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How to Keep Score in Tennis: A Simple Guide for Adults

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How to keep score in tennis

How to keep score in tennis has always been a head scratcher for players – not only newbies. And if you’ve ever found yourself on the court, scratching your head, and wondering what the hell is happening with the tennis score? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Tennis scoring can be like deciphering a secret code, especially for those of us who are used to simpler scoring systems in other sports. So, let’s unravel this mystery together.

And remember to have patience with both yourself and others when dealing with the score. It’s only after many adult tennis camp during Summer 2023 season that I’ve had the pleasure of training an entire flock of new players. I quickly came to realize the one thing people are intimated or quietly fear, is keeping & ESPECIALLY calling out the score.

First off, how to keep score in tennis doesn’t follow the conventional 1-2-3 format scoring we see in other games. Nope, we’ve got a unique system here. But fear not, I’m here to break it down for you!

And here’s the 1st unique apect to keeping score in tennis, it all starts with LOVE or 0 (zero).

Scoring Basics

  • Love: It’s not about romance on the court; it means zero. So, if you hear “Love-15,” don’t worry, you’re not falling in love – you’re just a point behind.

  • 15, 30, 40: Once you get past Love, the points go up in 15-point increments. If you score once, it’s 15; twice, 30; thrice, 40. Simple, right?

  • Deuce: Now, things get interesting. If both players score 40, it’s not game over. It’s called Deuce. From Deuce, a player must score two consecutive points to win the game.

  • Advantage and Game: If someone scores after Deuce, they get the Advantage. Score again, and you win the game. If they don’t, it goes back to Deuce. It’s like sudden death in other sports.

  • Sets and Matches: The bigger picture is sets & matches. A set is a collection of games, and a match is a series of sets. Generally, you’ll play a best-of-three sets match.

Who’s on First? When it comes to announcing the score, the server has the mic. If you’re serving, YOU call your score first, and then the receiver’s score. So, if you’re serving and you’ve scored once, you’d say “15-Love.” Say it proud & loud so your opponent and others know what’s going on.

Tips to Master How to Keep Score

The side of the court you stand on during a tennis match is just as important. Everyone knows the player who doesn’t now how to keep score in tennis by the side they move on to serve or receive the next point.

Remember this: when the score is even – 0-0, 15-15, 30-30, or 40-40 – it’s your cue to stand on the right side, also known as the deuce court. It’s where the score starts its dance.

Now, when things get odd – like 15-0, 15-30, 40-30, or ad-out – you’re switching to the left side, the advantage court. It’s like hitting the dance floor with a fresh move for those odd-numbered scores.

Remember that the Deuce side is even numbered scoring. Stand on the right.

Odd numbers is odd numbered and you should be on the left side.

You can also remember the numbers by focusing on the number and move to correct side

Deuce Court side or right side shifts you to the right for these score call-outs: 0/0 15/15 30/0 0/30 30/30 40/15 15/40 deuce

Ad Court or left side of the court when the score is called out as: 0/15 15/0 30/15 15/30 0/40 40/0 30/40 40/30 advantage (server or receiver)

I always had trouble with 40-15 or 15-40 … so I memorized it. Problem solved.

With love from Mallorca~

Rhonda

Rhonda

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