In tennis, points aren't counted by ones. Instead, each point has special numbers or names associated with them. Below is a table that describes how to talk about tennis scoring-lingo.
|IF YOU HAVE…||YOU SAY...|
|A Tied Score||"All"|
|A Tied Score at "40-40"||"Deuce"|
So, if you have three points and your opponent doesn't have any, the score is "40-Love", in your favor. If both of you have one point, the score is "15-All".
A round of tennis played between two players or teams is known as a match. Matches are made up of sets, which themselves are made up of a series of games.
To win a single game, a player must score at least four "points". Games are "win-by-two", meaning that if the score reaches 40-40, you need to win two consecutive points to win that game.
There are two types of sets. In "advantage" sets, the first player to win six games wins the set, but they must win by two games. So a score of 6-4 will win a set, but a score of 6-5 won't. You'll need to reach 7-5 to win that set. In "tie break" sets, the first person to win six games also wins the set. However, if the set reaches a score of 6-6, a single tie-breaking game is played, meaning that these sets are not always "win-by-two".
There are many different match configurations, but the most popular way to play a tennis match is a best-of-3 match, meaning that the first person to win 2 sets will win the match. That's winning at least twelve games! Tennis matches really can take a long time.
There are an astounding number of ways to win a single point in tennis, and some of them can even happen on the serve, before the ball is returned! For example, if the server messes up by missing the service box or by not getting the ball over the net (known as a "fault"), they get a second chance. But if they mess up again, the receiver automatically gets a point!
Once a legal serve is made, the game continues with the players volleying the ball over the net. Once a player misses a volley, their opponent gets a point. This is the way in which most points are scored. However, if a player hits the ball out of the court or doesn't get it over the net, their opponent also gets a point. In addition, if you intentionally hit the ball twice in a row or hit the ball with anything that isn't your racket (like your hands), your opponent will get a point.