How Tennis Scoring Works: A Comprehensive Guide


Greetings, readers! Have you ever witnessed a captivating tennis match and found yourself wondering about the intricacies of its scoring system? If so, you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the depths of tennis scoring, unraveling its unique set of rules and providing you with a thorough understanding of this exhilarating sport.

The Basics of Tennis Scoring

Love, Fifteen, Thirty, Forty

The foundation of tennis scoring lies in a unique sequence: "love," "fifteen," "thirty," and "forty." These terms represent the number of points a player has won in a game. When a game begins, both players start at "love," with the first point won counting as "fifteen." Subsequent points are counted as "thirty" and "forty," respectively.

Advantage and Deuce

If both players reach forty points, the game enters a state known as "deuce." From this point, the first player to win a point gains the "advantage." If the same player wins the next point, they win the game. However, if the opponent wins the point, the game returns to deuce, and the cycle repeats.

Winning a Game and a Set


To win a game, a player must score four points and lead by at least two points. The player who wins the majority of the points in a game wins the game.


A set consists of six games. To win a set, a player must win six games and lead by at least two games. The first player to win six games wins the set.

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Scoring in Doubles Matches

In doubles matches, the same scoring system applies, with a few minor variations. The teams consist of two players each, and the players serve and receive points in a specific order. The team that wins the majority of the points in a game wins the game. The team that wins six games and leads by at least two games wins the set.

Table Breakdown of Tennis Scoring

Points Notation Game Score
0 Love Love-Love
1 Fifteen Fifteen-Love
2 Thirty Thirty-Love
3 Forty Forty-Love
4 Game Game
5 Advantage Advantage
6 Game Game


We hope this comprehensive guide has helped you unravel the complexities of tennis scoring. Now that you have a firm understanding of the rules, you can fully appreciate the nuances and excitement of this incredible sport. If you’re eager to delve deeper into the realm of tennis, be sure to check out our other articles on strategy, technique, and the history of the game.

Additional info about Tennis Scoring

Three Most Important Things to Remember

  • A game is won by the first player to reach 4 points (15, 30,40, game)
  • A set is won by the first player to reach 6 games (with a margin of 2 games)
  • A match is won by the first player to win 2 out of 3 sets (or 3 out of 5 sets in Grand Slams)

Scoring System

  • 15: The server has won the first point in a game.
  • 30: The server has won two points in a game.
  • 40: The server has won three points in a game.
  • Game: The server has won four points in a game and the game is over.
  • Deuce: Both players have won three points in a game.
  • Advantage: The server has won one more point than the receiver after deuce.
  • Double Fault: The server misses the serve twice in a row.
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Special Scoring Situations

  • Love: A player has not won any points in a game.
  • Break Point: The receiver is one point away from winning the server’s game.
  • Set Point: The player who is leading the set is one game away from winning the set.
  • Match Point: The player who is leading the match is one game away from winning the match.

Serving Rules

  • The server must serve from behind the baseline and between the center mark and the sideline.
  • The server must toss the ball into the air and hit it before it bounces twice.
  • The serve must land in the diagonally opposite service court.
  • The server can only get two attempts to serve correctly.

Return Rules

  • The receiver can return the serve from anywhere on their side of the court.
  • The receiver must return the serve before it bounces twice.
  • The receiver can hit the ball cross-court or down the line.