Is There a Tie-Break in the Final Set?

In a groundbreaking decision, the Grand Slam Board, representing the prestigious Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open, made an eagerly anticipated announcement in March 2022 that would forever change the way tennis matches are played. With the aim of enhancing the excitement and fairness of the sport's most intense moments, the board collectively agreed to introduce a 10-point tie-break in the final set of all Grand Slam tournaments. This revolutionary ruling will come into effect when both players have won six games apiece in the final set, ensuring a thrilling climax to the match. The significance of this decision can’t be understated, as it marks a departure from tradition and raises intriguing questions about the potential impact on the dynamics of the game. Tennis enthusiasts around the world eagerly anticipate witnessing the debut of this tie-break format, as it promises to add a new layer of drama to the already electrifying grand slam showdowns.

Is There a Tie-Break in the 5th Set?

Is there a tie-break in the final set? This is a question that’s been asked by tennis fans for decades. More specifically, the US Open has used a tie-break to decide all five-set matches since 1970.

The introduction of the tie-break in the final set was a significant milestone in tennis. Prior to this rule change, matches could potentially go on indefinitely, with players battling it out until one emerged victorious. This often led to long, grueling matches that tested the physical and mental endurance of both players.

However, the introduction of the tie-break brought a sense of finality to the fifth set. Now, when a match goes to a fifth set, the players engage in a tie-break to determine the winner. This tie-break format allows for a quicker resolution to the match, ensuring that both players have the opportunity to recover and prepare for their next match.

The decision to implement the tie-break in the final set was a controversial one, with some purists arguing that it took away from the drama and excitement of a marathon match. However, the majority of players and fans embraced the change as a necessary adaptation to the modern game.

This rule change has brought added excitement and intensity to the final set of matches, ensuring a quicker resolution while still captivating fans with thrilling tie-break situations.

Now, let’s dive into the intricacies of how the tiebreak game unfolds in the final set.

How Does Tie-Break Work in Final Set?

In tennis, the tiebreak system is used to determine the winner of a set that’s reached a certain score threshold. When a set reaches 5-5, or 6-6 in the case of the final set, a tiebreak game is played to decide the winner of the set. This tiebreak game adds an extra layer of excitement and tension to the match, as both players have a chance to claim victory.

The tiebreak game is played slightly differently from regular games. At the start of the tiebreak game, the player who’d have served next in the regular game sequence will serve the first point. After the first point, the serving duty alternates between the players every two points. For instance, if Player A serves the first point, Player B will serve the next two points, followed by Player A serving the next two points, and so on.

It provides a fair and efficient way to determine the winner of a set that’s reached a specific score, adding another layer of excitement for both players and spectators alike.

The History and Origin of Tiebreak in Tennis

Tiebreak, also known as a tiebreaker, was introduced in tennis as a way to resolve sets that end in a tie. Prior to it’s implementation, matches could potentially go on indefinitely until one player had a two-game lead in the final set. This meant that matches could become extremely lengthy and physically demanding.

The concept of the tiebreak was first introduced in the 1960s by James Van Alen, an American tennis innovator. He believed that a tiebreak would add excitement and prevent excessively long matches. The first official tiebreak was played at the 1970 US Open, and it’s since become a standard feature in professional tennis.

During a tiebreak, players compete to reach a set number of points, usually either 7 or 10, with a margin of at least two points. The player who reaches the specified number of points first, while maintaining the required margin, wins the tiebreak and the set.

The tiebreak has been widely embraced by both players and fans, as it adds suspense and ensures that matches have a timely conclusion. It remains an integral part of modern tennis, helping to alleviate the need for marathon final sets and providing a fair and structured resolution to tied sets.

In order to ensure a more efficient schedule and reduce the likelihood of matches extending indefinitely, the French Open introduced a tiebreaker rule for the final set. When the scores reach 6-6, a ten-point tiebreaker is played to determine the winner. This change has helped keep matches at a manageable length and allowed for better scheduling of matches throughout the tournament.

