How Does Tennis Scoring Work

How Does Tennis Scoring Work?

Tennis scoring can seem complex to those unfamiliar with the sport, but it follows a structured system designed to determine a clear winner in each match. Understanding the scoring mechanism is crucial for both players and spectators to fully appreciate the game’s intensity and strategy.

Overview of Tennis Scoring

In tennis, matches are typically divided into sets, and sets into games. To win a match, a player must win a predetermined number of sets, usually two out of three for women’s matches and three out of five for men’s matches. Each set consists of a series of games, and games are composed of points.

Points System

How does Tennis scoring work?

Tennis uses a unique points system that involves the terms “love,” “15,” “30,” “40,” and “game.” When a player wins a point, the score progresses from love to 15, then to 30, and finally to 40. If both players reach 40, it’s referred to as “deuce.” From deuce, a player must win two consecutive points to secure the game.

Game, Set, Match

To win a game, a player must have won at least four points and be ahead by at least two points. If the score reaches deuce, as mentioned earlier, the game continues until one player gains a two-point advantage, thus winning the game. Winning a set requires a player to win a certain number of games, usually six, with a margin of at least two games.


In some cases, sets can be tied at six games each. To determine the winner of the set, a tiebreak is played. In a tiebreak, players take turns serving, with the first player to reach at least seven points and maintain a two-point lead winning the tiebreak and the set.

Serving and Receiving


At the start of each game, the player designated as the server serves from behind their baseline to the diagonally opposite service box. They have two attempts to serve the ball into the service box on the other side of the net. If successful, the point begins. If unsuccessful, it’s called a “fault,” and the server gets another attempt.


The player who is not serving is the receiver. Their goal is to return the served ball within the boundaries of the court. If the receiver successfully returns the serve, the point continues, and they become the server for the next point.

Understanding tennis scoring adds depth to watching and playing the sport. It’s not just about hitting the ball back and forth but strategically winning points, games, and ultimately, the match. And this how the tennis scoring works