One of the most confusing aspects of tennis for beginners is understanding the scoring system. If you want a complete breakdown of how scoring in tennis works, check out our Tennis Scoring 101 article. In this article, we will be focusing on how scoring works if a game reaches “deuce.”
When does a game reach “deuce”?
Deuce is another way to call the score when a game reaches 40-40. Since tennis scores go from 15 (one point), to 30 (two points), and then to 40 (three points), 40-40, or deuce, is when both players have won three points. In a typical game, the first player to win four points by a two-point lead wins the game. That means if a player with a lead has reached 40 and she wins the next point, she wins the game. However, if a game reaches deuce, a player must win two points in a row after deuce to win the game.
Doubletake Ad/Deuce Scoring
The player who wins the next point after deuce gets an "advantage," which is abbreviated as “ad.” If the player who has the advantage wins the next point, she wins the game. However, if the player who is behind wins the next point, the score goes back to deuce, and the game continues until one player wins two points in a row.
With regard to calling to score, if the server wins the first point after deuce, the score is “ad-in” (advantage-in), but if the opponent wins the point, the score becomes “ad-out” (advantage-out). In professional matches, you might hear the chair umpire indicate the player with the advantage by using the player’s last name (e.g., advantage-Williams).
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Some tournaments employ a “no-ad” scoring system to shorten games and move the tournament along faster. However, most tennis matches, both recreational and competitive, use ad scoring, so study the graphic to help ensure that you know exactly what to do the next time you reach deuce.