20+ Differences Between Tennis And Badminton (Explained)

Both badminton and tennis stand among the most popular racket sports today. Interestingly, both badminton and tennis can be played between two people or two teams. For someone absolutely oblivious to racket sports, it is possible that he may not look at them as different enough.

However, tennis and badminton have some striking differences, which can be easily noted if you look at a pro game or try playing them yourself.

From the rules to the equipment, you will realize that the rackets and the net are only a few similarities that need to be overlooked.

Key Differences Between Tennis And Badminton

Comparison Between Tennis And Badminton

Location of PlayTennis is often played outdoors.Badminton is played on indoor courts as a preference.
The CourtsA tennis court is larger, with dimensions of 78 ft(23.8 m) X 36 ft(11 m).A badminton court is almost half the size of a tennis court, with dimensions of 44 ft(13.4 m) X 20 ft(6 m).
The NetsThe nets touch the ground and are hung at 3 ft 6 in(1.07 m) from the ground.The nets do not touch the ground at all and are hung at 5 ft 1 in(1.6 m) from the ground.
RacketsTennis rackets have a thicker body frame with a wider striking area. These are heavier in mass.Badminton rackets have a slimmer body frame with a narrower head. These are lighter in mass.
The Ball UsedTennis uses a rubber ball with a coating of felt.A shuttlecock with a cork base and feathers is used in badminton.
FootworkExplosive and jerky movement, which includes quick sprinting and quick stopping.Relatively relaxed movement unless taking shots by jumping or lunging.
ScoringThe scores are called “love-15-30-40-game”.The scores are called “love-1-2-3-4….” and so on.
Winning If a player wins six games, he is declared the winner of that set. The match winner is decided on a best of three or best of five basis.In badminton, if a player gains 21 points, he wins the set. He wins a match by winning at least two out of three sets.

Major Differences Between Tennis And Badminton

What Is Tennis?

Tennis is a worldwide popular racket sport requiring a thicker racket and a tennis ball made of rubber material. It is played almost entirely as an outdoor sport.

The player gains points if he serves or returns the ball in the opponent’s court and the opponent fails to take a shot.

The earliest traces of tennis lay in twelfth-century France when a game was played with a ball and the palm of the hand.

The modern version of tennis was developed in nineteenth-century England when Harry Gem and Augurio Perera developed ‘lawn tennis, and then Walter Wingfield created modern-day tennis out of it.

What Is Badminton?

Badminton is also a very popular sport that uses rackets. However, badminton uses a shuttlecock instead of a ball, which is a common element among many racket sports.

The shuttlecock is light enough for the wind to affect its trajectory, so badminton is preferably played indoors.

Badminton is said to be developed in the nineteenth century as a variation of an already existing game, ‘battledore’ by the British expatriate officers in India.

The game gained a lot of popularity in India, and as of today, it is a worldwide-known sport, especially in Asian countries, where a lot of world-class players belong.

Tennis Vs Badminton All You Need To Know

Contrast Between Tennis And Badminton

Location of Play

  • Tennis- Tennis courts are quite large in size and may or may not be accommodated inside a building. So tennis is most often played outside and on the outdoor courts. Unlike badminton, the ball can maintain its trajectory despite a windy day; therefore, playing outdoors would not affect the play.
  • Badminton- Badminton is not preferred to be played outdoors. The reason behind this is that the shuttlecocks used are too light to withstand the wind. So badminton is best played on an indoor court, where the external environment is more stable.

The Size Of The Courts

  • Tennis- Tennis courts are quite large in size. A regular tennis court would measure 78 feet(23.8 meters) in length and 36 feet(11 meters) in width. If you compare it with the size of a badminton court, you will find that the area of a tennis court is almost twice the size of that.
  • Badminton- Badminton requires a lot less space for playing because a regular badminton court measures 44 feet(13.4 meters) in length and 20 feet(6 meters) in width. The small size allows a number of people to set up a badminton court in their backyard or in the neighborhood, which is not that easy for a tennis court.

