5th Set Tiebreak In Tennis

What Happens When a Tennis Match Is Tied?

When there is a tie in a tennis match and no advantage set is in play, the participants go to a tiebreaker round. The general rule in tennis is that you must always win by two in both points and games. However, there is always the possibility that the participants may tie after six games.

They will play a tiebreak round to decide the winner based on the specified regulations of the tournament or sport.

Tennis Professionals

The number of sets played in professional tennis tournaments varies according to the event and competition. The scoring criteria get influenced by various factors, including whether the match is a singles or doubles match, whether it is a men’s or women’s event, and the size of the overall tournament. The number of sets played at each professional tennis is listed below:

Men’s Tennis vs. Women’s Tennis

Men’s tennis events have different rules than women’s tennis events. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) governs many professional men’s tennis events, while the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) organizes many professional women’s tennis tournaments. Different rules apply to various organizations.

Men’s tennis matches have traditionally had more sets than women’s, but tennis tournaments have been pushing to adopt similar match patterns for men and women in recent years.

Most professional men’s tennis matches get played in best-of-three sets, consisting of six games (plus a possible tiebreak). Men play best-of-five sets in Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open), which means they must win three sets to win the tournament.

Even in Grand Slam competitions like the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open, women’s tennis matches always get played in best-of-three formats. Each set also includes six games and the possibility of a tiebreak.

The Different Types of Set Formats Described

While the match styles indicated above are the most common set formats used by professional tennis tournaments, amateur tennis competitions use a variety of set formats. Some of the ones you might see at your next event are listed below.

Best of Three Full sets or Two-Out-Of-Three

It would be the most popular tournament format at all levels. These are six-game sets, including a tiebreak if the players get tied at six games apiece. If the first two sets are equal, the match will go to a third set to decide the winner.

This format is similar to that used in most professional tournaments. However, it might be difficult for players unfamiliar with it.

2 out of 3 Sets Decided by Match Tiebreak

When players are tied 1 set to 1 in this style, a 10-point match tiebreaker will get used to decide the match. This format gets designed to shorten games to conserve player energy and finish the event on time.

A complete set lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour, whereas a 10-point tiebreaker usually lasts no more than 15 minutes.

What Various Sorts of Tiebreaks Are There?

Tennis professionals can perform tiebreak matches in two different ways:

12-point tiebreaker:

Even though the tiebreaker gets played first to seven, it is formally known as a “12-point tiebreak” game since it is the highest of 12 points won by two players (7-5). If the player wins the tiebreaker, the set score will be 7-6, and the player will win the set in seven games. Long tiebreaks can still happen after 12 points if neither player can get a two-point win.

10-point tiebreaker:

Type, often known as the super tiebreaker, is a game played first to ten with a two-point win. It happens in a tie in the fifth set for men’s singles and the third set for women’s singles.

What Are the Rules of a Tennis Tiebreaker?

There are a few distinct regulations that come into play when players enter a tiebreak game, such as:

Players must win by a margin of two points:

Scores in tiebreakers must get won by a two-point margin. The game can go on as long as it takes for one person to win by two points. Longer tiebreaks tend to progress faster than advantage sets. Tiebreak points get counted individually rather than using the usual 15-30-40 scoring method.

After the First Point Switch Servers:

The first point will get served at the start of the tiebreaker by the player who received it in the previous game. The serve gets made from the deuce court, on the right side of the center mark. They only get to serve the first point while the opponent plays the next two.

From then until the finish of the tiebreaker, the players will do alternate hitting every two points, with the first service point on the ad court, left side, and the second service point on the deuce side. If a tiebreaker game gets played between the first and second sets before the final one, the player who delivered the first point of the tiebreaker shall receive the first game of the second set.

The player’s alternate ends of the court:

When the aggregate of the scores equals six or multiples thereof during a tiebreak round, players switch ends of the court (3-3, 4-2, 6-6, etc.).

Tiebreak Rounds and How Major Tournaments Handle Them

Tiebreakers are handled differently in tournaments like the US Open and Wimbledon than in regular-season games. The big tournaments manage tiebreaks in the following ways:

The Australian Open tournament:

When the game score in the final set of a singles match reaches 6-6, singles players use the first to ten tiebreakers in the Australian Open. In mixed doubles at the Australian and US Opens, a tiebreak will use instead of a final set.

The French Open tennis tournament:

In singles matches, the French Open is the only Grand Slam that does not employ tiebreakers to determine the victor of the final set.

The US Open tennis tournament:

 In a 6-6 tie in the US Open, participants use a 12-point tiebreaker.


Players must win the last deciding set by two games at Wimbledon. Wimbledon implemented a new regulation in 2019 to bring prolonged matches to a close. If the players get tied after 12 games, they will have to play a tiebreaker round.

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