Game. Set. Love.

In tennis, the word ‘love’ is a score term used to mean zero. French assistant professor Cynthia Laborde theorizes that the term comes from the French word ‘l’eouf’ meaning ‘the egg.’

Jon Bon Jovi once sang “You Give Love A Bad Name.”

He was probably referring to tennis.

Tennis is tough to keep score of for those new to the game.

For example, the word ‘love’ is used instead of zero.

If you hear a score of 40 to love. It is actually 40 to 0.

Why does tennis use love instead of zero?

In some sports, when an athlete or team scores zero points, it can be referred to as zip or goose egg.

There is no known reason as to why, but French assistant professor Cynthia Laborde has a theory that ties to the sports’ roots in France.

“Legend has it that it came from ‘the egg’ which in French is pronounced “l’eouf,” Laborde said. “It kind of sounds like love. French and English have a long history of borrowing words from each other.”

 

You don’t want to score ‘love’ on the court. But sometimes you can score some ‘love’ off the court.

Head out to the UTA Tennis Center and you will see junior Guanarteme Nuez’s girlfriend, graduate student Laura Chicaiza cheering him on during his matches.

“My friend was on the tennis team,” Chicaiza said. “I saw [Nuez] and I told my group of my girlfriends who are on the tennis team, ‘He’s so cute.’ And when he saw me he already knew.”

Chicaiza’s friend told Nuez what she said, now he just needed to make a move.

“I asked her for the Snapchat and then I started talking to her,” Nuez said.

Nuez was looking forward to spending time with Chicaiza on their first date, but he didn’t know she would bring a friend along.

“I wanted to be with her more,” Nuez said. “I asked her to go to the mall to buy something, she was like ‘We can go, but we can go with one of my friends.’ I was like ‘I want to spend time with you and we are going to go with your friend?’ I was like ‘OK, whatever.’ So we ended up going but we didn’t talk much.”

Chicaiza, who is from Colombia but moved to the U.S. when she was 10 years old, is helping Nuez improve his English.

“We talk mostly in Spanish, but we usually do two hours a day in English so that he can get better by practice,” Chicaiza said.

When asked if she has visited his home in the Canary Islands, she replied with a smile.

“We’re not there yet,” Chicaiza laughed. “He won’t take me.”

With Valentine’s Day in the midst, surely he has something planned for them.

“I really don’t like to celebrate those type of things,” Nuez said. “But I guess I have to do something.”

@scoopsestrada

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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