft at the center and 3.5 ft at the posts whereas for badminton the height of the net is 5’ at the center and 5’1” at the posts.
  • In tennis, there is no gap between a net and the ground. But the badminton net is 30” above the ground.
Court length78’ (23.77 m)44’ (13.40 m)Tennis >Badminton
Court width (Singles)27’ (8.23 m)17’( 5.18 m)Tennis >Badminton
Court width (Doubles)36’ (10.97 m)20’ (6.1 m)Tennis >Badminton
Surface Area (Singles)2106 ft² 748 ft²Tennis >Badminton
Surface area (Doubles)2808 ft² 880 ft²Tennis >Badminton
Net height (Center)3’ (0.91 m)5’ (1.52 m)Badminton >Tennis
Net height (Post)3.5’ (1.07 m)5’1” (1.55 m)Badminton >Tennis


  • The fundamental rule in tennis, governed by ITF, states that the ball must be returned before bouncing twice on the ground. 
  • For badminton, the basic rule as laid down by BWF states that you must hit the shuttlecock before it touches the ground for a valid return.
  • In tennis, if your 1st serve goes wrong, you will get another chance to serve again. But there is no such option for 2nd serve in badminton.

Scoring Pattern

In badminton a match consists of 3 games and to win a game, a player needs 21 points (for a deuce at 20 – 20, a 2-point lead is necessary to win the game).

The scoring system in tennis is a bit complex. To win a match, you have to win 3/ 2 out of 5/ 3 sets. Each set consists of 6 games and to win a game, a two points lead is required, which may be 6-4 or 7-5 likewise. But if there is a situation of equality at 6-6, a tiebreaker is arranged to decide the winner. Also, the scoring system for a game starts with 0 (Love), then 15, 30, 40, and finally the game point. At 40 – 40 (Deuce), a player has to earn two consecutive winning scores, first Advantage, and then Game Point.


Tennis racket and ball, the key tennis equipment
Tennis Racket
Badminton racket and shuttlecock, two key badminton equipment
Badminton Racket

The main equipment that you need to play a tennis match is a strung racket which is also the primary badminton equipment. But the size and weight of a racket differ considerably between the two sports. Tennis rackets (300 grams on average) are significantly heavier than badminton rackets (80 – 100 grams). The reason behind this is that in tennis you require more momentum to hit a ball of 58 grams than to hit a shuttlecock of 5 grams in badminton.


Which is the fastest racket sport, tennis or badminton? This is a quite surprising statistic of “Tennis vs Badminton”. The fastest shot ever hit by a tennis player is 263 Km/hour (163 mph) and for badminton, the fastest shot is 426 Km/hour (265 mph).


In terms of earnings, a tennis player earns much higher than the same standard badminton player. Tennis legend Roger Federer who has set the record by featuring in the list of the Forbes top 10 highest-paid athletes 12 times in a row, from 2010 to 2021 earns around $300 million/ year whereas the earnings of Lee Chong Wei, the highest-paid badminton player is around 35 million/year.

Tennis Vs Badminton: Comparison

Court SizeBigger (78’ x 36’)Smaller (44’ x 20’)
Racket weightMore (300 gm)Less (80-100 gm)
Ball/ Shuttle weightMore (58 gm)Less (5 gm)
Indoor/ OutdoorMainly OutdoorIndoor
Rally DurationMoreLess
Dominant ShotGroundstrokesSmash
No of Sets33 or 5
Difficulty Level for Amateurs HardEasy
EarningsMore (Highest $300 million)Less (Highest $35 million)
Most Popular inUS, Canada, Australia, EuropeIndia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Denmark

Tennis Vs Badminton: Conclusion

Tennis and badminton, both are wonderful sports and are widely adopted in the world. Both sports require power, speed, stamina, agility, and hand-eye coordination. But if you think preciously, the game of badminton demands more speed and quick reflexes whereas in tennis you need more techniques to excel, like topspinning or slicing a tennis ball.

If you are confused between badminton and tennis as a professional career, the scope of earning in tennis is much higher than in badminton. But as a recreational sport, badminton is always ahead of tennis. Not only badminton is easy to adopt for beginners but also you can enjoy the game 365 days a year irrespective of weather conditions.

Playing badminton or tennis also has a huge benefit on your physical and mental health. They not only keep you physically fit by burning calories but also bring excitement and colors to your life after monotonous daily routine work.

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