One of the questions often asked, even by English speakers themselves, relates to the scoring system of tennis matches, and more precisely,why does the umpire (the “referee” who sits in the chair) call “fifteen – love” when the server wins the first point in a game?
Serena Williams (Six times Wimbledon ladies singles champion)
Andy Murray (first UK Wimbledon men’s champion after 77 years)
One explanation is that love sounds like the French word l’oeuf which means “egg”, describing the shape of the number zero. Another theory is that love implies “honour”, so that even though you have no points, you are still playing for honour, your own and that of the game itself.
Neither theory can be proven, but tennis has many traditions, particularly the Wimbledon Championships, which is contested on grass courts by players who are allowed to wear onlywhite sports clothes (see above),while the spectators eat strawberries and cream, so I don’t see much chance of the scoring system changing anytime soon !!