Rules for Playing 10-Point Match Tiebreaker in Tennis

Also called super tiebreakers, 10-point match tiebreakers are sometimes used in lieu of a final set when a match becomes tied at one set all or, in the case of a best-of-five-sets match, two sets all. Specific rules must be followed, and the player or doubles team who wins the super tiebreaker wins the match.

If you win the super tiebreaker, you win the match. (Image: nd3000/iStock/GettyImages)

Order of Serving

When a super tiebreaker is used as the final set, the original order of service continues. Before the start, though, doubles teams can change their order of serving and receiving, and this order remains until the end of the tiebreaker.

Who Serves First?

The player or team whose turn it is to serve, serves the first point of the tiebreaker. The next two points are then served by the opposing player or team. From then on each player or team alternates serving two points until the end of the tiebreaker.

When to Change Ends

Players change ends of the court after the first point and then after every six points. An approved alternative, which is fairer especially when playing in extreme weather conditions such as wind and sun, is to switch after the first point and then after every four points.

Match Tiebreaker Scoring

Points are simply scored 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on. The first player or team to win 10 points by a two-point margin wins the match. If the score in the match tiebreaker becomes tied at 10 points, play continues until a player or team has a two-point lead.

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