Tennis Scoring Formats – Pick One or Load Your Own
Tennis scoring is one of the most brilliant inventions in modern sport. There aren’t too many sports out there where winning more points can still mean losing a match. While not overly common, such an anomaly happens more than one would expect in tennis.
As tennis has evolved as a sport, so have the scoring formats used to determine the outcome of a match. Even at the pro level, there are more scoring formats now compared to 40 years ago. Just ask pro doubles players who now play short deuce and a first to 10 point match tiebreak at 1 set all.
GT STATS provides users with two ways of loading the scoring format for a match. Both have to be pre-loaded prior to a match commencing so make sure you know what’s what before the first stat is loaded.
Pre-loaded Scoring Formats
These are the ones most commonly used in junior tennis as well as pro tennis:
Best of 3 Tiebreak Sets: most commonly used in ATP and WTA singles. First to 6 games with a set tiebreak at 6-all. First player to win 2 sets wins.
Best of 2 Tiebreak Sets, Match Tiebreak at 1 set all: instead of playing a third set to decide a match, it’s become fairly common to decide a match with a first to 10 tiebreak if the first two sets are shared. Note, pro doubles use the sudden death or “No-Ad” scoring format instead of long deuce for this format.
Best of 2 Short Sets with a Match Tiebreak: You won’t find this on the pro tour, but it’s sometimes necessary in junior competition to shorten the format due to weather delays, for example. This one’s first to 4 games per set with a match tiebreak at 1 set all.
Super Set: More common in North America than other parts of the world, the Super Set is normally first to 8 games with a first to 12 point tiebreak at 8 games all.
1 Set Only: First to 6 games.
Match Tiebreak Only: First to 10 points. I use this a lot in junior squad classes to get juniors used to the pressure of Match Tiebreaks.
The last of the pre-loaded scoring formats are the best of 5 set formats. In pro tennis, this format is used in men’s singles events at the 4 grand slams and in Davis Cup. US Open and Davis Cup have a tiebreak 5th set while the other 3 grand slams have an advantage rule in the fifth ie keep going until one or other player wins by 2 games. Ask Nicolas Mahut (above with John Isner) how losing one of those can feel!
That just about covers the most common formats. What about anything that isn’t listed?
Load Your Own Format
If there’s another format that you or your junior is using and you want to record the stats while keeping the credibility of the score, simply tap “Add” at the top right of the Match Formats screen. Giving the format a name and description will help you identify and use it again later as it will appear in the Match Formats screen.
To load your own match format is fairly straightforward. The beauty of it is that you have the ability to load almost any format you like. If you want to load stats for a best of 11 set match, all sets short, with short deuce and a first to 5 point tiebreak at 3-all each set…….you can do it. Your screen would look like the one I’ve loaded in this post.
With so many possibilities, GT STATS users can use any number of permutations. If you want to play to 50 points, go for it! Want to play 1 service game per player with a first to 4 point tiebreak at 1 game all? You can do that too. Not sure why you would but that’s beside the point.
A Note on FAST4
Strictly speaking, FAST4 isn’t a pre-loaded format nor a format you can add yourself. This is because of the final point of a tiebreak being sudden death ie the ninth point. As a tennis purist, I think it’s a really ordinary format, but that’s not the reason it’s not supported.
While sudden death deuce is supported, a sudden death point in a tiebreak is not an option at this stage. There’s also the issue of the order of serving in a FAST4 tiebreak. The way around this at the moment is to reverse the server/receiver using the arrows on the serve/return screen. See FAQs to find out how.
Should there be enough demand, we’d be happy to consider loading FAST4 as a stand-alone format, so Contact Us and let us know.