How is a tiebreak played in tennis?

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Tennis matches are divided into sets. A player wins a set when he/she is the first to win 6 games. However, if the set stays 5 games to 5, one of the players has to win two consecutive games to become the set winner (by 7-5). If the set goes 6-6, then a tiebreak shell be disputed. But how does it work? Let’s discover!



The first to serve

The tiebreak starts with the player that received the last game serving. He/she serves just the first point of the tiebreak, on the deuce court (right side).

Changing serves

After the first point is played, the players take turns to serve. Each player serves two consecutive times. After these points, it’s opponent’s turn to serve. The first point of each player’s turn always starts with a serve on the advantage court (left side), while the second point starts on the deuce court (right side).

Switching sides

After six points are played, the players must change court ends. For example, if the tiebreak is 5-1, 3-3, 4-2 or 6-0, it’s time for the players to switch court sides.

Winning a tiebreak

Tiebreaks are disputed in a best of 12 points. So the first player to score seven points wins the tiebreak and, consequently, the set.
If the players are tied at 6-6, one of them must have a 2-point advantage over the other to finish the tiebreak. That’s why we see some tiebreaks ending with a 8-6, 9-7, 10-8 etc. scoreboards.

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