### Are there 3 or 5 sets in tennis?

Women’s singles, and men’s and women’s doubles matches at the US Open are played in a best-of-three-sets format, while men’s singles is played to a best-of-five-sets format.

### How many sets are there in a tennis game?

Points, games, sets and matches – Tennis is played in points: Four points win a game, six games win a set, and two or three sets win a match. You can decide how long you want your game to be but most matches are played as best-of-three or five set contests.

• Service stays with one side for the duration of each of those four-point games, which – thanks tennis! – use a numerical sequence and French words that have no relation to actual values.
• The sequence is: 0 points = love 1 point = 15 2 points = 30 3 points = 40 4 points = game And that’s it! Thanks again to tennis history you must win a game by at least two points, so if the two sides are drawn at 40 – 40 then “deuce” is called.

The winner of the next point is awarded “advantage”, and can then win the game by taking the next point or be brought back to deuce if their opponent scores. There is no limit in the rules to the number of times players can tie at deuce.

#### Are there 5 sets in tennis?

Men’s Tennis vs Women’s Tennis – The rules for men’s tennis events are different from women’s events. Most of the professional men’s tennis tournaments are governed by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), while most of the women’s tennis tournaments are organized by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

• Different organizations, different rules.
• Men’s tennis matches have historically been played with more sets than women’s, but more recently tennis events have made a push to adopt similar match formats for both men and women.
• Most professional men’s tennis matches are played in a best-of-three sets format, with 6 games (and a possible tiebreak) in each set.

In Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open), men play best-of-five sets, which means that players need to win 3 sets to win the match. Women’s tennis matches are virtually all played in best-of-three formats, even in Grand Slam tournaments such as the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.

## Can tennis go to 7 sets?

Tennis Scoring: Sets – In order to win a set in the tennis scoring system, you have to win 6 games. If both opponents have 5 games though, then the set will go to 7. The final score of a set can be 6-4 or 6-3 but it cannot be 6-5. Once the score in the set reaches 5-5 it can then only be decided either 7-5 or 7-6.

At 6-6 a so-called tiebreak is usually being played. Tiebreak If the score reaches 6-6, a set will be decided in a so-called tiebreak will be played. The idea of the tiebreak for the tennis scoring system is to control the length of tennis matches and to avoid sets that last too long. The tiebreak was invented in 1965 and slowly but surely gained popularity in order to avoid tennis matches that were simply too long for the players as well as the spectators! In a tiebreak the goal is to reach a score of 7 points first.

Points are simply added up in a tiebreak. Player 1 starts serving from the deuce court and gets to play the first point on serve. After that Player 2 serves for two points and now serves alternate every two points until one player wins the tiebreak. Again you can win a tiebreak 7-5 but not 7-6 for example.

Once 6-6 is reached you have to win by two points! Let’s look at an example tiebreak: Player 1 starts serving from deuce court and wins the point Score: 1-0 (Player 1’s point of view) Player 2 serves from ad court and wins point Score: 1-1 Player 2 serves again, now from the deuce court and wins point Score: 1-2 (Player 1’s point of view) Now Player 1 serves again, first from the ad court and then from the deuce court.

This system continues until the tiebreak is over!

### Is Australian Open 3 or 5 sets?

Matches on the ATP Tour (and Hologic WTA Tour) are best of three sets. If a player wins the first two sets, the third is not played. At Grand Slams (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open), men play best of five sets, while women play best of three.

## Is Wimbledon best of 3 or 5?

Match formats – Matches in the Gentlemen’s Singles are best-of-five sets. In 2023 it was decided that Gentlemen’s Doubles match formats will be changed from best-of-five sets to best-of-three sets due to complaints from partaking players ; all other events are best-of-three sets.

• Up to and including the 2018 tournament, a tiebreak game is played if the score reaches 6–all in any set except the fifth (in a five-set match) or the third (in a three-set match), in which case a two-game lead must be reached.
• Since 2019, a final set tiebreak game is played if the score in the final set reaches 12–all.

In 2022 it was decided all matches would have a final set tie break once the match reached 6–6, with a champions tie break taking place meaning the winner needs to get to 10 points and win by two clear points. If the score is 9–9 play continues until one player wins by two points.

All events are single-elimination tournaments, except for the Gentlemen’s, Senior Gentlemen’s and the Ladies’ Invitation Doubles, which are round-robin tournaments, Up to 1921, the winners of the previous year’s competition (except in the Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles) were automatically granted byes into the final round (then known as the challenge round).

This led to many winners retaining their titles in successive years, as they were able to rest while their opponent competed from the start of the competition. Since 1922, the prior year’s champions were required to play all the rounds, like other tournament competitors.

