Tennis scoring can be a bit confusing for those who begin to enjoy this sport, either in its practice or as a new spectator. If you want to understand how the score is applied in tennis, you just have to know how to differentiate all the stages of a tennis match.

Learn the tennis scoring: ‘game’, ‘set’ and ‘match’

    1. Game
    2. Set
    3. Match

#1 Game

During a game, the players need to win four points, with a minimum difference of two points. In this stage, each earned point is scored at 15 – 30 – 40. Once a player has reached the score of 40 and the score of their opponent is 30 or less, if the player wins the next point, they will win the game, getting a one set point.

On the other hand, if the opponent is the one who wins, the score will be 40-40 for the players (this situation is called deuce). So, in order to win the game, one of them must win two points in a row.

For the 40-40 tie, there is a term to differentiate who has the power to win in that specific moment of the game. When both players are 40-40 and one of them wins the next point, the player gets what is called advantage. If the player that did the serve wins the advantage, it will be called run in. But in the case is the other player who wins the point, it’s called run out.

In the case a run out happens, the player in charge of serving has the chance to win a point and go back to the deuce to get a new chance to win the advantage. However, if the other player wins its second consecutive point, the player in charge of serving will lose the game.

#2 Set

Each game won scores as a set. Thus, if a player wins two games, they have two sets in his favour.

Each set consists of six won games and, as in the game system, there must be a difference of two points between the score of the competitors. If the players have reached a score of 5-4 sets, the player with the highest score must be the winner of the set to achieve a set score of 6-4. If the other player achieves the tie, they must play until the two points difference is obtained (for example. 7-5).

In some tournaments, to break the tie in the six games, they use the tie break, which consists of a fast tiebreaker where the player wins the first seven points (always with the difference margin of two).

It’s done in the following way: when reaching the 6-6 score, the tennis player who had the serve performs their service and starts the tie break. The one who wins this first play, will win one point and so each point scores regardless of who has the service. Each player alternates two services in a row until one of them gets the seven points (7-5) or will continue playing until reaching the two points over their opponent (8-6).

#3 Match

The match is the duration of the entire tennis match. To win the match, depending on the league that is played, one of the players must win three or five sets. This odd number guarantees that there will only be one winner.

In a match of three sets, the match can be resolved in two sets 2-1 or, if an opponent didn’t win any set, the final result can be 2-0. In the case of a match of five sets (usually played in the Grand Slam tournaments), it’s player the best of three, which means that a player must be the winner in three sets to win the match (3-0, 3-1, 3-2 ).