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Highbury Fields Tennis League

How to play a tiebreak

Need to know how to play a tiebreak?

Tiebreaks are the penalty shoot-outs of tennis, though actually the system makes a much better job of reflecting the play so far in a match.

In league matches, when a set reaches six games all, a tie break is played. A tie break would conclude each level six all set, not just a final set.

The player whose turn it would be to serve in the next game starts the tiebreak. He or she serves normally to the deuce court (the left hand court as the server perceives it).

The opponent serves the next TWO points, starting with a serve to the ad (right-hand court).  It feels a bit odd till you have played a number of tie breaks.

Points are numbered 1, 2, 3 etc, rather than 15, 30, 40 Deuce.

From the second point, each player has two serves. The tiebreak is over when one player reaches seven points, provided he or she is two clear points ahead of his or her opponent. From 6-6 in a tiebreak a player must have a two point advantage to win the tiebreak.

A typical tiebreak score would be 7-5, or 8-6, or 9-7.

After 6 points have been played, players change ends, i.e. at 3-3 or 6-6. The players also change ends at the end of the tiebreak to begin the next set.

The player who served first in the tiebreak, RECEIVES at the beginning of the next set (assuming there is one!).

You don’t need to report actual tiebreak scores to the League, but if you do they will be recorded. So a final score for a match might be:

6-2, 5-7, 6-4


6-2, 5-7 (7-9), 6-4

Highbury Fields Tennis League