### How many games are in 5 sets of tennis?

History of the tiebreak – The tiebreaker – more recently shortened to just “tiebreak”, though both terms are still used interchangeably – was invented by James Van Alen and unveiled in 1965 as an experiment at the pro tournament he sponsored at Newport Casino, Rhode Island, after an earlier, unsuccessful attempt to speed up the game by the use of his so-called “Van Alen Streamlined Scoring System” (“VASSS”).

For two years before the Open Era, in 1955 and 1956, the United States Pro Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, was played by VASSS rules. The scoring was the same as that in table tennis, with sets played to 21 points and players alternating five services, with no second service. The rules were created partially to limit the effectiveness of the powerful service of the reigning professional champion, Pancho Gonzales,

Even with the new rules, however, Gonzales beat Pancho Segura in the finals of both tournaments. Even though the 1955 match went to five sets, with Gonzales barely holding on to win the last one 21–19, it is reported to have taken 47 minutes to complete.

The fans attending the matches preferred the traditional rules, however, and in 1957 the tournament reverted to the old method of scoring. Van Alen called his innovation a “tiebreaker”, and he actually proposed two different kinds or versions of it: best-five-of-nine-points tiebreaker and best-seven-of-12-points tiebreaker,

The first lasts a maximum of nine points, and awards victory in the set to whichever player or team first reaches five points – even if the other player or team already has four: the margin of victory can be a single point. Because this “nine-point” tiebreaker must end after a maximum of nine points, even if neither player or team has a two-point (or greater) margin, Van Alen also called it a “sudden-death tiebreaker” (if and when the score reached four points all, both players faced simultaneous set point and/or match point.).

This type of tiebreaker had its Grand Slam debut at 1970 US Open and was employed there until 1974. It was also used for a while on the Virginia Slims circuit and in American college tennis. This format is still used at the World TeamTennis, The other type of tiebreaker Van Alen introduced is the “12-point” tiebreaker that is most familiar and widely used today.

Because it ends as soon as either player or team reaches seven points, provided that this player or team leads the other at that point by at least two points, it can actually be over in as few as seven points. However, because the winning player or team must win by a margin of at least two points, a 12-point tiebreaker may go beyond 12 points – sometimes well beyond,

That is why Van Alen derisively likened it to a “lingering death”, in contrast to the nine-point (or fewer) “sudden-death tiebreaker” that he recommended and preferred. The impetus to use some kind of a tie-breaking procedure gained force after a monumental 1969 struggle at Wimbledon between Pancho Gonzales and Charlie Pasarell,

This was a five-set match that lasted five hours and 12 minutes and took two days to complete. In the fifth set the 41-year-old Gonzales won all seven match points that Pasarell had against him, twice coming back from 0–40 deficits. The final score was 22–24, 1–6, 16–14, 6–3, 11–9 for Gonzales.

The tiebreaker gave tennis a definite “finish line”. In what follows, the “final set” means the fifth set for best-of-five matches, and the third set for best-of-three matches. In 1970, the US Open introduced the nine-point tiebreaker rule for all sets that reach 6–6, both in singles and in doubles. The 12-point tiebreaker format was introduced in 1975.

In 1971, Wimbledon put into effect a 12-point tiebreaker when the score in a set reached 8–8 in games unless the set was such that one of the players could achieve a match victory by winning it. In 1979, Wimbledon changed their rules so that a (12-point) tiebreak would be played once any set except the final set reached 6–6 in games.

• In 1989, the Davis Cup adopted the tie-break in all sets except for the final set, and then extended it to the final set starting in 2016.
• In 2001, the Australian Open adopted the tiebreak at 6–6 in the final set in men’s and women’s doubles matches.
• The French Open followed in 2007.
• In 2001, the Australian Open replaced the deciding third set of mixed doubles with an eighteen-point “match tiebreak” (first to ten points and win by two points wins the match).

Despite some criticism of the change by fans and former pros, the US Open (from 2003) and the French Open (from 2007) have followed the Australian Open in using the same format for mixed doubles. Wimbledon continues to play a traditional best-of-three match, with a tie-break in the final set at 12–12 (advantage set was played before 2019).

Likewise, the ATP Tour introduced a match tiebreak format for doubles tournaments in 2006. The WTA Tour adopted that rule in 2007. Tie-break sets are now nearly universal in all levels of play, for all sets in a match; however, the tie-break is not a compulsory element in any set, and the actual formatting of sets and tie-breaks depends on the tournament director in tournaments, and, in private matches, on the players’ agreement before play begins.

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Final set tie-breaks were adopted by the Australian Open in 2019, the French Open in 2022, Wimbledon in 2019, Fed Cup in 2019, Davis Cup in 2016, and the Olympics in 2016. The US Open was the only major tournament to use a tiebreak in the final set for singles from 1970 to 2018.

