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In many professional and top-level amateur events, the brackets are seeded according to a recognized ranking system, in order to keep the best players in the field from facing each other until as late in the tournament as possible; additionally, if byes are necessary because of a less-than-full bracket, those byes in the first round are usually given to the highest-seeded competitors.
A tennis match is composed of points , games, and sets. A set consists of a number of games a minimum of six , which in turn each consist of points. A set is won by the first side to win 6 games, with a margin of at least 2 games over the other side e. There is usually a tie-break if the set is tied at six games per player. A match is won when a player or a doubles team wins the majority of prescribed sets. Matches employ either a best-of-three or best-of-five set format.
The best-of-five set format is typically only played in the men's singles or doubles matches at Grand Slam and Davis Cup matches. A game consists of a sequence of points played with the same player serving, and is won by the first side to have won at least four points with a margin of two points or more over their opponent. Normally the server's score is always called first and the opponent's score second. Score calling in tennis is unusual in that each point has a corresponding call that is different from its point value.
For instance if the server has won three points so far in the game, and the non-server has won one, the score is "". When both sides have won the same number of points then: However, if each player has won three points, the score is called as " deuce ", not "40—all". From that point on in the game, whenever the score is tied, it is described as "deuce", regardless of how many points have been played.
In standard play, scoring beyond a "deuce" score, in which both players have scored three points each, requires that one player must get two points ahead in order to win the game.
This type of tennis scoring is known as "advantage scoring" or "ads". The side which wins the next point after deuce is said to have the advantage. If they lose the next point, the score is again deuce, since the score is tied. If the side with the advantage wins the next point, that side has won the game, since they have a lead of two points. When the server is the player with the advantage, the score may be called as "advantage in". When the server's opponent has the advantage, the score may be called as "advantage out".
These phrases are sometimes shortened to "ad in" or "van in" or "my ad" and "ad out" or "your ad". Alternatively, the players' names are used: The current point score is announced orally before each point by the judge, or by the server if there is no judge.
When stating the score, the server's score is stated first. If the server or the judge announces the score as "30—love", for example, it means that the server has won two points and the receiver none. The origins of the 15, 30, and 40 scores are believed to be medieval French. The earliest reference is in a ballad by Charles D'Orleans in which refers to quarante cinque "forty-five" , which gave rise to modern In there is a sentence in Latin "we are winning 30, we are winning 45".
The first recorded theories about the origin of 15 were published in and However, the origins of this convention remain obscure. It is possible that clock faces were used on court, with a quarter move of the hand to indicate a score of 15, 30, and When the hand moved to 60, the game was over.
However, in order to ensure that the game could not be won by a one-point difference in players' scores, the idea of " deuce " was introduced. To make the score stay within the "60" ticks on the clock face, the 45 was changed to Therefore, if both players have 40, the first player to score receives ten and that moves the clock to If the player scores a second time before the opponent is able to score, they are awarded another ten and the clock moves to The 60 signifies the end of the game.
However, if a player fails to score twice in a row, then the clock would move back to 40 to establish another " deuce ". Although this suggestion might sound attractive, the medieval period ran until the end of the 15th century i. It wasn't until that clocks regularly had minute hands when the pendulum system was invented and such a valuable piece of delicate equipment would not have been on an early tennis court where it could easily have been damaged.
So the concept of tennis scores originating from the clock face could not have come from medieval times. Another theory is that the scoring nomenclature came from the French game jeu de paume a precursor to tennis which initially used the hand instead of a racket. Jeu de paume was very popular before the French revolution, with more than 1, courts in Paris alone. The origin of the use of "love" for zero is also disputed. One possibility comes from the Dutch expression iets voor lof doen , which means to do something for praise, implying no monetary stakes.
A popular alternative to advantage scoring is "no-advantage" or "no-ad" scoring, created by James Van Alen in order to shorten match playing time. No-ad scoring eliminates the requirement that a player must win by two points.
Therefore, if the game is tied at deuce, the next player to win a point wins the game. This method of scoring is used in most World TeamTennis matches. However, in no-ad mixed doubles play gender always serves to the same gender at game point and during the final point of tiebreaks. In tennis, a set consists of a sequence of games played with alternating service and return roles. There are two types of set formats that require different types of scoring.
An advantage set is played until a player or team wins 6 games and that player or team has a 2-game lead over their opponent s. The set continues, without tiebreak er , until a player or team wins the set by 2 games.
Advantage sets are no longer played under the rules of the United States Tennis Association ;  however, they are still used in the final sets in men's and women's draws in singles of the Australian Open , French Open , Wimbledon and Fed Cup. Mixed doubles at the Grand Slams except for Wimbledon are a best-of-three format with the final set being played as a "Super Tie Break" sometimes referred to as a "best of two" format except at Wimbledon, which still plays a best-of-three match with the final set played as an advantage set and the first two played as tie-break sets.
A tie-break set is played with the same rules as the advantage set, except when the score is tied at 6—6, a tie-break game or tiebreaker is played. Typically, the tie-break game continues until one player wins seven points by a margin of two or more points. However, many tie-break games are played with different tiebreak point requirements, such as 8 or 10 points.
Often, a 7-point tie-breaker is played when the set score is tied at to determine who wins the set. The score of games within a set is counted in the ordinary manner, except when a player or team has a score of no games it is read as "love". The score is written using digits separated by a dash. This score is announced by the judge or server at the start of each game. In doubles, service alternates between the teams. One player serves for an entire service game, with that player's partner serving for the entirety of the team's next service game.
Players of the receiving team receive the serve on alternating points, with each player of the receiving team declaring which side of the court deuce or ad side they will receive serve on for the duration of the set. Advantage sets have a tendency to go significantly longer than tie-break sets. The Wimbledon first-round match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut , which is the longest professional tennis match in history, notably ended with Isner winning the fifth set, 70— The match lasted in total 11 hours and five minutes with the fifth set alone lasting eight hours, 11 minutes.
Nevertheless, even tie-break sets can last a long time. For instance, once players reach 6—6 set score and also reach 6—6 tiebreaker score, play must continue until one player has a 2-point advantage, which can take a considerable time. Sets decided by tiebreakers, however, are typically significantly shorter than extended advantage sets. The set is won by the first player or team to have won at least six games and at least two games more than his or her opponent.
Traditionally, sets would be played until both these criteria had been met, with no maximum number of games. To shorten matches, James Van Alen created a tie-breaker system, which was widely introduced in the early s. Tags A - Z basics girls and sports glossary Pretty Basic slang Tennis terminology women's sports women's tennis.
ACE serve that is neither touched nor returned by the receiving player. BAGEL winning a set A double bagel is winning , FAULT when a serve is illegal or fails to land in the service court. LOVE term meaning zero points.
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The Wall Street Journal. The Tennis Drill Book. Davis Cup's Strange Lingo". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February Rafael Nadal , page 13 Retrieved 13 September Retrieved 8 December