Hanging The Net

  • Tennis- The net for tennis is hung at 3 feet and 6 inches(1.07 meters) above the ground. At the center, the net is at the height of 3 feet(0.9 meters) from the ground. A tennis net touches the floor or is very close to touching it.
  • Badminton- A badminton net is hung a lot differently. The net does not touch the ground and is high enough, which leaves an empty space between the net and the floor. It is hung at 5 feet 1 inch(1.6 meters) from the ground and rests at the height of 5 feet(1.5 meters) at the center.
The Setup Tennis Vs Badminton

The Rackets

  • Tennis- Tennis rackets have a thicker frame, a wider stringed area for hitting, and a larger handle. A tennis racket would weigh between 250 grams(8.8 ounces) to 360 grams(12.7 ounces). The thick frame allows the racket to absorb the momentum of the tennis ball effectively.
  • Badminton- Badminton rackets have a slimmer frame, with a longer neck and a thinner handle. The overall weight of a badminton racket would be no more than 95 grams(3.5 ounces). The racket is sturdy enough to hit a shuttlecock, and the light weight allows the player to take shots with greater ease.

The Ball

  • Tennis- A tennis ball is made up of a hollow rubber body. The rubber provides the ball with enough elasticity to make them bounce harder and absorb the impact. The ball is also covered with a layer of felt, which is commonly yellow in color. 
  • Badminton- Badminton does not use a ball. Instead, it uses a shuttlecock made up of a hemispherical cork base and feathers attached to it. The shape and the material allow the shuttlecock to travel in midair but decelerate faster.

The Footwork Of The Players

  • Tennis- A tennis player stands at the end of the court most of the time. To hit the ball, the player would sprint and stop. The movement is quick and explosive as the player springs forward and stops with a jerk. This is because the court is too wide for the player to reach the far-off shots easily.
  • Badminton- In badminton, the movement is relatively smoother, and there are fewer jerky movements. The player does have to move in all directions to hit the shuttlecock and would often jump or lunge to take a shot. While moving around is easier because of a smaller court, the jumps and the lunge shots make the game more intense.
Equipment And Footwork Tennis Vs Badminton


  • Tennis- In tennis, the scoring is done as “love-15-30-40-game”. A player scores whenever the other player fails to return the shot or commits a fault.
  • Badminton- Badminton uses regular counting for scores, i.e., “love-1-2-3-4,” and so on. The player gains the point when the opponent fails to return the shot and/or the shuttlecock touches the floor of his court. 

Winning The Match

  • Tennis- A tennis match is split into sets which are further split into games. If a player wins six games with a score difference of at least 2, he wins the set. The winner is the one who wins the most sets, i.e., at least two from three sets or three from five sets. 
  • Badminton- A badminton match is a points match with three sets. The player or the team that scores 21 points first with a score difference of 2 or more wins the set. However, the set continues if the score ties at 20 and if the score is 29-29, the player who scores the next point wins.
The Scoring Tennis Vs Badminton

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What do we mean by ‘let’ in badminton?

Any player can call a ‘let’ in a badminton game. Whenever the call is made, the play stops without affecting the last score.

The serving player repeats the serve. A let is mostly called due to some unexpected disturbance, like another shuttlecock landing on the court.

Q2. Is badminton played at the Olympics?

Badminton has been an Olympic sport since 1992 and is played under five divisions –

Two separate singles events for men and women, two doubles events for men and women, and one mixed-doubles match with two teams of one man and one woman each.

Q3. Is tennis played at the Olympics?

Tennis has been a part of the Summer Olympics since 1988 and is played under four divisions –

Singles and a doubles event for men, and separate singles and a doubles event for women. There is currently no mixed-doubles event in the Olympics.

Q4. What are the Grand Slam tournaments?

The Grand Slam tournaments are four major tennis events held annually. The player or the team that wins all four tournaments in the same year is said to win a Grand Slam.

The four tournaments held in order are the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

Q5. Are badminton and tennis mentally intense sports?

Both badminton and tennis are quite tough on your body and mind. However, tennis is a bit more intense physically.

For both sports, if you are playing a singles match, you are entirely by yourself, which means only you can figure out how to cope in tough situations at that time.

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