What Is The Difference Between Badminton and Tennis?

Published August 18, 2021

Though the concept may be very similar between the two, tennis and badminton are very different games. But why are they compared so often? Both have to be played with a racket. You have to hit something over a net. Plus, you are using a lot of the same movements. However, some significant differences make each sport stand on its own.

How They Compare and Contrast Each Other

Physicality Requirements

A game of both tennis and badminton requires you to have a lot of stamina. You have to be able to move around in various places on the court so you can hit the opponent’s serve and so you can score your points. Whether you are playing at the top-tier professional level or just playing for fun against your friends and family, each sport is played by moving around a lot. You need to be fast and swing strong throughout the entirety of the game. 

How You Move Your Feet 

Things go along the same lines as to the physical requirements we just spoke of, but the footwork in tennis and badminton is necessary to keep the game running smooth. There is a slight difference between how you would move your feet in badminton and how you would move your feet in tennis. You are running side to side to hit the tennis ball in tennis, with the occasional slide. In badminton, there is a lot more movement than your feet see. In any one game, you could be jumping and running in quick motions. 

The reason for these similar yet different movements isn’t how you play the game and the size of the court. Tennis courts are bigger than badminton courts. So, a tennis player has to do running to keep up with a tennis ball, especially since the ball can bounce out of bounds. However, in badminton, the court is smaller, and since the shuttlecock cannot be bounced, you don’t have to cover the extra area like in tennis because there is no risk of it going out of bounds. 

A game of badminton makes you stay on your toes due to the fast pace during each hit. Tennis makes you run longer and faster, while badminton makes you move quicker but in shorter lengths. 

How Long Each Game Lasts

When tennis is played professionally, a game can be expected to last upwards of two to even three hours. The longest tennis match that was ever recorded was a game that lasted for eleven hours. The two tennis players Nicholas Mahut and John Isner we’re playing for a win at Wimbledon. In the end, Isner beat Mahut but not until going the mile with their match stretching out three days! For casual players, games don’t last nearly as long. Eleven hours is the record to beat. However, a regular tennis match typically lasts an hour or two. 

In contrast, badminton has much shorter games. It’s important to point out that in tennis, the rules make it such that games are played until there is a definite winner, so really, a game could continue infinitely. Of course, that has never happened. This is where tennis and badminton differ significantly. A typical game of badminton typically concludes after a shorter thirty minutes, with longer games going up to a few hours. 

How long a badminton match lasts depends on which style it is being played in, meaning whether it is played as a single, doubles, or mixed match. Also, men’s and women’s matches are different due to speed. Men’s badminton matches usually are thirty minutes or less because of the fast momentum they keep during. In a women’s match, you will see a steadier pace that stays consistent throughout. 

Just like tennis, badminton has a record for the longest match, too. It was a doubles match between two badminton teams from varying countries. The first team was Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao, who were from Japan. They played against a team from Indonesia named Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii. Their match went on for over two hours to win the Badminton Asia Championship. In the end, the team from Japan saw victory. 

Badminton Has Fewer Breaks Than Tennis

Tennis has more breaks than badminton. It is a continuous game like badminton is; however, badminton is even more constant. The umpires in a badminton game are becoming more stringent on enforcing the flow of keeping the game going or the rule of continuous play. This rule means that between points, there has to be a continuous play going on. That way, there is no wasted time during each game. 

In tennis, there is plenty of time wasted where players are not playing. For example, think about how many times they have to switch sides of the court. There is a small break. They are allowed time to towel themselves off and take short breaks throughout the match. Plus, after each point, there is a small pause to regroup. 

Badminton games are not allotted these breaks, and that’s what makes them so fast-paced. You don’t get to stop to get a bouncing ball or towel off. You have to play until someone scores a point. Only then do you get a slight breather during the game! So, if you plan on playing badminton, be prepared to get your workout in. 

Conclusion

To the untrained eye, badminton and tennis are just alike. However, when you dive deeper into each sport, you see how different they are and what makes each one unique. Badminton has a shorter, faster game. They have to keep playing with minimal breaks. Tennis has many more opportunities for breaks, but it is still a fast-paced game, with a longer time limit on most matches. Each sport provides an excellent workout and will require you to stay in the best shape to play. 

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