However, the Australian Open and French Open also use a final-set tiebreak in both men’s and women’s doubles. After criticism of two lengthy semifinals in the 2018 Men’s singles, Wimbledon announced the 2019 Championships would use final-set tiebreaks if the score reached 12 games all. The first such was in the Men’s doubles third round, with Henri Kontinen and John Peers defeating Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury,

Shortly following Wimbledon’s final set tiebreak introduction announcement, the Australian Open also for their 2019 tournament introduced a “super-tiebreak” at 6–6 for both singles and doubles (but not mixed doubles) in the final set, replacing the previous format in which the final set would continue until one player was ahead by two games.

• The new format for the final set is similar to the “12-point tiebreaker”, but with the winner being the first to 10 points instead of seven (and they must still win by two points).
• Tennis Australia has called this a “10-point tiebreak”, though this is inconsistent with the reasoning behind the naming of the “12-point tiebreaker” representing a score of 7–5; the analogical name would be “18-point tiebreaker” representing a score of 10–8.

Prior to the 2022 French Open, the French remained the only grand slam tournament that did not use any form of a tie-break for singles in the final set; each grand slam event had a different final-set scoring system. In March 2022, the ATP, WTA and ITF announced that final-set tiebreaks in all Grand Slams will have a 10-point tie break (“18-point tiebreaker”, first to 10) when the set reaches six games all (6-6).

### How many hours is a tennis match?

One of the reasons tennis can be such a great sport to watch is its sheer unpredictability. A match that was expected to end quickly can turn into an epic, but an apparently evenly-balanced match can end rapidly. Tennis players are not machines, and even the best have bad days.

1. For this reason, there is no easy answer to the question of how long tennis matches last.
2. There are also a number of different formats, with many being decided over the best of three sets with a tie-break in each if necessary, but men’s grand slam matches, for example, extend to the best of five sets, sometimes with no tie-break in the final set.

On average, best-of-3 tennis matches last about 90 minutes, while best-of-5 matches last 2 hours and 45 minutes. The fastest professional tennis matches ever lasted about 20 minutes, while the longest match ever extended for a historic 11 hours and 5 minutes.

#### What is 4 game set in tennis?

Fast 4 Scoring – To win a singles match in Fast 4 format, a player must win the best of three sets. Sets are determined on a fist-to-four-games basis, unlike the normal six games. Tiebreakers are also reduced in length, with the first to five points and a sudden death Power Point kicking in at four points all.

The receiver elects which service side he/she prefers when the score is deuce, there are no advantage points. This applies to both singles and doubles.

No Lets

If the ball strikes the net cord and lands within the service lines, play continues as it would during a normal rally. There are no lets. In doubles, the non-receiver is permitted to return the serve if the ball strikes the net cord and falls in.

Quick Changeovers

Players must be ready within 60 seconds of the change of ends and 90 seconds between sets. Players cannot sit down at the change of ends but may do so, briefly, between sets.

## What is a 5 in tennis?

5.0 Tennis Rating – A person with a 5.0 tennis rating has learned good shot anticipation and can consistently hit different strokes with depth and control. At this level the person can also hit winners and force errors by the opponent.

### When did men’s tennis become 5 sets?

Still Questioning the Best-of-Five Format in Men’s Tennis (Published 2016)

Andy Murray, who looked tired in the French Open final last month, says he likes the best-of-five format for the major events but he isn’t against change. Credit. Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

• When Wimbledon begins on Monday, it will be notable for the absence of the 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and for the presence of the 17-time major winner Roger Federer, who is still trying to recover from a back injury that caused him to miss the French Open.
• Had a 1970s experiment with a shorter format in the early rounds of Grand Slam events not been discarded, it is possible that things might have been different.
• The bruising nature of the men’s tour, with players bigger than ever, a predominating baseline style that leads to long rallies, the homogenization of court surfaces and the increasing emphasis on physicality, has caused many top players to take time off for injuries in recent years.

At Grand Slam events, players have wilted as matches stretch past three hours, particularly in the heat of Melbourne, Australia, and Flushing Meadows, Queens. At last year’s United States Open, 10 men retired from their first-round matches. Watching Andy Murray visibly tire in the final of the French Open this month, it was easy to wonder what might have been had he not had to play five sets in each of his first two rounds.

Then again, if the French Open had used a best-of-three format in the first two rounds, as it did from 1973 to 1975 (and had this year’s matches in Paris played out the same way), Murray would have been eliminated long before the final. Still, concerns about extending players’ careers have led to questions about the best-of-five format for men’s singles at Grand Slam events.

Men play best-of-five matches only at majors and in Davis Cup matches. Other ATP Tour events and all WTA tournaments have a best-of-three-set format. (That men play best-of-five at the Grand Slam events and women do not is an argument used by many critics of equal prize money.) Most male players, past and present, say the best-of-five-set format represents the truest test, physically and mentally.

1. To change it, they say, would affect how Grand Slam champions are compared with those of the past.
2. But in the 1970s, the decade in which television helped increase prize money and transform tennis into a truly global sport, three of the four Grand Slam events tested a best-of-three-set format in the men’s events.

