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The game offers a roster of sixteen real-life professional tennis players, including twelve male players and four female. All names are rendered in hiragana, and many of these are given as nicknames (including "Boom-Boom", or ぶんぶん, for Boris Becker):
Men: Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander, Miloslav Mecir, Yannick Noah, Henri Leconte, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pat Cash, Bjorn Borg, Hukui Retsu (Tsuyoshi Fukui)
Women: Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, Gabriela Sabatini
The characters in Family Tennis reflect, at least in some degree, the strengths of the real-life players on whom they are based. For example, Ivan Lendl has a powerful serve and forehand, while John McEnroe has particularly fine volleys. The player selection screen features caricatures of all sixteen players, though in actual gameplay, the player sprites are more standardized and cartoonish in appearance.