All is Fair in Love and Tennis – Tennis’ Unique Scoring System

Tennis has a wacky scoring system. In fact it is downright confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is actually quite simple. The basic scoring system follows a four point game. However, rather than being scored 0… 1… 2… 3… 4… game, the points are scored love… 15… 30… 40… game. In other words, you must win four points to win a game. To win a set you must win six games. In a singles match you and your opponent alternate serving games until someone has won the match. Most tennis matches are two out of three sets, except certain professional matches, which are three out of five sets.

Easy enough, right? The difficulty is what happens when your opponent also wins points during the same game. To remedy any confusion, the server’s score is always called first. For example, if both players have one point in a game, the score would be 15-15, or in tennis lingo, 15-all. Now, if the server loses the next point the score would be 15-30 (not 30-15, this would be the case if the server had won the point)

To make things more confusing you must win a game by a margin of two. Therefore, if you get to 40-40 (also known as “deuce”) then one player must win 2 points in a row to win the game. This is where the “ad system” comes into play.

If a player wins a point at deuce they now have the “advantage”. If the server wins the deuce point the score would be “ad-in”, effectively meaning “advantage server.” If the returner wins the deuce point the score would be “ad-out”, or “advantage returner.” Once ผลบอลสด you have the advantage, you only need to win one more point to win the game. If you lose the point, the score returns back to deuce.

Let’s work through a mock game. Assume that I am serving the first game, and you are returning. We start the game at love-love (ie: 0-0). You blister a return and win the first point. I call the score correctly as “love-15” (remember the server always calls his score first, with love meaning zero). In retaliation, on the next point I hit an ace (an un-returnable serve) to make the score 15-15 (ie: 15-all). On the next point we have a long rally that ends with me hitting a volley winner to make the score 30-15, but then you come back with a forehand winner to make the score 30-all. I double fault to make the score 30-40. You hit another great return to win the game. In tennis lingo you have just “broken my serve.”

Just as a game must be won by a margin of two points, a set must be won by a margin of two games. Now you could imagine that if both players had strong serves the set may go on forever, or at least until someone finally broke the other player’s serve. In fact, this is what happens in the final set of a Wimbledon match where set scores can get as high as 13-11, 14-12, etc! However, in all other matches you would play a tiebreak once the set score reached 6-6.

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