Fast 4 Tennis is a relatively new format of tennis that was started by Tennis Australia in an effort to make the game quicker and more fun to play.
Fast 4 Tennis Rules
Fast 4 Tennis games follow the same rules as regular tennis but with a few notable exceptions (see below):
- Sets are a race to 4 games rather than 6 games.
- Instead of using the 15, 30, 40, Game Scoring System, a 1, 2, 3, Game Scoring System is used.
- There are no let calls e.g. if you hit the top of the net on your serve but it lands in the service box then you continue to play out the point and you do not call a let.
- No advantage is played at deuce i.e. at 3 all (or 40 all), the player to win the next point wins the game.
- A tie break is played at 3 games all rather than 6 games all.
- Tie breaks are first to 5 points rather than first to 7 with a deciding point at 4 points all.
What is a Fast 4 Set?
A Fast 4 Set involves a race to see who can be the first to win 4 games in the set.
Whoever manages to win 4 games first, wins the set, which makes the Fast Four format much quicker to play than regular tennis.
If a set is tied at three games all, then a five point tiebreak is played instead of a regular game with the winner of the tiebreak winning the set 4-3.
If the score is four points all in the tiebreak, then a deciding point is played to decide the winner of the set.
How do you Play a Tie Break in Fast 4?
Tie breaks are slightly different from tie breaks in regular tennis as they are a race to 5 points rather than a race to 7 or 10 points.
Unlike a regular tie break, you start by serving two serves (first from the deuce side, then the ad side), and then your opponent gets two serves.
You can either toss a coin or a racket to see who serves first.
If you and your opponent are tied at 4 points all in the tie break, then rather than having to play on until one player has won 2 more points than the other, there is a deciding point with the winner of the point winning the tie break 5-4 and the Set 4-3.
What is a Short Deuce in Fast 4 Tennis?
A short deuce is a sudden death point played when both players have three points each (3-3), with the winner of the sudden death point winning the game.
Fast 4 Tennis Match Formats
This match format involves playing one Set being played and is the best to use if you want to fit in as many matches as possible.
Best of Two Sets
This match format is probably the most widely used and involves playing two Sets with a tie break being played if the players are tied at 1 set each.
Best of Three Sets
The best of three Fast 4 Sets format isn’t as popular as it takes longer to play but it has been used in tournaments such as the Hopman Cup – see below for highlights from a mixed doubles match between Roger Federer/Belinda Bencic and Serena Williams at the 2019 Hopman Cup.