Tennis Tiebreak Rules – Types, History & Tips In 2022

A sport like tennis can improve your balance, agility, and hand-eye coordination all at once. The sport can also enhance your ability to think critically and solve problems.

It would be best to learn how to keep score in your games, whether you play competitively or with friends.

In this article, we will specifically talk about tennis tiebreak rules, some tips, and also tell you some interesting tiebreakers in tennis history.

So, let’s begin!

What Is A Tiebreaker In Tennis?

The Tiebreak occurs when a set is tied at 6-6, and the first player who scored seven points wins the Tiebreak. ;

The tiebreaker is the most important part of a set when every point counts more than it does in a game.

To avoid matches like Isner and Mahut’s match at Wimbledon a decade ago, it’s a faster and more efficient way to decide sets and matches.

Types Of Tiebreaks

Tennis Players have two options for playing tiebreak games:

1. 12-Point Tiebreaker

The first-to-seven tiebreaker is formally referred to as a “12-point tiebreaker” because the two best-of-12 teams won it (7-5).

The player now has a 7-6 final score by winning this tiebreaker, and the set is won at seven games. In case neither player can win by two points, a long tiebreak can still be played beyond 12 points.

2. 10-Point Tiebreaker

Tiebreakers of this type can be won by two points called super tiebreakers. In men’s singles, the tie occurs during the fifth set, and in women’s singles, it occurs during the third set.

There is almost no difference in the rules of the 10-Point Tiebreak, except that the player with the highest score wins by two points.

In the case of a 10:10 score, it continues until one player is two points ahead. Every sixth point, as well as the first sixth point, the sides alternate.

All doubles competitions are now decided by a 10-point tiebreak rather than a deciding set. A 6:6 tie-ins the deciding set is decided at the Australian Open on the singles tour.

Also Read: Top 10 Best Tennis Racquets

Tennis Tie Break Rules

It’s easy to follow the rules. The player who gets to seven points first in the tiebreak (or by two points if it’s still tied at 6-6), wins the tiebreaker.

After returning serve in the last game of the set, the player on the right side of the court will serve in the Tiebreak.

The other player then serves two times, with his first serve coming from the left-hand side of the court after the first point.

If the number of points is unequal, the serve is always changed. Each point after one point, three points after three points, and so on, the serve changes.

Therefore, when the opponent is serving, the winner must win one point. It’s called a “mini-break.”

It is necessary to switch sides after every six points. However, they may not sit down during this switch. The only thing they can do is walk to the other side and take a sip of water, if needed.

Tiebreak Tips For Singles

If you play singles, you like to get ahead immediately in a tiebreak. This allows you to relax and gives you a cushion. In the Tiebreak, the chances of winning increase if you can get two or more points ahead quickly.

You should focus especially on playing well in Tiebreak’s first three points. You only have to hold serve in the tiebreak when you win a mini-break (winning the point on your opponent’s serve).

Never give up, even if you’re down in the tiebreaker. You worked hard to reach the tiebreaker, so be sure to put your best effort forward on every point.

You will alternate every two serves in the tiebreaker like you would in a game. Be consistent with your strategy.

When you play a tiebreaker, consistency is often the key, since both you and your opponent will be nervous. Your opponent can react to those nerves by tightening up and making unforced errors.

During the 6-point change-over, you might want to slow down, drink water, and take your time. Use positive body language and make your opponent wait for you.

Consider what you can do differently on the next tiebreak if you lose the tiebreak and the match. Do not focus on what happened in the tiebreak when you have to play another set. Focus on each point individually.

Doubles Tiebreak Rules In Tennis

Singles also apply the rule to the pair that returned serve in the last game before the tiebreaker began. Next, the opposing team’s player will serve two points.

After that, each team’s player who serves the next point alternately serves two consecutive points until the tiebreak has ended.

Since a few years ago, the tennis governing bodies have replaced the deciding set with a ten-point tiebreak to make doubles matches more enjoyable to watch. Except for the Grand Slams, this rule applies to all tournaments.

Read Must What Is A Let In Tennis?

The Longest Tiebreak In Tennis History

During a Challenger Tournament in Plantation, Florida, in 2013, the longest Tiebreak ever occurred. In a 70-point tiebreak, Benjamin Balleret defeated Guillaume Couillard by scores of 7:6 (36:34), 6:1.

The ITF and ATP verified the match score even though there were no line judges or chair umpires.

There were numerous instances of a men’s singles tiebreaker ending in a score of 20:18 in an ATP main draw.

Roger Federer and Marat Safin met in the 2004 Tennis Masters Cup Semi-finals in Houston. Federer won the tiebreaker with a score of 20:18 after 26 minutes.

Tiebreaks In Major Tournaments

The US Open and Wimbledon handle tiebreakers differently from other tournaments. Here’s how they do it:

1. Australian Open

In the Australian Open, singles players use first to 10 tiebreakers when the game score is 6-6 in the final set of a singles match. The final set will be a tiebreak in mixed doubles at both the US and Australian Opens.

2. French Open

There are no tiebreakers during singles matches at the French Open, the only Grand Slam without them.

3. US Open

A tiebreaker of 12 points is used in the US Open when the scores are 6-6.

4. Wimbledon

Wimbledon’s final deciding set must be won by two games. This rule was implemented in 2019 to end marathon matches. Players must play a tiebreaker round if they are tied at 12 games.

Quick Summary

The invention of tiebreaks has proven to be a great one in many ways. As every point counts, it adds to the excitement.

When a top player has a bad day and makes too many unforced errors, surprising results can occur. A great serve is also necessary for winning a tiebreak, as getting “mini-breaks” is crucial.

Tennis is an easy game to learn if you don’t mind the complicated scoring system. It becomes easier as you play more.

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