Tennis player on court

How Does A Tiebreaker In Tennis Work? (Easy To Follow Explanation)

Tennis is considered to be an all-around sporting activity that helps to improve the hand-eye coordination, agility, and balance of the player.

It will likewise aid in improving your problem-solving skills and you will be able to think critically. It is essential to learn all the rules and regulations of the game along with the common terms in case you are going to play competitive tennis or even a casual game with your buddies or near and dear ones.

In this article, we will mention what can happen when a tennis game becomes tied.

What Happens In A Tennis Game Which Is Tied?

Once a tennis score becomes tied and an advantage set will not be effectual, the players are going to get into a tiebreaker round. The general rule in a tennis match is that one has to win by 2 at all times, in games as well as in points.

Nevertheless, there is always the possibility of the players becoming tied at 6 games each. In that situation (depending on the regulations and rules of the specific game or tournament) they will be playing a tiebreaker round for ascertaining the eventual winner.

Different Types of Tiebreaks in Tennis

It will be possible for the players to play tiebreak games in 2 different ways:

  • 12-point tiebreaker – Although this particular tiebreak is going to be played 1st to 7, it is called a 12-point tiebreak officially due to the fact that it is the best of the 12 points which have been won by 2 (7-5). The set’s game score is going to become 7-6 by winning this particular tiebreak, and the player is going to win that set at 7 games. Nevertheless, it is also possible for long tiebreaks to take place past 12 points in case neither player is able to win by 2 points.
  • 10-point tiebreaker – Also referred to as the super tiebreaker, this kind of tiebreaker will be played 1st to 10 with a win by a margin of 2 points. This happens in case of a tie during the 5th set for men’s singles, and for a tie in the 3rd set in the case of women.
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Tiebreaker Rules In Tennis

Once a player enters a tiebreak game in tennis, he or she has to stick to certain rules and regulations which are as follows:

  1. It is imperative for the players to win by a margin of 2 points. The tiebreak point scores have to be won by a margin of 2 points. The match is going to last until a player is able to win by 2. Nevertheless, in general, longer tiebreaks will be moving faster as compared to advantage sets. The tiebreak points will be counted singularly instead of the conventional scoring system of 15-30-40.
  2. The servers will be switched after the initial point. The 1st point at the starting of the tiebreaker will be served by the one who has received in the earlier game. The service is going to take place and it will be executed by the player from the deuce court. Nevertheless, he will only serve the initial point, and his opponent will be serving the subsequent 2. From that time till the conclusion of that tiebreaker, the players will be alternating servers at the interval of every couple of points. In case a tiebreaker tennis game is being played in the first few sets (prior to the final set), the one who actually served the tiebreaker’s initial point will be receiving in the initial game of the subsequent set.
  3. Players are going to switch the ends of the tennis court. When playing a particular tiebreak round, the players will be changing the ends of the court once the total number of points equals 6 or multiples thereof (for example, 3-3, 4-2, and so on).
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How Tiebreak Rounds Are Handled In The Major Tournaments

Tournaments such as the Wimbledon and the U.S. Open will be handling tiebreakers differently as compared to the regular-season tennis games. Below, we have mentioned how tiebreaks will be handled by the major tournaments:

  • French Open – This is one particular Grand Slam where tiebreaks will not be used for figuring out the winner of the ultimate set in men’s and women’s singles.
  • Australian Open – Here, the singles players will be using the 1st to 10 tiebreakers once the score of the game in the final set becomes 6-6. In the case of mixed doubles, the players will be playing a tiebreak in place of a final set.
  • Wimbledon – Here, it will be imperative for the players to win the last set by a margin of 2 games.
  • U.S. Open – Here, the players will be using a 12-point tiebreaker in case of a tie at 6-6.

Tips For Winning Tiebreaks In Singles

While playing singles in tennis, make it a point to go ahead in case of a tiebreak. This will help to take the burden from your shoulders and will provide you with a cushion. You’ll come to know that if it is possible for you to go ahead by a couple of points quickly your possibilities of winning that tiebreak will increase.

Because of this, it is essential for you to play to the best of your abilities during the initial 3 tiebreak points. After having a mini-break, you simply need to hold your service in the tiebreak for winning it.

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Do not give up in case you are down while playing the tiebreak. Make it a point to fight extremely hard for every single point given that you have worked really hard to reach the tiebreaker.

The tiebreaker will be almost similar to playing a regular game except for the fact that you will be alternating every couple of serves. Try to remain consistent and concentrate on your techniques.

On most occasions, it will be possible to win a tiebreak being consistent since your opponent will be quite nervous just like you. Eventually, he might even commit unforced errors by tightening up.


In case you are a beginner when it comes to playing tennis and wondering whether you will be able to remember the scoring system, there is no need to worry. Try to practice hard and in case you play with an experienced player, you will be able to master the rules of the game in no time at all.

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