I've noticed that in French tennis commentary, they refer to a player's forehand as a 'coup droit' and their backhand as a 'coup gauche'. However, isn't this assuming that the player is right-handed? If they were left handed, these terms would be reversed.

If a player is left-handed, is a forehand still a 'coup droit' or does it become a 'coup gauche'?

  • 11
    It’s not coup gauche, it’s revers!
    – F'x
    Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 8:57
  • Jamais entendu "coup gauche" non plus.
    – zejam
    Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 18:01
  • 1
    Maybe it's time to revise your accepted answer. This "coup gauche" thing looks like a urban legend, or close too. Droit translates to 'straight' here, like in aller tout droit means 'to go straight ahead', definitely not aller à droite.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 23:59
  • @Jez ::::::: 👍
    – jlliagre
    Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 23:19

3 Answers 3


If a player is left-handed, it is still a coup droit. I've never heard coup gauche, the usual technical word would be revers.

Source : WP:FR


Les termes employés au tennis sont généralement « coup droit » et « revers ».

Un coup droit est un coup naturel quand la balle arrive à droite pour un droitier, ou à gauche pour un gaucher. Un revers est un coup qui est souvent plus difficile à maîtriser.

Généralement un revers est un coup donné avec le dos de la main, ou avec une arme ou un instrument quelconque, de la gauche vers la droite dans le cas d’un droitier, de droite à gauche dans celui d’un gaucher.

(La raquette de tennis fait partie de ces instruments quelconques.)


The expression "coup droit" is supposed to be used for right-handed players and "coup gauche" is the equivalent for left-handed players (see coup droit).

Le saviez-vous ? Ce coup s’appelle normalement coup droit pour un droitier et coup gauche pour un gaucher. Par abus de langage, on utilise le terme "coup droit" quelle soit la main principale du joueur.

Usually, a player only uses one hand, and either "coup droit" or "revers".

  • Yeah, but plenty of left-handed players have one-handed forehands these days, and yet the term 'coup gauche' isn't used?
    – Jez
    Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 8:59

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