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For example, 'a tennis master'?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you are looking for adjectives to describe skill here's a few:

上手【じょうず】 (generally speaking) good at ~

巧妙【こうみょう】 mysteriously skillful at ~

~の天才【てんさい】 a genius in ~

熟練した【じゅくれんした】 This one is my favourite, it has the meaning of practised to perfection.

Some examples:

I am good at tennis.

That tennis player is skillful.

a genius in tennis

an expert at tennis

an expert tennis player

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From @Samurai Soul's question, I'd say the word he is looking for might be '選手【せんしゅ】' (I see it in your examples, but not in the list of words above them). – Dave Aug 4 '11 at 17:03
Just curious if マスター itself is used anywhere outside of 完全マスター. – jkerian Aug 4 '11 at 17:03
@Dave 選手 just means a player. It does not mean that it is a master. – user458 Aug 4 '11 at 17:11
Oops. Sorry, as @sawa pointed out, 選手 on its own is not enough. I meant: qualifier + 選手 like 優れた選手 – Dave Aug 4 '11 at 17:28
Regarding 上手: It can easily sound arrogant to use 上手 to describe yourself this way, which is why you'll hear 得意 more often. Of course 上手ではない and 上手になりたい are perfectly fine. – Derek Schaab Aug 4 '11 at 17:39

I think for sports, the word プロ 'professional' is usually used to refer to a skilled player, even if that person is not actually a professional. For Japanese sports like judo or sumo, there are specific words that describe what level the player is at.

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+1 Oh, of course! I should have thought of that. I use プロ myself all the time in english and Japanese. Good one. – Samurai Soul Aug 4 '11 at 21:23

At least for the taiko video game it is 達人 (たつじん) meaning "master / expert" not sure if this carries over to sports

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Krillin used 達人 to describe Jackie Chun as an expert fighter in Dragon Ball, for what that's worth – sartak Aug 5 '11 at 19:58

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