SprotsGloss: Tennis Scoring


Megan Avi HeaderThe Australian Open is nearing the finals this week with part 2 of the quarterfinals set for tomorrow at 9:30pm and 2:30am (damn you, Australia). Serena Williams is the lone American remaining in the competition, but everyone enjoys rooting for tennis superstars Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic anyway. If you are missing summer and want to live vicariously in the land down under, here is a quick explanation on keeping score in tennis.

Tennis is kind of like those Russian dolls that keep having smaller dolls inside the bigger dolls. First, each tennis battle is called a match. A match is made up of 2 to 3 sets (you have to win 2 of 3 sets to win a match). To win a set, you must win at least 6 games. To win a game, you have to be the first one to score 4 points. Got it?

Hope so because we aren’t done. The points are not actually called points, they are measured in sets of fifteen and sometimes have fun nicknames. Starting at zero, which is also called “love”. Then the first point is 15, then 30, then 40 because fuck patterns, then game point which wins the game. Ready for more fun words? If you reach 40 and are all primed to go hard for that game point, but your opponent also has 40 it is called “deuce”. As in say deuces to winning any time soon because now the only way to win the game is to score two consecutive points. If you don’t, the game will go on forever and ever.

The final fun nugget that tennis has to offer is that you also have to win a set by at least two games (no 6-5 victories here, my friend) which can also go on forever. You may recall the Isner-Mahut match of 2010 that lasted for THREE days with a total of 183 games. That’s crazy.

Questions? Comments? Leave one below or stalk Megan on @sprotstakes @meganmtrout

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