How to Keep Score in Tennis

This article will provide you with a beginner’s guide on how to keep score in Tennis.

If you are a beginner then the scoring can be confusing but this guide will help you get a better understanding of the general rules.

How to Keep Score in Tennis

Where should you start each point?

Before I explain how to keep score in a tennis match, I want to quickly explain which side of the court you should stand on for each point.

For the first point in each game, you and your opponent stand on the deuce side of the court.

For the second point in the game, you and your opponent stand on the ad side of the court.

From then on, you just alternate from deuce to the ad side until the game is won by you or your opponent.

So how do you keep score in tennis?

The scoring system can be quite confusing to some beginners as it is not like other sports e.g. if you win the first three game points, you will be 40 love up rather than three nil up.

I have included a breakdown of the scoring system below.

Hopefully, it will help you to better understand how to keep score in your next match (especially if you are a beginner).

0 points = Love

1 point = 15

2 points = 30

3 points = 40

If at any stage during a game both players have the same number of points we use All when calling the score e.g. Love all, 15 all, 30 all, 40 all with 40 all also know as Deuce.

Once one player gets to 40, then they will have an opportunity to win the game if they win one more.

If for example, Player A is 40 love up then they will have 3 chances to win the game.

If they fail to win any of the next 3 points, it will go to deuce and they will now require two points in a row to win the game.

If players are at deuce and one of them wins the next point, then the server will call the score as either “my advantage” or “your advantage” depending on who won the last point.

If the player with the advantage loses the next point then it goes back to deuce and this will continue until one of the players wins two points in a row.

An alternative to calling “my advantage” or “your advantage” is to say “Ad in” when the Server has the advantage and “Ad out” when the returner has the advantage.

There really isn’t a right or wrong here, so you can use whichever you prefer.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the scoring system then check out the article on why tennis is scored so weirdly.

Example of Scoring in a Tennis Match

Below is an example of scoring in a match taken from the final game played between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon Semi-Finals in 2019.

#Point Won ByRafael NadalRoger Federer
4Nadal40 (BP to Nadal)30
6Federer40Ad In (MP to Federer)
8Federer40 Ad In (MP to Federer)
10Federer40 Ad In (Federer wins the MP)

Set Scoring

Matches are mostly played as either best of 3 or best of 5 set matches with the two main set formats used being an advantage set and a tie-break set.

Advantage Set Format

An advantage set is played until one player has won at least 6 games and that player has at least a 2-game lead over their opponent e.g. 6-4 or 12-10.

Tie-break Format

The tie-break set format is similar to the advantage set format but if the match gets to six games all, instead of continuing to play games, a tie-break is played to see who wins the set.


Who should call the Score?

The server should call the score just before they hit their next serve.

What are the four scores called?

The four scores are called love, 15, 30, and 40.

What is it called when the score is 40-40?

When both players have a score of 40 in a game, this is called deuce.