Rules & scoring in junior tennis

An umpire refereeing a match at The Championships, Wimbledon

Scoring in tennis

The rules of tennis are controlled by the International Tennis Federation. We’ve outlined some basic scoring in tennis information below, but you can find the full list of rules and scoring on the ITF website. 

Scoring in a game

Scoring in a standard game of tennis goes as follows. The player/team serving in the game has their score called first.

  • No point - “Love”
  • First point - “15”
  • Second point - “30”
  • Third point - “40”
  • Fourth point - “Game”

If each player/team has won three points, the score stands at 40-40, which is called 'deuce'. The player/team that wins the next point after deuce takes 'advantage'. If that same player/team wins the next point after advtange, then that player/team wins the game. If the opposing player/team wins the next point after advantage, the score goes back to deuce again. A player/team needs to win two points in a row immediately after deuce to win the game.

Scoring in a set

The first player/team to win six games in a set wins that set, provided there is a margin of two games over the opponent(s). If the score reaches six games all, a tie-breaker is played to determine the winner of the set.

Scoring in a match

A match can be played over the best of three sets (a player/team needs to win two sets to win the match) or over the best of five sets (a player/team needs to win three sets to win the match). 


During a tie-breaker, points are scored 'zero', '1', '2', '3', etc. The first player/team to win seven points wins the game and set, provided there is a margin of two points over the opponent(s). If necessary, the tie-break game continues until the two-point margin is achieved. 

Get playing tennis!

Now that you've got to grips with the basics of scoring in tennis, why not get on court and have a go? Use our handy CourtFinder tool to locate your nearest court!

The rules of FAST4 Tennis

1. First to four games wins

It doesn’t matter how you get there, just make sure you do before your opponent does!

2. Tiebreaker at 3 games all

At 3 games all a tiebreak is played to 5 points. A deciding point will be played at 4 points all.

3. No ad scoring

If the score reaches deuce, it’s a sudden death point. The receiver chooses which side to take the serve on. This also applies in doubles with the receiving pair deciding who receives the serve. However the pair cannot change positions. In mixed doubles the player of the same gender shall receive.

4. Play lets

If the serve clips the net and lands in the service box, there’s no let and the ball is in play. If you are playing doubles either the receiver or the receiver’s partner can play the return.

The rules of Mini Tennis

Scoring formats used at each age/ball colour:

8U (Red) 9U (Orange) 10U (Green) 12U Open (Yellow) 
One Match Tiebreak (to 10 points)

One Match Tiebreak (to 10 points)


Best of 3 Tiebreak


One short set (to 4 games)

 One short set (tp 4 games)


Best of 2 short sets and a Match Tiebreak (to 10 points)



Best of 2 Short Sets and a Match Tiebreak (to 10 Points)


Best of 2 Tiebreak Sets and a Match Tiebreak (to 10 Points)


Best of 3 Tiebreak sets



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