Scoring in Tennis

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    In the game of tennis - points make up a game, games make up a set, and sets make up a match. The terminology used in tennis can be confusing. Here is a brief explanation of tennis scoring.

    Points

    A point is scored when someone hits the ball past her opponent (a "winner") makes an error (hits the ball out or into the net), or when an opponent makes the error. Points are scored in this manner:

    • 0 = "Love"
    • 1st point = "15"
    • 2nd point = "30"
    • 3rd point = "40"
    • 4th point = "Game"

    In announcing the score, the server's points are always said first. For example: If the server wins the first point, the score would be "15-Love". If the receiver wins the first point, the score would be "Love-15".

    Games

    Points make up a game. The first person to win 4 points (by a margin of 2 or more) is the winner of the game. If the score become tied at 40-40, the score is announced as "Deuce". The next point won after deuce would be one of the players "advantage" or "ad". If it is the server's advantage it is "ad in". If it is the receiver's advantage, it is "ad out".

    The next point won after someone's "ad" would either be "game" or "deuce" again. Deuce, ad-in, deuce, ad-out continues until someone wins two consecutive points.

    Let's run through a hypothetical game, with Donna as the server and Mary as the receiver:

    • Mary wins the first point: Love-15
    • Donna wins the second point: 15-all
    • Donna wins the third point: 30-15
    • Donna wins the fourth point: 40-15
    • Mary wins the fifth point: 40-30
    • Mary wins the sixth point: Deuce
    • Mary wins the seventh point: Ad out
    • Donna wins the eight point: Deuce
    • Donna wins the ninth point: Ad in
    • Donna wins the tenth point: game over


    Sets

    In playing a set, players switch ends of the court after the first game and then after every two games. A set is completed when one of the players wins six games by a margin of at least two games. Therefore, the score could be 6 – 2, or 6 – 3, or 6 – 4, but not 6 – 5, It could be 7 – 5 (because a player won by a margin of two games). If the set score goes to 6 – 6, a tiebreaker would be played to determine the winner of the set.

    The Tiebreaker

    The next player to serve (Player A) will serve the first point from the right hand court (or “deuce court”). Player B would then serve the next two points. She would serve the first of her points from the left hand court (or “ad court”), and the second from the right hand court. The players then alternate, each serving two points in the same sequence – the first from the left hand court and the second from the right hand court. After each six points in a tiebreaker, the players switch ends of the court. The winner of the tiebreaker is the first player to reach 7 points with a margin of at least 2. If the score reaches 6-6 play continues until one player wins two consecutive points, thus creating the margin of two (2).

    Matches

    Varsity matches consist of the best 2 out of 3 sets.

    JV matches consist of either a “pro set” (the first to 8 games, by a margin of at least 2) or a regular set.

Last Modified on April 18, 2019