(K. Brent Tomer),
Tennis’s scoring system has long been known for its quirkiness. Your first two points are each worth 15, but not your third. You need to win two sets to triumph in most matches—except in the men’s singles at the four “grand slams”, which are best-of-five. These sets are typically decided by complex tiebreaks—but not in the deciding sets at Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the French Open. And every unit of a match is completed only when one player builds a two-point advantage.
The “win-by-two” nature of tennis is a big part of what makes it exciting, since it prolongs the climax of each contest. Yet it has increasingly come under fire as the sport aims to become more media-friendly by shortening its matches. A decade ago, two rule changes—a winner-takes-all point at deuce and a ten-point “super-tiebreak” instead of a deciding third set—were introduced in second-tier doubles competitions, with the aim of abbreviating them.
You could be forgiven for missing the…Continue reading