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Tennis Scoring 

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Advantage System

A game equals four points.  The scoring in tennis is 15 for the first point, 30 for the second, 40 for the third point won, and "game" for the fourth point.  When each player has a score of 40, the score is "deuce", which means that one player must win two consecutive points in order to win a game.

If the server wins the next point, the score is called "ad in" if he/she wins the following point, it is the game.  If the receiver wins the first point after deuce, the score is called "ad out", and if he/she wins the next point, it is his/her game.

However, if after the score is either "ad in" or "ad out", and the other player wins the next point, the score then becomes deuce again.  A score of zero is referred to as "love".

  • 0/15
  • 0/30
  • 0/40
  • 0/Game
  • 40/40 Deuce
  • 40/40+1 Advantage
  • 40/40+2 Game Win


Advantage System
  • 6 games (by a margin of 2)

Tie Break System

  • First player to 7 points (by a margin of 2)
  • Alternate serve every 2 points
    (after initial single service)

Change ends after every 6 points and at the conclusion of the tie-break



Advantage System
  • Best 2 out of 3
  • Best 3 out of 5

Tie Break System

  • Play up to 6 ALL and then tie break
    unless final set, then Advantage Score



Service Rules

First Serve

Your first serve always goes to your opponents Deuce Court.

You also always serve here if the score is at Deuce.



Second Serve

Your second serve goes to your opponents Ad Court.

You also always serve here when the score is Advantage

Adin is when the server has the advantage

Adout is when the receiver has the advantage


Changing Ends

Players exchange ends of the tennis court whenever the sum of the game scores is an odd number. After the first game, change ends (1), then two more games are played (3), and the ends exchanged again, and so forth at the conclusion of odd numbered games.


Topspin - take the ball late with a bit of a closed racket face so the ball stays on the strings just a touch longer and the racket grazes over it going forward so the ball spins towards the receiver and bounces high and fast.

Slice - causes the tennis ball to spin back toward the source of impact.  When a slice shot bounces, the ball stays low, forcing your opponent to scramble.  Can be slow floaters if hit defensively instead of as an approach shot or a drop shot, so use purposefully.  Hit your slice forehand high-to-low, with the strings brushing under the ball.

Flat - racquet face perpendicular to the ground, hard and fast, right through the ball with no spin.

Hot Tips

Watch the ball
Get your racket back
Move your feet
Jump rope

Things to Remember

Don't miss - 85% of all points are decided by errors!

Cross-court on your ground-strokes and down the line on your approach shots are the best percentage plays in singles.

Unless you receive a paycheck when you walk off the court, you're playing the game for fun, so keep things in perspective!

Hand Signals

Excessive talking on a tennis court is just plain unseemly.  You won't catch me doing it... at least if anyone else is around!  Here's some useful hand signals.

Opponents ball is out
Pointing upward with the index finger

Opponents ball is in
Make a sweeping motion of with the palm down

Float one up for me
Point upward with the index finger (during practice, duh)

Ad or Deuce service coming
Pistol grip point left or right

Meet me at the net for a conversation
That "come at me" move Morpheus did to Neo during the karate fight in the Matrix  :)


Click here to see the
grips for LEFT handers.

Click here to see the
grips for RIGHT handers.

No-Ad Scoring

Players that are very nearly equal in abilities may require a considerable amount of time to complete a match.  One way to finish a match more quickly is to use no-ad scoring.  When the score is deuce, the next point wins the game, and the receiver of the no-ad point serve gets to pick the court the ball should be served to.