Tennis is a game where “love” means “zero” and the scoring differs with games, sets, and matches. While it might sound confusing, understanding the basics of playing tennis when building career as a player, coach, or solely for fun is very important. In this post, we demystify the tennis sets and scoring points to help you edge closer towards becoming a tennis superstar.

The Basics of Playing Tennis

Tennis is a type of game played on a rectangular-shaped field (court). The games are categorized into two, single matches (played by two players) or doubles match (played by four players). The primary concept of the game is that players stand on different sides of the court separated by a net, and use racquets to hit a tennis ball.

After a tennis ball has been hit by the opponent, the other player has a maximum of one bounce to return it over the net and within the court. If the player fails to hit the ball after it bounces once on his/her side, the opponent is awarded a point.

The overall goal of a player is winning enough points to win a game, winning more games to win a set, and winning enough sets to win a tournament/match.

How Do You Score in a Tennis Game?

When you compare tennis with other games, such as soccer and volleyball, the scoring system is different. Before we can get into the details of scoring in tennis, here is a quick guide:

  • 0 points = Love
  • 1 point = 15
  • 2 points= 30
  • 3 points= 40
  • Tied score= All
  • 40-40 = Deuce
  • Scorer wins deuce point = Ad-In
  • Receiver wins deuce point = Ad-Out

To win in a tennis game, a player is required to get at least four points. Therefore, if you are up to something such as 40-30, 40-15, or 40-love, and get one more win, you become the winner of the game. However, if the score ties in a game, we use the term “all.Here is an example. If two players have two points each in a game, the overall score would be 30-all.

The only time that a tie is different is if the score comes to 40-40, also referred to as a deuce. Once the score hits the deuce, one team or player must win at a minimum of two points in a row in order to be declared the winner.

Tennis Sets

If you are targeting to win a set, one question running in your mind might be: “How many tennis sets do I need to win?” There are two ways that you can use to score a set: a tiebreak set or an advantage set.

  • A Tiebreak Set

In a tiebreak set, you must win six games to be declared a winner. So, if the score stands at 5-5 (5-all), one of the players must win the next two games to be declared the winner. However, if the game hits 6-6 (6-all) in the tennis set, the players have to play a tiebreak game.

In a tiebreak set, the players switch sides after every six points. When recording score in a tiebreak game, we use zero, one, two, three, etc. The first player to get seven points, by two, is declared the tiebreak winner.

  • Advantage Set

In this set, a player is required to win six games, by two, in order to be declared the winner of the set. This implies that the set will not require a tiebreak game at 6-6. Instead, the game continues until one of the players gets a clear win by two games.

If you want to be successful in tennis, as mentioned on, it is important to start with the basics. Particularly, you need to understand the tennis sets and how to score points because the two basics are applied at all levels of tennis competitions. Then, focus on improving your tennis game progressively until you become the superstar of your dreams!