What Does “LL” Mean in Tennis?

If you’ve ever seen a tennis match, you may have noticed that the score is sometimes announced as “15-love” or “30-love.” But what does the “love” mean?



In tennis, “LL” stands for “lucky loser.” A lucky loser is a player who loses in the qualifying round of a tournament but is given a spot in the main draw because another player has to withdraw before the tournament begins.

Lucky losers are not common at ATP Tour events, but they do occur occasionally at Grand Slam tournaments and other big events. Typically, only one or two lucky losers are given spots in the main draw of a tournament.

If a player withdraws from a tournament after the qualifying rounds have begun, the qualifying player who lost to that player in the most recent round is typically given the spot in the main draw. In some cases, another qualifier may be chosen instead if that player is ranked higher than the previous opponent of the withdrawing player.

At Grand Slam tournaments, there is usually a second chance for qualifiers who lose their first match. These players are entered into a special pool and can be drawn to play another qualifier who also lost their first match. The winner of this match receives a spot in the main draw as a lucky loser.

Lucky losers are not seeded and typically do not receive any prize money for making it into the main draw of a tournament. However, they do earn valuable ranking points and can sometimes go on to have deep runs at tournaments.

Some notable lucky losers in tennis history include Goran Ivanisevic, who won Wimbledon as a lucky loser in 2001, and Chen Long, who reached the semifinals of the Australian Open as a lucky loser in 2014.

The History of “LL” in Tennis

The term “LL” in tennis is short for “love all,” which is used to describe the score of zero in a tennis match. The origins of the term are unclear, but it is believed to be derived from the French word for egg, which is “l’oeuf.” The term “love” may also be used in other sports, such as cricket, to describe a score of zero.

“LL” Today

“LL” is short-hand for “lucky loser.” A lucky loser is a player who loses in the qualifying draw of a main draw tennis tournament, but gains entry into the main draw as a replacement for another player who has withdrawn before the tournament begins.

In order to be eligible for entry into the main draw as a lucky loser, a player typically must have lost in the final round of qualifying. (There are some tournaments in which players who lose earlier in qualifying can also be entered into the main draw as lucky losers, but this is relatively rare.) To earn the “lucky loser” designation, a player must also be next on the alternate list.

The process of determining alternates can vary from tournament to tournament. In some cases, alternates are simply the next highest ranked players who did not qualify for or receive a wild card entry into the main draw. In other cases, there may be special qualifying tournaments or other events from which alternates are drawn.

When a player withdraws from a tournament after the deadline for receiving a main draw wild card has passed, that player’s spot in the main draw is typically filled by a lucky loser. The same is true if a player withdraws from a tournament before it begins due to an injury suffered during practice or another event leading up to the tournament. Withdrawals after the start of a tournament due to injury are less common, but they do occur from time to time; when they do, their spots are again filled by lucky losers.


There is no one definitive answer to this question. In tennis, “LL” can mean either “lucky loser” or “local long shot.” The term is typically used to describe a player who is not seeded but earns a spot in the main draw of a tournament by winning a qualifying match.

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