John McEnroe, left, with Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon in 1977, said the top players of his era believed the longer format favored them because of their superior fitness. Credit. Fox Photos/Getty Images The Australian Open started the ball rolling in the 1973 and 1974 tournaments, in which only the first-round matches were best-of-three.

• The French Open was best-of-three in the first two rounds in 1973, 1974 and 1975; and the United States Open tried it in the first three rounds in 1975, 1976 and 1978 and through the fourth round in 1977.
• According to, the change in format at the United States Open was made to accompany a switch from grass courts to clay.

“The reason for the change was that the matches on clay were expected to last longer than on grass because of more extended rallies,” the article said. In the three United States Opens leading up to the change, first-round matches were often one-sided.

From 1972 to 1974, 104 of the 192 first-round matches were won in straight sets, including retirements. Only 26 matches went five sets, and only 15 would have had different results had they been played best-of-three. In 1979, a year after the tournament moved to the National Tennis Center from the West Side Tennis Club and switched to hardcourts, the tournament returned to a best-of-five format.

There were 37 straight-sets wins in the first round and 14 five-set matches, and six matches would have had different outcomes over the shorter format. Forty-odd years on, the memory of those involved is understandably hazy, but John McEnroe, who first played at the United States Open in 1977, said the top players believed that the longer format favored them because of their superior fitness.

“I did lose in the round of 16 in the U.S. Open in 1977, my first Open, 6-2, 6-3, and it seemed like it happened too fast,” McEnroe said in a conference call Tuesday. Manolo Santana, who won three Grand Slam singles titles in the 1960s, remembered that players were unhappy about the best-of-three format.

“I think it was done because some of the early matches were very quick, and then the television people wanted it,” he said at the French Open last month. Frew McMillan, a South African who won 10 Grand Slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, said the players were pleased when the experiment ended.

1. I think any player with any history of the game, not only through their own experience but looking back over the years, all the majors stood out and were played over five sets,” said McMillan, who is now a commentator for the Eurosport television network.
2. It was very much a routine for us, and so to reduce events in the majors to three sets in some ways reduced the value in our eyes.” The 1975 World of Tennis yearbook includes one withering paragraph about the 1974 French Open.

“A distasteful feature of the men’s singles was the decision once again to play two rounds over the best of three sets and the rest over the best of five,” it read. “This broke the rhythm of the tournament and asked players to transform themselves from sprinters into stayers.” The 1976 book refers to the format in a more positive way, saying that “abbreviated matches” helped raw youngsters “take the strain” of a packed schedule.

1. An email statement from Wimbledon said that officials there were not aware of any discussion in the past about a possible change of format.
2. “We consider five sets to be the ultimate test for a tennis player in the men’s game and there are no plans to change the format at the Championships,” the statement said.
3. McEnroe said tennis should always think of ways to improve itself.

“I don’t think the door should be closed on saying that women would never play best-of-five or guys will never play best-of-three,” he said. “I think it’s something that’s an ongoing discussion.” Eric Butorac, the president of the ATP Player Council, said in an email, “In all my discussions in previous years, most players were in favor of staying with the best-of-five format despite the congestion.” Murray was open to ideas.

• I’m not against change or trying something, trying something new,” he said last week.
• It could make it better, for sure.
• That’s possible.
• It could make it more interesting, more entertaining, but it could also go the other way as well.” He added: “I don’t mind the best-of-five.
• I think it makes it a little bit different to the rest of the tour.

It makes all the hard work kind of worthwhile. Best-of-three matches physically don’t often take too much out of you. We’ve played best-of-three since we were kids in all competitions, so in the best-of-five, the extra training and extra effort helps in those scenarios.

So I like a five-set format, but I’m not against change, either.” A correction was made on : An earlier version of this article misstated the timing of the French Open final. It took place this month, not last month. How we handle corrections A version of this article appears in print on, Section D, Page 5 of the New York edition with the headline: Majors Cling to Best-of-5.

Here’s Why. | |

: Still Questioning the Best-of-Five Format in Men’s Tennis (Published 2016)

### Can tennis go to 6 sets?

Scoring the match – A match is completed (usually best of three or best of five) when a player reaches six sets and wins by at least two sets.

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Player A 6 5 6
Player B 4 7 1
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In this example, Player A won the match by a score of 6-4, 5-7 and 6-1. Player B won the second set 7 to 5, reaching the sixth game first but having to win by two games.

### Is Wimbledon 5 sets?

Wimbledon will become the final Grand Slam to shorten men’s doubles matches from best-of-five sets to best-of-three sets from this year’s tournament. The grass court tournament was the only remaining Grand Slam to play five-set doubles matches, but will now fall into line with the Australian Open, French Open and US Open.

