Rules & scoring in tennis
Scoring in a match
The rules of tennis are controlled by the International Tennis Federation. We’ve outlined some basic scoring in tennis information below, but you can find the full list of rules and scoring on the ITF website.
How many games are there in a set in tennis?
Usually, there are six games in one set of tennis.
The first player/team to win six games wins that set, provided there is a margin of two games over the opponent(s). If the score reaches six games all, a tie-break game shall be played.
How many sets are in a match?
Usually, players will play to the best of 3 sets or best of 5 sets, with the winner then winning the match.
How many sets to win in tennis?
If players are playing to the best of 3 sets, the winner must win 2 sets. For best of 5 sets, the winner must win 3 sets.
How do you win a tennis match?
A match can be played to the best of 3 sets (a player/team needs to win 2 sets to win the match) or to the best of 5 sets (a player/team needs to win 3 sets to win the match).
A standard game is scored as follows with the server’s score being called first:
- No point - “Love”
- First point - “15”
- Second point - “30”
- Third point - “40”
- Fourth point - “Game”
If each player/team has won three points, the score is deuce. After deuce, the score is advantage for the player/team who wins the next point. If that same player/team also wins the next point, that player/team wins the game; if the opposing player/team wins the next point, the score is again deuce. A player/team needs to win two consecutive points immediately after deuce to win the game.
During a tie-break game, points are scored “zero”, “1”, “2”, “3”, etc. The first player/team to win seven points wins the game and set, provided there is a margin of two points over the opponent(s). If necessary, the tie-break game shall continue until this margin is achieved.
Padel is played slightly differently to tennis - players team up in doubles of mixed abilities and play on an enclosed court about a third of the size of a tennis court.
However - scoring is exactly the same as tennis, following the Set, Match, Game format.
For more information on Padel, head over to our page where you can learn more about the sport, rules, and how to get started.
Mini Tennis follows slightly different scoring formats at each age/ball colour:
||9U (Orange)||10U (Green)||12U Open (Yellow)
|One Match Tiebreak (to 10 points)||
Best of 3 Tiebreak
One short set (to 4 games)
One short set (tp 4 games)
Best of 2 short sets and a Match Tiebreak (to 10 points)
Best of 2 FAST4 Sets and a Match Tiebreak (to 10 Points)
Best of 2 Tiebreak Sets and a Match Tiebreak (to 10 Points)
Best of 3 Tiebreak sets
FAST4 Tennis provides a simple, exciting way of speeding up a conventional tennis match. The fundamentals of tennis remain the same, but there are four rules that ensure matches are fast, competitive, exciting and can be completed in a reasonable period of time.
- First to four games wins
It doesn’t matter how you get there, just make sure you do before your opponent does!
- Tie-break at 3 games all
At 3 games all a tie-break is played to 7 points, 2 clear at 6-6.
- No ad scoring
If the score reaches deuce, it’s a sudden death point. The receiver chooses which side to take the serve on. This also applies in doubles with the receiving pair deciding who receives the serve. However the pair cannot change positions. In mixed doubles the player of the same gender shall receive.
- Match tie-break at 1 set all
If the score reaches one set all, then a match tie-break will decide the match. The match tie-break will be played to 10 points, 2 clear at 9-9 to determine the outcome of the match.