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Sports Last Updated: Jan 30, 2013 - 9:29:51 AM

Tennis Tips: How to Play a Tiebreaker
By Dewey Caulder, Director of Tennis at Family Circle Tennis Center
Jan 30, 2013 - 9:28:59 AM

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Even the most experienced players can confuse what to call tiebreakers. A lot of players call the tiebreaker that decides the winner of the first or second set a 7 point tiebreaker. The correct name is a 12 point tiebreaker (7 is best of 12 points). Here are the rules for playing a set tiebreaker:
1.    The player who just served to even the set at 6-6 will receive the serve for the first point of the tiebreaker (count 1, 2, 3 not 15, 30, 40).
2.    Player A serves the first point on the deuce side of the court.
3.    Player B serves the next two points starting on the ad side.
4.    Each player will continue to serve two points until the end of the tiebreaker. For doubles, take turns serving according to the service rotation in the set.
5.    When the score reaches a total of 6 points (for example, 5 to 1, 4 to 2, or 3 all), players switch ends of the court.
6.    The first player to reach 7 points with a margin of two points wins the tiebreaker (7 to 5, 8 to 6, 9 to 7, 10 to 8).
7.    Since the tiebreaker is a game, the player who served the first point of the will receive in the first game of the new set.
Ever wonder about a situation that happened during a match and no one on the court knew the rule that applied?  Submit your inquiry to Dewey Caulder at for an answer to find out which rule fits your situation the best.
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