• Last year’s men’s doubles final at Wimbledon lasted over four hours as Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell won 7-6(5) 6-7(3) 4-6 6-4 7-6(2) against Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.
• Wimbledon Wimbledon 2023: Day 3 Order of Play and schedule – When is Djokovic v Thompson? 3 HOURS AGO The 2019 final was also a lengthy match that clocked in at four hours and 46 minutes.

“The decision was made following a wide-ranging consultation and the change brings Wimbledon into line with the other Grand Slams which stage the gentlemen’s doubles in a best-of-three format,” the All England Tennis Club said in a statement. “This update will provide the referee’s office with greater certainty when scheduling matches during the event and we hope it will encourage even more players to enter doubles at Wimbledon as a result.” Best-of-five set doubles has been criticised in the past for dissuading singles players from entering due to the potential length of matches.

Dominant Djokovic sending a ‘message’ to rivals Djokovic leads Federer applause after reaching semis

“I think it is the stupidest thing ever,” he said about the best-of-five set doubles format at the time. “I don’t know why it is best of five sets. No-one wants to play best-of-five-set doubles, no one wants to watch best-of-five-set doubles.” All other formats at Wimbledon will remain the same.

#### How does the 7th set work in tennis?

Over the past decade, there have been many great matches and moments that have caught the attention of tennis fans. One of the most remarkable ones took place at Wimbledon in 2010. One first-round matchup was the American John Isner against the Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut.

• On paper, it should have been an easy win for Isner who was ranked 19 th in the world back then.
• What followed however was the longest match in tennis history.
• It took over eleven hours until the American finally won with a score of 70:68 in the fifth set.
• In order to avoid these marathon-matches in every tournament, the American Jimmy van Allen invented the first form of the Tiebreak in 1954.

It wasn’t, however, until 1971 that the Tiebreak we know it today was devised by Peter Johns and officially made it into the tennis rule book. A tiebreak works as a special game to decide the winner of a tie between two tennis players. Once a set is tied at 6 games to 6, players start the tiebreak and the first player to score seven points wins the tiebreak and the set.

## What does 7 5 mean in tennis?

What is 7-5 score in tennis? – If the score reaches 6–5 (or 5–6), one further game is played. If the leading player wins this game, the set is won 7–5 (or 5–7). If the trailing player wins the game, the score is tied at 6–6 and a special tiebreaker game is played. The winner of the tiebreak wins the set by a score of 7–6 (or 6–7).

### Why do men play 5 sets?

In the ATP & WTA events, both Men & Women tennis players play best of 3 sets. But when it comes to Grand Slams, the Men play 5 sets. At the risk of sounding a misogynist, I always believe the reason to be strength & endurance. After all, a 5 set EPIC match lasts 5 hours while a 3 set EPIC last 3 hours.

### Why does tennis go to 40 not 45?

Why are tennis points 15, 30, and 40? – Why isn’t it 1 to 4 instead of 15, 30, 40, and game? One of the most accepted theories on this dates back to medieval France, It is believed by many that the earliest version of tennis – known then as ‘Jeu de Paume’ – is responsible for the scoring system.

1. After moving forward 15 feet twice, they could only move forward 10 feet (therefore a total of 40, rather than 45) to avoid being right against the net.
2. Another theory suggests clock faces were used to keep score, with a quarter move of the minute hand to indicate a score of 15, 30, and 45.

AS English

• The theory goes that this was changed to 40 when the concept of winning a game by two points was introduced, to make room for advantage, which was placed at 50 past the hour,
• During medieval times, there were some clocks at French and English cathedrals that did have minute dials and tolled every 15 minutes, so this theory can’t be completely ruled out,

: Why is the tennis scoring system 15-30-40? How does it work?

## Why is there a 3rd set in tennis?

The most common format used to play a tennis match is best-of-three tiebreak sets. This means that if you don’t win the first two sets, the third set will decide the match!

#### What’s the longest tennis match in history?

French Open – Arnaud Clément (pictured) lost the longest ever match at the French Open to Fabrice Santoro in 6 hours 33 minutes. He expressed his disappointment at losing the match which until 2010 held the record for the longest ever match stating: “Frankly, I don’t give a damn, What world record? Do I get a medal? If I’m not getting anything, frankly, I’m not interested. It doesn’t count.”

### Where is tennis invented?

Players on a roofless centre court in 2008 The racket sport traditionally named lawn tennis, invented in Birmingham, England, now commonly known simply as tennis, is the direct descendant of what is now denoted real tennis or royal tennis, which continues to be played today as a separate sport with more complex rules.

1. Most rules of (lawn) tennis derive from this precursor and it is reasonable to see both sports as variations of the same game.
2. Most historians believe that tennis originated in the monastic cloisters in northern France in the 12th century, but the ball was then struck with the palm of the hand, hence the name jeu de paume (“game of the palm”).

