Keeping Score in Tennis - Counting Points
Basics of Traditional Tennis Scoring
Here are the basics of traditional scoring in tennis --
- Both opponents start each game at zero, or Love
- The first point is 15 (Fifteen); the second is 30 (Thirty); the third is 40 (Fourty)
- The server always calls their score first (i.e. 15-30 means the server has 1 point and opponent has 2 points)
- Tie score at 15 is 15-All, at 30 is 30-All, at 40 is Deuce
- Game tied at Deuce means you need to win 2 more points in a row to win the game
So if you’re the server, and you win the first point, the score is 15-Love, but if your opponent wins the first point, then the score if Love-15 (assumes you are serving - remember server score is always first).
At 15-Love (you won the first point), if you win the next point, then the score is 30-Love and you’re ahead 2 points to zero.
At 30-Love, if your opponent wins the next point, then the score is 30-15, and if the opponent wins another point, then the score is 30-All (you are tied with 2 points each).
At 40-Love, or 40-15, or 40-30, if you win the next point, then you win the game.
When the score reaches Deuce (tied at 3 points each), you must win the next 2 points in a row. If you win the next piont, then the score is Ad-In (your advantage), but if your opponent wins that point, then the score is Ad-out). If the person who has Ad wins the next point, then they win the game. If they lose that point, then the score goes back to Deuce. This will continue until one person wins 2 points in a row.
No Ad Scoring
Another variation to the traditional scoring in tennis is referred to as ‘No Ad’ scoring. Instead of counting Love, 15, 30, 40, the score is called 0, 1, 2, 3. If the score is tied at 3-3, or 3 All, then it’s sudden death, and whoever wins the next point wins the game.
If you are the server, and you win the game at 40-Love, not losing a point, then you have held serve and held at love. If you lose your service game not winning any points, then you were broken at love.
If you are the server, and you lose the next point after Deuce, the score is Ad-Out and your opponent has a break point. If you lost the next point after that, your opponent wins the game, and you have lost serve and your opponent has a service break.
That’s the basics of counting points in tennis and keeping score during each game. The next in this series of articles will cover keeping score of games during the match, tiebreakers, and other variations and formats to scoring in tennis.
Have fun on the courts!
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