What is a Break Point in Tennis

Tennis has its terms, which often leaves new players and first-time game watchers to scratch at the back of their heads during a game. You may have heard about converting break-points while watching a game, but what does it mean in the sport? 

We’re going to answer what a break point is in today’s article.

What Does Break Point Mean In Tennis?

FW breakpoint

It potentially happens whenever the athlete is a score away from winning the game. In a tennis scoring system, whenever the score is 30 – 40, an athlete has a chance to break the serve on the court, which you call the tennis term break-point.

Here are a few examples:

  • It’s cool how Andy Murray managed to convert 43.6% of the break-points against his opponent during his career in the sport. 
  • Serena Williams only had one break point chance against her opponent in the entire match, and she didn’t use the strategy to win.
  • Brady lured Osaka in with a drop-shot, then she scrambles forward to retrieve and lob her for a break-point at 40 – 40. 
  • It is a rematch where both players had a break-point, meaning the result was determined by a handful of shots.

How Does It Work?

It works when there is a point that the athlete wins that breaks the serve of the opponent.

In total, there are four possible scoring conditions. These are love – 40, 15-40, 30-40. 

Or in a scenario where the server doesn’t have the advantage of a deuce game against the opponent.

Does A Tennis Break Point Matter?

Yes, break-point matters, depending on your point of view and tactics. While many players look at it as just another score, it plays a big factor in altering the course of the set against your opponent.

Several empirical studies include the Winning matches in Grand Slam men’s singles: An analysis of player performance-related variables from 1991 to 2008.

The study shows a strong relation between converting the break-points and winning a tennis match, like having a quick start to the next service game on the court and having psychological advantages tactics.

tennis break polint

It turns the play around when the scores are deuce, and the server doesn’t have the advantage.

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The ATP Tour website shows that the top tennis players with the best break-points converted statistic in tennis matches, you can find a lot of big names in play.

Here’s an example:

  • Third: Rafael Nadal, 44.95%
  • Seventh: Novak Djokovic, 44.36%
  • Eighteenth: Andy Murray, 43.6%
  • Twentieth: Andre Agassi, 43.32%

If you can take advantage of the moment and convert the break-point in the match, there is a significant moment shift towards the player who successfully converted the point. It increases the chances of winning the set.  

Moving to the server side on the tennis court, here are the players who did everything to save most of the break-points in the games. When the athlete is a point away from winning a game, it makes a big comeback by preventing the athlete from having a break-point in play. 

  • First: Ivo Karlovic, 71.19%
  • Second: John Isner, 70.64%
  • Third: Milos Raonic, 69.36%
  • Fourth: Pete Sampras, 67.9%
  • Seventh: Roger Federer, 67.31%


The definition of a double break-point is when the player has two consecutive opportunities to break the serve of the server and close to win the game. If the game score is 0 – 40, the receiver only needs one more to win the game. A triple break-point is in play.

No. A break-point can make a big momentum shift to the player who takes advantage of it in the games.

The player who has the most break-points saved is Ivo Karlovic at 71.05%. (1)

What a Break Point in Tennis Means - It’s a Wrap!

While spectators may say that it is just another point, it is the game’s turning point to the playing field to win the set point and match. 

In official competition, a service break situation is one of the moments that dictate the line between attaining victory and defeat. 

Remember to take advantage of the chance by breaking your opponent’s serve and serve in the right service box afterward. Disrupting the momentum of the opposing player’s serve gives you a psychological advantage.


  1. https://www.atptour.com/en/stats/break-points-saved

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