It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use and the game began to be called ‘tennis’. It was popular in England and France, and Henry VIII of England was a big fan of the game, now referred to as real tennis. Many original tennis courts remain, including courts at Oxford, Cambridge, Falkland Palace in Fife where Mary Queen of Scots regularly played, and Hampton Court Palace,

• Many of the French courts were decommissioned with the terror that accompanied the French Revolution,
• The Tennis Court Oath (Serment du Jeu de Paume) was a pivotal event during the first days of the French Revolution.
• The Oath was a pledge signed by 576 of the 577 members from the Third Estate who were locked out of a meeting of the Estates-General on 20 June 1789.

Marylebone Cricket Club ‘s Rules of Lawn Tennis have been official, with periodic slight modifications, ever since 1875. Those rules were adopted by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the first Lawn Tennis Championship, The Championships, Wimbledon in 1877.

• The Davis Cup, an annual competition between men’s national teams, dates to 1900.
• The analogous competition for women’s national teams, the Fed Cup, was founded as the Federation Cup in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Tennis Federation, also known as the ITF.

Promoter C.C. Pyle created the first professional tennis tour in 1926, with a group of American and French tennis players playing exhibition matches to paying audiences. The most notable of these early professionals were the American Vinnie Richards and the Frenchwoman Suzanne Lenglen,

Players turning pro cannot compete in the major (amateur) tournaments. In 1968 commercial pressures and rumors of some amateurs taking money under the table led to the abandonment of this distinction, inaugurating the Open Era (see below), in which all players could compete in all tournaments and top players were able to make their living from tennis.

With the beginning of the Open Era, the establishment of an international professional tennis circuit, and revenues from the sale of television rights, tennis’s popularity has spread worldwide, and the sport has shed its upper/middle-class English-speaking image (although it is acknowledged that this stereotype still exists).

### When did men’s tennis become 5 sets?

Still Questioning the Best-of-Five Format in Men’s Tennis (Published 2016)

Andy Murray, who looked tired in the French Open final last month, says he likes the best-of-five format for the major events but he isn’t against change. Credit. Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

• When Wimbledon begins on Monday, it will be notable for the absence of the 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and for the presence of the 17-time major winner Roger Federer, who is still trying to recover from a back injury that caused him to miss the French Open.
• Had a 1970s experiment with a shorter format in the early rounds of Grand Slam events not been discarded, it is possible that things might have been different.
• The bruising nature of the men’s tour, with players bigger than ever, a predominating baseline style that leads to long rallies, the homogenization of court surfaces and the increasing emphasis on physicality, has caused many top players to take time off for injuries in recent years.

At Grand Slam events, players have wilted as matches stretch past three hours, particularly in the heat of Melbourne, Australia, and Flushing Meadows, Queens. At last year’s United States Open, 10 men retired from their first-round matches. Watching Andy Murray visibly tire in the final of the French Open this month, it was easy to wonder what might have been had he not had to play five sets in each of his first two rounds.

• Then again, if the French Open had used a best-of-three format in the first two rounds, as it did from 1973 to 1975 (and had this year’s matches in Paris played out the same way), Murray would have been eliminated long before the final.
• Still, concerns about extending players’ careers have led to questions about the best-of-five format for men’s singles at Grand Slam events.

Men play best-of-five matches only at majors and in Davis Cup matches. Other ATP Tour events and all WTA tournaments have a best-of-three-set format. (That men play best-of-five at the Grand Slam events and women do not is an argument used by many critics of equal prize money.) Most male players, past and present, say the best-of-five-set format represents the truest test, physically and mentally.

1. To change it, they say, would affect how Grand Slam champions are compared with those of the past.
2. But in the 1970s, the decade in which television helped increase prize money and transform tennis into a truly global sport, three of the four Grand Slam events tested a best-of-three-set format in the men’s events.

John McEnroe, left, with Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon in 1977, said the top players of his era believed the longer format favored them because of their superior fitness. Credit. Fox Photos/Getty Images The Australian Open started the ball rolling in the 1973 and 1974 tournaments, in which only the first-round matches were best-of-three.

The French Open was best-of-three in the first two rounds in 1973, 1974 and 1975; and the United States Open tried it in the first three rounds in 1975, 1976 and 1978 and through the fourth round in 1977. According to, the change in format at the United States Open was made to accompany a switch from grass courts to clay.

“The reason for the change was that the matches on clay were expected to last longer than on grass because of more extended rallies,” the article said. In the three United States Opens leading up to the change, first-round matches were often one-sided.

From 1972 to 1974, 104 of the 192 first-round matches were won in straight sets, including retirements. Only 26 matches went five sets, and only 15 would have had different results had they been played best-of-three. In 1979, a year after the tournament moved to the National Tennis Center from the West Side Tennis Club and switched to hardcourts, the tournament returned to a best-of-five format.

There were 37 straight-sets wins in the first round and 14 five-set matches, and six matches would have had different outcomes over the shorter format. Forty-odd years on, the memory of those involved is understandably hazy, but John McEnroe, who first played at the United States Open in 1977, said the top players believed that the longer format favored them because of their superior fitness.

