Tennis matches always have two to three sets. So for you to win any of the sets you have to take away at least six games. From the fascinating terms used in the game, including “love,” to its strict rules and high social interaction, the game is very appealing and affordable as well. But what is the history of its scoring system?
The history of the tennis scoring system dates to France. The French kept track of their match scores using clock faces in the 15th century. So, each score corresponded to a quarter movement of the minute hand between 15, 30, and 45. But the 45 was later reduced by 5 to create space for a deuce.
Besides the somewhat weird scoring system, there are lots of exciting things in Tennis matches. Make sure you read ahead for more info on this game that most likely seems to have come from the French.
- How Is the Scoring Done In a Tennis Match?
- Why Do They Call It Love In Tennis?
- Why Is It 40 Not 45 In Tennis?
- What Are the Basic Rules In Tennis?
- How Do Players Score Points In Tennis?
- My Favorite Tennis Equipment
How Is the Scoring Done In a Tennis Match?
To score in a tennis match, you have to win at least two of the three sets in a match. To win a set, you must win at least six games. A game is won by winning the four points 15,30,40 and the game-winning point. If there is a tie, a player has to win two points in a row to break the tie.
The first player to serve is determined by a coin flip or any opponent willing to leave that chance for the other. So the partner that starts the first serve will do so for the rest of the game then the other partner takes over in the next round.
The three sets in a tennis match are a game, set, and a match. Games are played until a player scores four points. A set is a group of games that calls for a player to win six or more games. On the other hand, a match goes to a best of 3 out of 5 sets.
To Score a Game
So a game is won by scoring four or more points. These points are 15,30,40, and a game-winning point.
However, if both players attain a 40, the game is said to be at a deuce. So to break the deuce, a player has to score two consecutive points. The first one is an “advantage” while the second one is a game-winning point. If an opponent scores again, the game goes at a deuce once more.
To Score a Set
So here a player must win at least 6 games to win the set. If the opposition scores a 5, and the leading player has a 6, the top player needs to get a win in the remaining game to win the set.
However, in case there is a tie set of 6-6. A tiebreaker is employed to boost the game to a 7-6. So the game played here will have a somewhat unusual scoring from the normal tennis period. The game is won by recording one, two, three, four….all through to seven points. So the first player to win the seven points by two games wins the tiebreaker.
To Score a Match
A player has to win the best two of three sets. So if both of you win each set, you have to go for the third set to get the winner.
There are also several rules regarding scoring in the game, these are:
- You have to announce the score before serving the ball. So if for instance, you are at 15 and your opponent at 40, you will announce it as “15-40”.
- You have two serves in the game, so the ball must go across the net and bounce before your opponent returns it. If you miss both serves, the point goes straight to your opponent.
- So once your opponent returns the ball, you will hit it back and forth in a play until either of you misses a shot. When your opponent misses a shot, you get a point, if you miss, your opponent gets the point.
- When serving, let’s say both of you are tied at “40-40”. You’ll say “40-all”. So that is a deuce. So this is broken by winning two consecutive points. If your opponent wins again, the game goes to a deuce, and so on until a winner is determined.
Why Do They Call It Love In Tennis?
It is called “love” in tennis because it sounds like a l’oeuf in French. The French term refers to an egg which is like a zero. So if you and your opponent are both at zero and 15, you announce the score as “love-15”.
Love in tennis is a borrowed language from the french game “jeu de paume” In the French version a zero score resembles an egg meaning a Nil. So whenever someone scores a zero, it is said they have a duck or goose egg. Eggs are commonly known as l’oeuf in French, which sounds very similar to “love” in English.
Tennis’ scoring system is a French influence where “jeu de paume”, the palm game is played. That game is very close to tennis except that the players use their hands instead of rackets as it is in tennis.
Dutch, which is almost identical to French, also assumes a zero to come from someone struggling to get a score. So such people deserve their utmost honor. So in dutch the right word for honor is “lof”. It is also close to the English word love.
There are several other terms in tennis that seem to be borrowed from the language as well. These are:
- Deuce:- this comes from the french word Deux de Jeux meaning two games. However, in the 11th century, people used it to refer to bad luck. It refers to a tie in the points, from which anyone intending to win the game must score two points in a row to gain an advantage.
- Seed:- It’s more of an agricultural term just as you would plant seedlings somewhere awaiting their transplantation. However, this often happens during tournaments when the managers of the matches prevent the top teams from playing together.
- The drive behind the term is primarily to make the matches more interesting when the best players meet each other in the final rounds. So before then, the seed players can only play unseeded opponents.
