Cheat Sheet for Tennis Scoring

Tennis Scoring Definitions

If you need to brush up on any of the phrases listed above, you may find a concise definition of them below:

The first phase in the tennis scoring system is the point. It normally follows the 0, 15, 30, 40 progressions, but tiebreaks use the standard numeral system (0, 1, 2). It begins with one player serving and might conclude with a victory, an error, a double fault, or a double bounce. A player wins a game when they earn enough points.

Serve The tennis stroke that a player uses to start a point. The ball is usually hit over the player’s head, and he must hit it over the net and into the service box diagonally across from him.

When a player strikes a shot that the opponent does not return, they are the winner—one of the five methods for gaining a point.

It is considered an error when a player smashes a ball at the net or outside the court. These are two of the five methods for gaining (or losing) a point.

It is called a double fault when a player misses two consecutive serves, either at the net or outside the service box. As a result, a point is lost.

When a player strikes a shot that bounces twice on the opponent’s court before they can return the picture, it is known as a double bounce—one of the five methods for gaining a point.

A game is a collection of points won by a single player. A player must score four points before his opponent to win a game. If both players are tied at 3 points apiece (40 × 40), one of them must gain a 2-point edge to win the game.

A collection of games won by the same player is referred to as a set. A player must win six games before his opponent to win a stage. If both players are tied at five games apiece, one must reach seven games first. A tiebreaker will decide the set winner if both players are tied at six games apiece.

Tiebreak: A game played to break a tie between two players. It uses a conventional numerical counting system rather than the traditional tennis counting method: 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. The first player wins the tiebreak and, as a result, the set to achieve 7 points. If both players are tied at 6 points apiece, the first player wins the group to gain a 2-point edge.

A match is a collection of sets won by a single player. Depending on the tournament’s rules, a player must win two out of three groups or three out of five sets to win a match.

Most tennis events use the 2 out of 3 rule, and a player must win two sets before his opponent to win the match.

Grand Slams are given a 3 out of 5 ratings. To win the match, players must win three sets before their opponent.

Alternative scoring technique for the long fifth set. There is no tiebreak in the fifth set in a tournament using this format, and instead, a player must gain a 2-game advantage to win the group.

Alternative scoring method: 10-point tiebreak. A tiebreak in which the winner is determined by achieving ten points rather than seven is normally used as a 3rd set replacement.

Alternative scoring method for the 8-Game Pro Set. Instead of three or five sets, players play one. The set is won by the player who scores eight games first. When both players are deadlocked at seven games apiece, a tiebreak determines who wins the group.

The alternative scoring mechanism for the 4-game set. When a player wins four games in a row, the group is over. If the score is 3-3, the game is decided by a 5-point tiebreak. If the tiebreak is deadlocked at 4 points apiece, the winner is determined by a single deciding point.

The Origins and History of Tennis Scoring

You have earned the right to question yourself, “Who was bored enough to come up with this thing?” now that you have mastered the tennis scoring system. In all seriousness, I believe there were a plethora of easier scoring methods they could have devised.

While it is difficult to pinpoint precisely when the tennis scoring system began, it is said to have originated in 15th century France. Tennis originated in France, and it quickly became a popular pastime among the wealthy. The early tennis players are thought to have kept score using a clock, with each point representing a quarter-hour. This indicates the original scores were 0-15, 30, 45, and 60, which would have been more logical. They eventually altered it to 0, 15, 30, 40, 50, and 60 since a player must win a game by a margin of two points (competition). With time, the “50” became known as Advantage, and the “60” was dropped entirely.

This notion makes sense to me now that I think about it due to a lack of better technology for keeping score. When you think about it, a player has to win 12 games to win most of his matches, and he also has to win four points to win a game. If each moment is converted to a quarter-hour, winning one half (48 points) equals a complete cycle around the clock (48 x 14 hours = 12 hours).