The Tennis Scoring System Explained

Tennis is one of the most popular and loved sports in the world. Every year, the best male and female tennis players in the world compete in tournaments to decide who will be the best, always keeping an eye on the ATP rankings. However, the popularity of this sport is reflected in the fact that tennis courts can be found in almost every city, where you can train or play with friends.

However, not everyone knows how to calculate the score in tennis since the formula is rather particular. Let’s learn about the rules of tennis points together.

Tennis Score: This is how a match works.

To understand how to calculate the score in tennis, we must first start with the structure of the match itself. The first division is done in sets: the first player to reach 6 games wins a set, while the match is won in either the best of three or the best of five sets (depending on the tournament).

If you reach 5 games each, the set ends when the first player reaches 7 games won; if all six are reached, the tie-break is usually played.

To better clarify how tennis scores are calculated, there is a second question that needs to be answered: how do you win a game?

Tennis Score: The rules of points in the game

As mentioned, to understand who wins the game, you need to look at the sets, and to win a set, you need six games. Ok, but how do you calculate the score in the game?

Basically, four points are needed to win a game. The scheme is as follows:

  • 15
  • 30
  • 40
  • Game

As a result, if we score one point and our opponent scores zero, we have a score of 15-0 (or “Fifteen-Love,” since zero is actually called “Love.” 2-1 instead corresponds to 30–15, 2-3 to 30–40, and so on. Whoever scores the fourth point and exceeds 40 wins the game. If the score reaches 40, you go to the advantage; this means that to win the game, it will be necessary to score two consecutive points. A player’s advantage is usually denoted by AD, which stands for “Advantage.” Whoever is ahead and scores wins the game. If, on the other hand, the other team scores, the game returns to a tie and starts again until one player scores two consecutive points.

How do you score in tennis?

To score in tennis, you have to throw the ball into the opponent’s court, i.e., inside the sidelines (which change in singles and doubles), making them touch the ground. We also need to ensure that the opponent is unable to withdraw it into our court, so the aim is to induce him to make a mistake, or more simply, not to allow him to hit it after the first bounce. If the ball bounces twice in the opponent’s court, it is a point for us.

Scoring in tennis is therefore a matter of geometry and speed of execution. And then we proceed with the count, as explained. Unless it comes to the tie-break, the rules change there.

Tiebreak in tennis: how it works and how to calculate the score

We had left the tie-break discussion (i.e., the situation in which the games are tied at 6-6) pending, and we are now taking it up again by explaining how it works and how the score is calculated.

For the tie-break, forget the 15, 30, and 40 systems. You go back to the classic points, i.e., 1, 2, 3, and so on, up to 7. The first to score 7 points, as long as he is two ahead of the opponent, wins the tie break. The tie-break continues indefinitely until one of the two players wins by two points over the opponent. The set eventually ends with the score 7-6, so it is treated as a “normal” game for the final calculation of the set.