• I did lose in the round of 16 in the U.S.
• Open in 1977, my first Open, 6-2, 6-3, and it seemed like it happened too fast,” McEnroe said in a conference call Tuesday.
• Manolo Santana, who won three Grand Slam singles titles in the 1960s, remembered that players were unhappy about the best-of-three format.
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“I think it was done because some of the early matches were very quick, and then the television people wanted it,” he said at the French Open last month. Frew McMillan, a South African who won 10 Grand Slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, said the players were pleased when the experiment ended.

“I think any player with any history of the game, not only through their own experience but looking back over the years, all the majors stood out and were played over five sets,” said McMillan, who is now a commentator for the Eurosport television network. “It was very much a routine for us, and so to reduce events in the majors to three sets in some ways reduced the value in our eyes.” The 1975 World of Tennis yearbook includes one withering paragraph about the 1974 French Open.

“A distasteful feature of the men’s singles was the decision once again to play two rounds over the best of three sets and the rest over the best of five,” it read. “This broke the rhythm of the tournament and asked players to transform themselves from sprinters into stayers.” The 1976 book refers to the format in a more positive way, saying that “abbreviated matches” helped raw youngsters “take the strain” of a packed schedule.

1. An email statement from Wimbledon said that officials there were not aware of any discussion in the past about a possible change of format.
2. “We consider five sets to be the ultimate test for a tennis player in the men’s game and there are no plans to change the format at the Championships,” the statement said.
3. McEnroe said tennis should always think of ways to improve itself.

“I don’t think the door should be closed on saying that women would never play best-of-five or guys will never play best-of-three,” he said. “I think it’s something that’s an ongoing discussion.” Eric Butorac, the president of the ATP Player Council, said in an email, “In all my discussions in previous years, most players were in favor of staying with the best-of-five format despite the congestion.” Murray was open to ideas.

I’m not against change or trying something, trying something new,” he said last week. “It could make it better, for sure. That’s possible. It could make it more interesting, more entertaining, but it could also go the other way as well.” He added: “I don’t mind the best-of-five. I think it makes it a little bit different to the rest of the tour.

It makes all the hard work kind of worthwhile. Best-of-three matches physically don’t often take too much out of you. We’ve played best-of-three since we were kids in all competitions, so in the best-of-five, the extra training and extra effort helps in those scenarios.

So I like a five-set format, but I’m not against change, either.” A correction was made on : An earlier version of this article misstated the timing of the French Open final. It took place this month, not last month. How we handle corrections A version of this article appears in print on, Section D, Page 5 of the New York edition with the headline: Majors Cling to Best-of-5.

Here’s Why. | |

: Still Questioning the Best-of-Five Format in Men’s Tennis (Published 2016)

#### Is Wimbledon 5 sets?

History of the tiebreak – The tiebreaker – more recently shortened to just “tiebreak”, though both terms are still used interchangeably – was invented by James Van Alen and unveiled in 1965 as an experiment at the pro tournament he sponsored at Newport Casino, Rhode Island, after an earlier, unsuccessful attempt to speed up the game by the use of his so-called “Van Alen Streamlined Scoring System” (“VASSS”).

For two years before the Open Era, in 1955 and 1956, the United States Pro Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, was played by VASSS rules. The scoring was the same as that in table tennis, with sets played to 21 points and players alternating five services, with no second service. The rules were created partially to limit the effectiveness of the powerful service of the reigning professional champion, Pancho Gonzales,

Even with the new rules, however, Gonzales beat Pancho Segura in the finals of both tournaments. Even though the 1955 match went to five sets, with Gonzales barely holding on to win the last one 21–19, it is reported to have taken 47 minutes to complete.

• The fans attending the matches preferred the traditional rules, however, and in 1957 the tournament reverted to the old method of scoring.
• Van Alen called his innovation a “tiebreaker”, and he actually proposed two different kinds or versions of it: best-five-of-nine-points tiebreaker and best-seven-of-12-points tiebreaker,

The first lasts a maximum of nine points, and awards victory in the set to whichever player or team first reaches five points – even if the other player or team already has four: the margin of victory can be a single point. Because this “nine-point” tiebreaker must end after a maximum of nine points, even if neither player or team has a two-point (or greater) margin, Van Alen also called it a “sudden-death tiebreaker” (if and when the score reached four points all, both players faced simultaneous set point and/or match point.).

This type of tiebreaker had its Grand Slam debut at 1970 US Open and was employed there until 1974. It was also used for a while on the Virginia Slims circuit and in American college tennis. This format is still used at the World TeamTennis, The other type of tiebreaker Van Alen introduced is the “12-point” tiebreaker that is most familiar and widely used today.