How Many Points Is a Tie Breaker in the French Open?

The French Open is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is known for it’s unique rules and traditions. One of these traditions is the absence of a tie-break in the final set, which sets it apart from other major tournaments. This means that players must continue playing until one of them wins the set by a margin of two games.

However, in recent years, organizers have introduced a tie-break rule in the final set to avoid excessively long matches. This tie-break is played when the scores reach 6-6 in the final set. Instead of continuing the set indefinitely, a ten-point tiebreaker is played to determine the winner of the match.

The introduction of a tie-break in the final set at the French Open has received mixed reactions from players and fans alike. Some argue that the absence of a tie-break adds to the uniqueness and challenge of the tournament, while others appreciate the inclusion of a tie-break to prevent matches from dragging on for hours.

In the past, lengthy matches at the French Open often disrupted the days schedule, causing other matches to be delayed or even postponed to the following day. This not only affected the players involved but also disappointed fans who were eagerly waiting to watch their favorite players in action.

Source: Tennis scoring system

In the highly anticipated US Open tennis final, the number of sets varies depending on the category. In the men’s singles, players compete in a best-of-five sets format, requiring a lead of two sets to secure the victory. On the other hand, women’s singles matches are played in a best-of-three sets format, with only a one-set advantage needed. For men’s and women’s doubles, the rules mirror those of women’s singles, with a best-of-three sets format and a one-set advantage requirement. Each set consists of 6 games, and a player must win 4 points to secure a game. The point system progresses from “love” to the winning point.

How Many Sets Are There in the US Open Tennis Final?

In the US Open tennis final, the number of sets played varies depending on the category of the game. In mens singles, the final is played as a best-of-five sets match. This means that the first player to win three sets is declared the winner. However, if a player manages to win the first two sets, thereby obtaining a two-set lead, they’re automatically declared the winner without the need to play the remaining sets.

However, unlike in the mens singles, a two-set lead isn’t sufficient to secure victory.

The team that wins two sets first is declared the winner.

Each set in the US Open consists of six games. To win a game, a player or team must accumulate four points. The point progression from “love” to the winning point is essential in determining the outcome of the game. Players or teams must win points consecutively to secure the victory in each game.

Mens singles follows a best-of-five sets format, with the potential for a two-set lead to secure victory. Womens singles and doubles, as well as mens doubles, follow a best-of-three sets format, with the need to win all three sets to secure victory. Each set consists of six games, requiring four points to win a game.

How Are Tiebreakers Handled in the US Open Tennis Final?

In the US Open tennis final, tiebreakers aren’t used in the final set for both the men’s and women’s singles matches. Instead, a traditional advantage set format is followed. In this format, players continue playing until one player wins by two games. However, there’s a specific rule called the fifth-set tiebreak rule that’s applied in the event of a 6-6 tie in the final set. This means that if the final set reaches 6-6, a tiebreak game is played to determine the winner. The player who reaches seven points first with a difference of at least two points wins the tiebreak and the match.


In a monumental decision, the Grand Slam Board has come together to address the age-old question of whether there should be a tie-break in the final set of a Grand Slam match. With the announcement in March 2022, the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open affirmed their mutual agreement to introduce a 10-point tie-break when the score reaches six games all in the final set. This decision not only marks a significant shift in the rules of tennis but also reflects the sport's commitment to innovation and the pursuit of fairness for all players. By implementing this tie-break, the Grand Slam tournaments are striving to strike the delicate balance between tradition and modernity, while ensuring that matches don’t stretch on indefinitely. Players and fans alike can now expect even more nail-biting moments and thrilling conclusions to matches, as the intensity of the final set reaches new heights. This historic decision will undoubtedly reshape the landscape of Grand Slam tennis, injecting a renewed vigor and excitement into an already electric sport.

Scroll to Top