Tennis is a terrific sport, satisfying to both players and spectators. It’s even better when you understand how to keep score. Each tennis match has three main components: the game, the set and the match. Here’s how to keep track of the score throughout the match.
Game - Understand that the first component of a tennis match is the game. A player must win 4 points in order to win a game. The players take turns serving, each getting 9 serves before the other player serves.
Tally each game point using the following terms: 0 points is called "love," 1 point is "15," 2 points is "30," 3 points is "40" and the fourth point is "game."
Listen to the way the announcer calls the score, as he always says the serving player's score first. For example, if the player serving the ball has 30 (2 points) and the player receiving the ball has love (0 points), then the announcer calls out "30-love" just before the player serves the ball. When the other player serves, the announcer says her score first -- for example, "love-30."
Give a player a point when he keeps the other player from returning the ball or the other player makes an error. The game begins with each player at "love." The announcer says "love-all" before the first serve of the game, meaning both players have 0 points.
Imagine the serving player hits the ball and the other player is unable to return it (typically called an "ace"). The score is now "15-love," meaning the serving player has 1 point and his opponent has 0. On the next serve, imagine the server double-faults (two failed serves). Then the other player gets a point and the score is now "15-all," because each player has 1 point.
Imagine a score of 3 points each, (called a "deuce," even though it's 40-all), with each player serving three times. The first player to score 2 points in a row wins that game. You call the first point made in a deuce the "advantage" and announce "advantage-server" or "advantage-receiver" (or use the players' names) when a player earns a deuce point.
Set, Tiebreak and Match - Know that games make up a set in tennis. When a player wins a game -- that is, is the first to receive 4 points or dominate a deuce -- she earns a set point.
Understand that winning a set means being the first player to win six games by a margin of 2 points. If both players win six games and the set score is 6-6, then it comes down to a tiebreak.
Start the tiebreak with the first player serving once. Then the other player gets two serves, back to the first player for two serves and so on. The first player to score 7 tiebreak points by a margin of 2 wins the tiebreak and the set.
Succeed at winning the match by dominating the sets. In professional grand slam tournaments, such as Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, women win a match by winning the best of three sets, and men win a match by winning the best of five sets. Typically, three sets is a match when playing just for fun.