Because it ends as soon as either player or team reaches seven points, provided that this player or team leads the other at that point by at least two points, it can actually be over in as few as seven points. However, because the winning player or team must win by a margin of at least two points, a 12-point tiebreaker may go beyond 12 points – sometimes well beyond,

That is why Van Alen derisively likened it to a “lingering death”, in contrast to the nine-point (or fewer) “sudden-death tiebreaker” that he recommended and preferred. The impetus to use some kind of a tie-breaking procedure gained force after a monumental 1969 struggle at Wimbledon between Pancho Gonzales and Charlie Pasarell,

This was a five-set match that lasted five hours and 12 minutes and took two days to complete. In the fifth set the 41-year-old Gonzales won all seven match points that Pasarell had against him, twice coming back from 0–40 deficits. The final score was 22–24, 1–6, 16–14, 6–3, 11–9 for Gonzales.

1. The tiebreaker gave tennis a definite “finish line”.
2. In what follows, the “final set” means the fifth set for best-of-five matches, and the third set for best-of-three matches.
3. In 1970, the US Open introduced the nine-point tiebreaker rule for all sets that reach 6–6, both in singles and in doubles.
4. The 12-point tiebreaker format was introduced in 1975.

In 1971, Wimbledon put into effect a 12-point tiebreaker when the score in a set reached 8–8 in games unless the set was such that one of the players could achieve a match victory by winning it. In 1979, Wimbledon changed their rules so that a (12-point) tiebreak would be played once any set except the final set reached 6–6 in games.

• In 1989, the Davis Cup adopted the tie-break in all sets except for the final set, and then extended it to the final set starting in 2016.
• In 2001, the Australian Open adopted the tiebreak at 6–6 in the final set in men’s and women’s doubles matches.
• The French Open followed in 2007.
• In 2001, the Australian Open replaced the deciding third set of mixed doubles with an eighteen-point “match tiebreak” (first to ten points and win by two points wins the match).

Despite some criticism of the change by fans and former pros, the US Open (from 2003) and the French Open (from 2007) have followed the Australian Open in using the same format for mixed doubles. Wimbledon continues to play a traditional best-of-three match, with a tie-break in the final set at 12–12 (advantage set was played before 2019).

1. Likewise, the ATP Tour introduced a match tiebreak format for doubles tournaments in 2006.
2. The WTA Tour adopted that rule in 2007.
3. Tie-break sets are now nearly universal in all levels of play, for all sets in a match; however, the tie-break is not a compulsory element in any set, and the actual formatting of sets and tie-breaks depends on the tournament director in tournaments, and, in private matches, on the players’ agreement before play begins.

Final set tie-breaks were adopted by the Australian Open in 2019, the French Open in 2022, Wimbledon in 2019, Fed Cup in 2019, Davis Cup in 2016, and the Olympics in 2016. The US Open was the only major tournament to use a tiebreak in the final set for singles from 1970 to 2018.

However, the Australian Open and French Open also use a final-set tiebreak in both men’s and women’s doubles. After criticism of two lengthy semifinals in the 2018 Men’s singles, Wimbledon announced the 2019 Championships would use final-set tiebreaks if the score reached 12 games all. The first such was in the Men’s doubles third round, with Henri Kontinen and John Peers defeating Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury,

Shortly following Wimbledon’s final set tiebreak introduction announcement, the Australian Open also for their 2019 tournament introduced a “super-tiebreak” at 6–6 for both singles and doubles (but not mixed doubles) in the final set, replacing the previous format in which the final set would continue until one player was ahead by two games.

• The new format for the final set is similar to the “12-point tiebreaker”, but with the winner being the first to 10 points instead of seven (and they must still win by two points).
• Tennis Australia has called this a “10-point tiebreak”, though this is inconsistent with the reasoning behind the naming of the “12-point tiebreaker” representing a score of 7–5; the analogical name would be “18-point tiebreaker” representing a score of 10–8.

Prior to the 2022 French Open, the French remained the only grand slam tournament that did not use any form of a tie-break for singles in the final set; each grand slam event had a different final-set scoring system. In March 2022, the ATP, WTA and ITF announced that final-set tiebreaks in all Grand Slams will have a 10-point tie break (“18-point tiebreaker”, first to 10) when the set reaches six games all (6-6).

#### Why do men play 5 sets in tennis?

In the ATP & WTA events, both Men & Women tennis players play best of 3 sets. But when it comes to Grand Slams, the Men play 5 sets. At the risk of sounding a misogynist, I always believe the reason to be strength & endurance. After all, a 5 set EPIC match lasts 5 hours while a 3 set EPIC last 3 hours.

### Can tennis go to 6 sets?

Scoring the match – A match is completed (usually best of three or best of five) when a player reaches six sets and wins by at least two sets.

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Player A 6 5 6
Player B 4 7 1

In this example, Player A won the match by a score of 6-4, 5-7 and 6-1. Player B won the second set 7 to 5, reaching the sixth game first but having to win by two games.

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