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What’s wrong with 1,2,3,4 ?
You may have asked this yourself when you’re watching a game but, you don’t want to seem unintelligent among the finest sport fans ever, do you? The answer, sadly is that no one really knows the origin of this nonsense figures. At Tennis Plaza we got to the task of working out a reasonable explanation and not even google or historians gave us a straight, feasible answer.
Tennis, dates back to the 12th century in the monastic cloisters in northern France, it was played without a racquet, which came to use in the 16th century and it began to be called by the name we all know today, and the odd scoring system came along.
It all starts with love.
Rules say that on the court, points count up to win a game, games count up to win a set and sets count up to win a match. Points are scored when players make errors, the ball bounces beyond the court boundaries or one player forces the other to fail.
Tennis point scoring system goes like this:
0 is Love
1st point is 15
2nd point is 30
3rd point is 40
4th point is Game
To cut the long story short, you have to win six games to win a set, and two sets (sometimes three) to win a match. Easy, right? No, not really. For your frustration, there are a couple of point definitions when things get to exciting. For you to win a game, it is necessary to score four points by a margin of two or more. What happens when all players are three points (tied at 40-40) is a deuce. The next point scored will be the advantage of one of the players and then after advantage the next point scored, will give you the game.
A set is won by the player who wins six games by a margin of two or more, a hypothetical score would be: 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, and 6-1. Never 6-5. If this were the case, the game will carry on, until one of the players wins by a margin of two, let’s say 7-5. If the game is six games all, a tie break game will tell the winner of the set.
The most common scoring rules to win a match are.
- Winning 2 out of 3 sets or
- 3 out of 5 sets (this‘s the scoring used in tournaments such as U.S Open and Wimbledon) or
- Being the first to win 10 games, which is known as a “pro set”.
"It was invented to cause frustration to those who chose to play.” Andre Agassi, said.
Romantic wording. Wait, no.
Sports Historians say the term love is an English mispronunciation that comes from the French word L’oeuf that means egg and of course, it resembles the shape of a zero. There’s also a theory that states, that the word comes from “lof” an old Dutch or Flemish way to mean honor. There are people who play tennis for “lof” or honor, not for the final score. Despite the origins of the word, French don’t use it at all, they use Zero.
In the end. It doesn’t matter if you abide by the rules, as Jason Primm says “I like the old-fashioned touches that tennis has.” or come up with your own, informal scoring system to help keep track of the game while playing, as long as you keep hitting the courts.
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