Tennis Lesson on Superlatives

Collage photo of top ranked women players (Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska)

2013 top ranked women’s tennis players © Neale Cousland /

As promised, I’m back with your next tennis lesson :)

In case you missed it, yesterday, we reviewed comparative adjectives:

Rafael Nadal is a better tennis player than Novak Djokovic. Or is Novak better? We can debate that all day but one thing is for sure:

Compared to Novak and Rafael, I am the worst player. Oh well, compared to them I’m the best English speaker! ;)

So, you may have guessed that today’s lesson is on the superlative. This time we’ll look at some top-ranked women’s tennis players.

Grammar Review: The Superlative

What is it?

We use the superlative to compare something with everything else in a group. They are used to describe extremes.

Playing tennis on a boat in front of a glacier is the coolest (and coldest) tennis venue.

There are so many beautiful women’s tennis players but who is the most beautiful?


the is used before the superlative adjective.

One syllable adjectives, add –est:

tall            the tallest

long          the longest

Spelling note: one syllable adjectives that end with one consonant, double the final consonant and add –est

big              the biggest

– Adjectives ending in –e, just add –st

nice            the nicest

– Adjectives that end in y, drop the y and add –iest

pretty         the prettiest

– Adjectives with two or more syllables, add most before the adjective.

most           the most important

– And our favorites, the irregular superlative adjectives

good           the best

bad             the worst

Ready to practice? The next exercises will compare four of the top-ranked female tennis players at the end of 2013. We’ll also learn some interesting tennis facts.



Refer to the table above. Fill in the blanks using the correct adjective or superlative form.

Example:  Serena Williams is the __________ (old / young) player.

  Serena Williams is the oldest player.

1.  The second (old / young) player is Li Na.

2.  At 6’0″ (1.83 m), Victoria Azarenka is the (short / tall) player.

3.  Agnieszka Radwanska is the (light / heavy) player and Serena Williams is the (light / heavy).

4. They all earned a lot of money in 2013, but the (rich / poor) player in terms of prize money was Serena Williams.

5. The player with the (good / bad) win/loss record was Serena Williams.

6. The player with the (good / bad) win/loss record was Agnieszka Radwanska but that’s just comparing her to this group. Compared to all of the women’s tennis players she was one of the top players!



Question 1 of 2


Some interesting tennis facts:

Fill in the blanks with the correct comparative adjective or superlative form.

1. The  (more expensive/ most expensive) tickets for are in Centre Court at Grand Slam tournaments.

2. Venus Williams clocked the  (faster / fastest) serve in women’s tennis at 205 km/hour. She’s served (faster / fastest) than many men!

3. The  (longer / longest) tennis match in history was played by John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon and lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes. The  (longer/longest) women’s match played by Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner was “only” 6 hours 31 minutes. The women’s match was  (short/shorter) than the men’s match. But here’s an interesting fact: The women’s match has the record for the (longer/longest) point in professional tennis history. There were 643-shots in the rally and the point lasted 31 minutes!

4. At 39 years, 7 months, Billie Jean King is the  (older / oldest) singles title winner on the WTA Tour (Birmingham 1983).

5. The US Open’s Arthur Ashe Stadium seats 26,200 spectators! It’s the  (larger/ largest) tennis stadium in the world. Football stadiums are usually much  (larger/ largest) though.

6. The  (importantest / most important) tennis tournaments are the Grand Slams.


Question 2 of 2


Your Turn

Who’s your favorite tennis player? Do you play tennis or watch tennis? Leave a comment to practice your writing skills!


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