- Brutaliser:- it is an unintentional shot that heads straight to the body of an opponent. So it is one of those shots every tennis player avoids because it can cause injuries to the recipient. However, some players are fond of using the shot when their opponents are at the net.
- Let:- when it’s your turn to serve in the game. The ball should fly over the net and bounce before your opponent hits it back. If, however, the service is clipped by the net and falls back in the service zone, you are allowed to serve only one more time before the advantage goes to your opponent.
- So the term let is a derivative from an Old Saxon word “lettian” which means to hinder someone or something. Consequently, it refers to the disruption of the smooth progress of play during a tennis match.
- Bagel:- this is a resemblance of a zero in a tennis match. It happens when a player doesn’t score anything, so they have no winnings at the end of the game. Therefore, the name is a derivative from a bagel’s resemblance to a zero.
- Dinner Set:- this is a common term in tennis tournaments. It refers to a player who finished on any consecutive tournaments. It originates from Wimbledon and the French, Australian, and US Championships.
- 15, 30, and 40:- these are the scores recorded for any winnings in the game. However, they are quite different from what we see in matches such as football matches. In football, for instance, every goal your team scores gives your team one point. A tennis match grants you 15 points for any point you score, except the advantage and game-winning points that are 10 points each.
- Another goal you score nets you 30 points, meaning the next one should get you 45 points since it seems the points are based on fifteen factors. In the next section, you will learn why a 40 follows a 30 instead of a 45.
Why Is It 40 Not 45 In Tennis?
In tennis, it is a 40 and not a 45 because there needed to be a clean allowance for two more wins of 10 points each. It happens if there is a tie in the game. So to win a draw, a player scores the advantage point that is ten points, and the game-winning point that is also 10 points.
As I stated in the earlier section, it can be somewhat puzzling, since the scoring points seemingly shot from 15,30 to 45. Thus the 40 records may seem somewhat surprising. However, this is what happened:
Like most of the terms and things in the game, the scoring system is also borrowed from the French. So back then in the 15 and 16th centuries, the clock faces were crucial for recording scores on the court. Back then, every player would begin at 12, then after their first score, they would move to the 15 points (quarter past). The second score would move to half-past (30), and the third score to 45(quarter to).
Therefore, the first player to return the clock face hand to midnight wins the match. There was a need to change the 40 and 45 scores because of ties (deuce). Upon a draw, the player who won the advantage point would receive a 50 score. This would change the game-winning point from 50 to 60. It’s because the player needs to win two consecutive points after a deuce in the game to win.
The first point after a deuce counts as an advantage, whereas the second is a game-winning point. If a player cannot win two consecutive wins, or if an opponent ties again, the game is reset to 40.
What Are the Basic Rules In Tennis?
The basic rules of tennis include, the players are prohibited from touching the net or crossing over. Others are you cannot hit the ball twice, and you get penalized if you verbally abuse any opponent and many others.
The rules of tennis are crucial if you wish to learn more about the game. Although the tennis rules may seem overwhelming on the first few days, they become easier to understand once you connect them to something that is happening on the field.
In addition, you should always keep in mind that tennis rules depend on the status of the current match. That is because the rules differ between doubles and singles. But let’s review the general rules that apply to both of them.
- Any ball hit outside the bounds is a loss of point. So the balls must land within the bounds for the play to continue.
- A player is not allowed to either touch the net or to cross to their counterpart’s side.
- You can’t hit the ball twice.
- Any ball you return must have passed over the net.
- You are prohibited from catching the ball with your racquet or carrying it.
- You are bound to lose points if you do not return a ball before it bounces twice.
- Any ball that touches or hits you accrues a penalty.
- If you verbally abuse a partner or your racquet leaves your hand, you are bound to receive a penalty.
How Do Players Score Points In Tennis?
Players score points in tennis by forcing an opponent’s error, hitting a winner shot, and taking advantage of unforced errors. These are strategies employed by any player who could feel overwhelmed by their opponent.
Seeing and playing tennis is somewhat fun, because of the activities it involves. When a player feels his match is about to end without him winning a single point, he can do almost anything to improve his score.
Some of these things done by players to score are:
You Force an Error
It is a strategy that most players employ when in a rally where their stamina almost seems to balance out. Hence, you force an error by forcing the ball into your rival’s weak areas, forcing them to miss it or return a weak serve that ends at the net.
You Hit a Winner
A winner is not referring to a person. Instead, it refers to an unreturnable or untouchable shot. This shot applies both forehand, backhand, overheads, volleys, and lobs for it to go untouched.
Unforced Error Made By the Opponent
Sometimes everything might turn out to be for you even without you putting in lots of effort. If you happened to set a ball that was a perfect shot for your opponent and they missed it, it qualifies as an unforced error.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.