What Is A Tiebreaker In Tennis?

If you’re a fan of tennis, you’ve probably heard of the term “tiebreaker.” But what exactly is a tiebreaker in tennis? Read on to find out!


A tiebreaker in tennis is a method of breaking a tie between two players who have each won an even number of sets. The tiebreaker can occur in any set except for the final set of a match, which is typically played to a decision.

The most common form of tiebreaker is called the “sudden death” tiebreaker, in which the first player to win a game by two points wins the set. This can be a very suspenseful way to end a set, but it can also be unfair, as one player may dominate the whole game and win easily while the other player struggling just to stay alive may never have a chance to get back into the game.

Other variations of the tiebreaker include the “advantage” tiebreaker, in which play continues until one player has an advantage of two points, and the “long” or “standard” tiebreaker, in which each player serves six times and the winner is determined by whoever wins seven points first.

No matter which form of tiebreaker is used, it all comes down to who can keep their nerve under pressure and come out on top when it matters most.

What is a tiebreaker in tennis?

A tiebreaker in tennis is a special game that is played to determine the winner of a set when the score is tied at 6 games all. The tiebreaker is played to 7 points (or 10 points in a match play format), and the winner of the tiebreaker wins the set. A tiebreaker is never played in the final set of a match (i.e., the third set in a best-of-five match or the fifth set in a best-of-seven match).

How to play a tiebreaker in tennis?

At 6-all in a set, a tiebreaker is played to determine the winner. The player who wins the coin toss gets to choose whether to serve first or receive. The other player serves first in the next game. In the tiebreaker, each player serves twice, and the total number of points decides the winner:

The receiver starts each point from behind the baseline.
The server starts each point from the right service court.
The server serves one point, then the players switch ends of the court.
The players continue to switch ends after every four points are played. (This includes when a player is serving for match point.)
The first player to score seven points wins the tiebreaker — and set — as long as he or she is ahead by two points. If the score reaches 6-all, then it’s anyone’s game: whoever wins the next point wins the tiebreaker (and set).

When is a tiebreaker used in tennis?

The tiebreaker is always used in the seventh game of a set if the score is tied at 6-6. The first player to win seven points (provided that he/she is ahead by two or more points) wins the set. If necessary, the tiebreaker is played again in the succeeding set (or sets) until a player wins a set by two clear games. In other words, the winner of a tiebreaker always serves first in the next game.


A tiebreaker, also called a overtime set, is a scoring system used in tennis to determine the winner of a match that reaches 6–6 in any given set. The tiebreaker system was first introduced into professional tennis by James Van Alen in 1970.

When both players have won the same number of games, the score is tied at 6–6. A player then needs to win two consecutive points to win the tiebreaker and the set. If the score reaches 6–6 with one player leading by 7–6 or more, that player wins the set without having to play a tiebreaker.

The aim of the tiebreaker is to provide a clear winner without the need for an excessive number of games to be played. In most cases, it will not be necessary for all 12 points to be played and so it can be over quite quickly.

One thing to keep in mind is that the player who wins the final point of a set (i.e. the seventh point if it goes to 7–6) does not automatically win the tiebreaker – they will simply have one more point than their opponent and so will need to win one more point in order to take the tiebreaker and win the set.

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