Scoring tennis has its peculiarities. In a typical match, two players or teams compete, and the match is won by the side that first wins two out of three sets. A set is won by the first to win 6 games. Games themselves are short, won when one side achieves 4 points. The first point in a game is called 15, the second is called 30, and the third, 40. When announcing the score, the score of the player serving the ball is called first. For instance, the score of a game in which the server has won three points to his opponent’s one would be 40-15. There is no score past 40. If the player with 40 wins the next point, he wins the game, provided he wins by a margin of two or more points.
A feature of tennis is that games must be won by at least two points, and sets by at least two games. If a game’s score is 40-40, it is called “deuce” and play continues. The side that wins the first point played after deuce has the advantage; if that side wins the following point, it wins the game. If it loses the following point, though, the score reverts to deuce and play continues until two consecutive points after deuce are won by one side or the other.
If a set is tied 6-6, in most cases a tiebreak is played, in which each point played is counted as 1, and the first side to reach 7 points wins the tiebreak and the set. However, a tiebreak must also be won by a margin of at least two points; thus, a tiebreak can continue far beyond 7 points.