Breaking Down How to Keep Score in Tennis

 Score in Tennis pic

Score in Tennis

President and CEO of Aurora Behavioral Health Care, Dr. Soon K. Kim earned his medical degree from Seoul National University in Korea in 1966. When he is not attending to his professional responsibilities, Dr. Soon K. Kim enjoys playing tennis.

Tennis is perhaps unique among sports because a player or team can win the majority of the points scored and the majority of games and yet still lose the match. For instance, a player could win a match 6-4, 0-6, 6-4, thus winning 12 games to the loser’s 14 games won.

Contemporary league matches in the U.S. are generally won by the first side to win two sets. A set is won by the first side to win six games, and a game is won by the first side to score four points. To win a game, though, not only must a side reach four points, but it must also win by at least two points. Thus, if the two sides are tied at three points apiece – called “40-40” or “deuce”– they keep playing until one side wins by two points.

Some matches employ “no-ad” scoring, which eliminates the “win by two” rule so that even when the score is “deuce,” the next point wins the game. In mixed doubles matches using no-ad scoring, when the score is deuce or at the final point of a tiebreak, the server serves to the same gender player on the other side. This is a feature of mixed doubles play at tennis’ Grand Slam events.