Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Grand Slam Matches Formats



"Are they playing best of five in doubles here?"
"Wait, and is it a tiebreak in the final set?"
"But wasn't it different in qualifying?"

Those questions come up in every Grand Slam, and no wonder - the individual Slams are free to choose their own play format for every one of the events they're running (Men/Women, Singles/Doubles/Mixed, Main Draw/Qualifying). The only fixed rule is that Men's Singles must be best of five (5) sets. All other events can be best of five or best of three, can end in a tiebreak or an advantage set. Confusing? Maybe, but not for long. Here are all the common rules and formats, with a short glossary for all the tennis terms you're not sure about.

ATP/WTA tennis tournaments
Singles - best of 3 sets, all 3 are tiebreak sets, ad scoring.
Doubles - best of 3 sets - 2 tiebreak sets & 3rd supertiebreak, no-ad scoring.

ITF Grand Slams
(All matches are ad scoring unless noted otherwise)

Australian Open/ Roland Garros Wimbledon US Open
Men's Singles Best of 5
4 tiebreak sets, 5th advantage set
Best of 5
4 tiebreak sets, 5th advantage set
Best of 5
5 tiebreak sets
Women's Singles Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
Best of 3
3 tiebreak sets
Men's Doubles Best of 3
3 tiebreak sets
Best of 5
4 tiebreak sets, 5th advantage set
Best of 3
3 tiebreak sets
Women's Doubles Best of 3
3 tiebreak sets
Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
Best of 3
3 tiebreak sets
Mixed Doubles Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd supertiebreak
No-ad scoring
Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd supertiebreak
No-ad scoring
Men's Singles Qualifying Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
First rounds-Best of 3
Final round-Best of 5
2/4 tiebreak sets, 3rd/5th advantage set
Best of 3
3 tiebreak sets
Women's Singles Qualifying Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
Best of 3
3 tiebreak sets
Men's Doubles Qualifying -- Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
--
Women's Doubles Qualifying -- Best of 3
2 tiebreak sets, 3rd advantage set
--

Tennis Glossary

  • Tiebreak set - The set is played until a player reaches 6 or 7 games, with a 2-game margin. A tiebreak is played when the score is 6-6. To win a tiebreak, a player needs to win at least 7 points, with a 2-point margin (7-5, 8-6, etc).
  • Advantage set - no tiebreaks are played, and the set continues until one of the players has a 2-game margin (8-6, 9-7, etc). Today, only the last and deciding set of the match (the 5th or the 3rd) can be played as an advantage set, while all the other sets are tiebreak sets.
  • Supertiebreak - A set that consists of a tiebreak, in which a player has to win at least 10 points with a 2-point advantage.
  • No-ad scoring - A scoring method in which the 40-40 point is a deciding point - whoever wins it, wins the game. This scoring is employed in ATP/WTA doubles matches, and in Grand Slam Mixed Doubles (except in Wimbledon). 
  • Ad scoring - after getting to 40-40, the player/team must win two points to win the game (the first of those is the "advantage" point). This is the usual method of scoring in tennis tournaments.

2 comments:

  1. tiebreak should be used everywhere

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think ATP should make the London Finals format the same for singles and doubles:
    Group Stage - best of 3, 3 tiebreak sets,
    SF - best of 3, 2 tiebreak, 3rd advantage,
    Final - best of 5, 4 tiebreak, 5th advantage.

    ReplyDelete