How Many Sets Are In A Tennis Match

Whether you’re a tennis fan or an aspiring professional, it all begins with the basics. 

It’s important to know what a match is composed of, so you’ll know how to plan your win and maximize the gameplay.

So, how many sets are there? Let’s discuss it below!

The game starts at “love” or zero games and goes up to 40, but that’s just four points. 

A standard set is when one player wins six games, and the opposing player wins two, three, or four games. Several aspects influence the scoring rules, such as if it’s a single or doubles.

Another thing to consider is whether it’s a men’s or women’s tennis event. And finally, how big the tournament is.

The different tournaments are US Open, Australian Open, French Open, and the Pro Tournament. There are different tournament organizers as well. 

tennis match

It doesn’t change the fact that to become a leading player, like Roger Federer, you need to win a set, whether you’re playing in women’s and men’s matches.

Different Formats

Best of 3 Full Sets (or 2-Out-Of-3)

The best of three complete sets is one of the most used formats in tournaments, regardless of the level in a tennis scoring system.

There are six game sets and a final set tie break when the players tie at six games to six. 

The French Open remains the only Major where no tiebreak will be allowed in the final set.

If the competitors split the first two sets, there will be a third one to decide the winner of the match, and it continues until a player wins. Whoever wins the final set is the champion in professional tournaments.

Best of 3 Full Sets (or 2-Out-Of-3)

2 Out of 3 Sets with a Match Tiebreak

The format is quite the same for the best of three sets. However, there’s a ten-point tiebreaker to decide the winner when the players are at one set to one.

It is followed to preserve the tennis player’s energy to ensure that the tournament is finished within the given timeframe.

8 Game Pro Set

An eight-game pro set is normally used when the players are expected to compete in several matches on the same day.

The games played are similar to a six-game set, but it’s up to eight games instead.

If the players are tied at seven games to seven, then the set is extended to nine. 

If the players tie again at eight games to eight, then a tie break is played. The player wins if he preserves enough and gets the final set.

8 Game Pro Set

Match Sets for Various Tennis Games

Match Sets for Various Tennis Games

Tennis Match Sets for Men & Women

Professional men’s tennis is governed by ATP, which is the Association of Tennis Professionals. 

Meanwhile, the women’s tennis tournaments are governed by the WTA, Women’s Tennis Association. In other words, these are two different organizations that have different tennis rules

In the past, men’s tennis matches have more sets than women, but the organizations are currently pushing similar formats in both men and women

Singles Events

In a singles tennis event, the most common format is two out of three sets in the main draw. 

It’s a best-of-three tiebreak set, meaning if you don’t win the first two sets, then a third set will take place to decide. 

The scores go up until one player has gotten at least seven points and has won by two more than the opposing player. 

Usually, the first player who wins six games wins a set and becomes the winning player.

Singles Events

Grand Slams

Grand Slam Matches have sets played for men are three out of five sets. The qualifying draw matches play two out of three sets, except for Wimbledon. 

They are organized by the International Tennis Federation instead of WTA or ATP.

At Wimbledon, the men’s tournaments play two out of three sets until the final round of the qualifying. It is where the players play three out of five until one player wins the set.

Meanwhile, Women’s Grand Slam tournaments are always two out of three sets.

Also Read:

ATP & WTA Tour Events

A tour event is a tournament that is smaller than the Grand Slams. However, these are bigger than the Futures and Challenger Tour events.

The events may differ in size. They are normally played by players who are ranked between 1 and 250 in the world. 

In these events, the third set is played with a tie break when the players tie at six games to six.

Normally, the first player to win six games wins a set. Just keep in mind to win by two to win the game.

ATP & WTA Tour Events

Futures and Challengers

The Futures and Challenger tournaments are the beginning of most aspiring players, and these are less glamorous than the Grand Slams and Tour events. 

Futures and Challengers players play two out of three sets in the main draw in the scoring system.

Doubles Events

A doubles match isn’t popular among tennis fans, and on TV, they shorten matches and games.

Most tennis doubles matches are played in a best out of three sets format with a ten-point tiebreak instead of a third set.

FAQS

A tennis player needs to win by two games and a match by two sets to win. (1)

Keep winning games, and by winning those games, you’ll win the set.

There are two out of three sets in Wimbledon until the qualifying, where the tennis players. 

Whoever wins the final set in a best of three format by getting the next point, wins the match.

So, How Many Sets Are in A Tennis Match?

Tennis is played in the best of three sets. Meanwhile, championships are played in a best of five matches format instead of a best of three format. 

The overall number of sets depends on the tournament and event, but the goal remains the same, winning the final set, so just keep practicing until you’re a pro like Roger Federer. 

Usually, the tennis player who reaches the seven points with a margin of two points wins the set, so if the score is 6-5, the person with five games must win by two games. 

If you don’t win by two, then the opponent wins. If no “breaks” occur, a score of 6-5 will happens, with the player serving first winning the tournament.

You need enough sets to become a winner, regardless you’re playing the US Open, Australian Open, or playing in a tournament with different rules.

References:

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/rules_and_equipment/4223430.stm

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