Summer is a good time to be a pro tennis fan. There are three major tournaments each summer, starting with the French Open in late-May and early June. Wimbledon takes place in late June and early July, and the summer wraps up with the U.S. Open in late August and early September.
While the big tennis events are a lot of fun to follow, they can sometimes be a little bit confusing. Scoring in tennis is different than in any other sports. In many sports, like hockey, soccer and lacrosse, scoring is simple. A goal is worth one point. In football, a touchdown is worth six points. In those sports, the score at the beginning of the game is 0-0. Tennis uses the term "love" instead of 0 or zero. A match starts out love-love and goes from there.
Game: The first player to score four points wins. But instead of going 0-1-2-3-4, the point system goes love-15-30-40. Imagine that Rafael Nadal is playing against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon finals. Nadal is serving. If he scores the first point, the scores is now 15-love. If he scores a second point, it's 30-love. If Nadal scores one more and Federer scores one, the score would be 40-15. If Nadal scored again, he would win the game.
Set: As we said, the first player to reach four points wins the game. Then, the first player to win six games wins the set. If Nadal wins six games and Federer wins four, then Nadal wins the set 6-4.
Match: In Men's tennis, the first player to win three sets wins the entire match. In women's tennis, the first player to win two sets wins the match. If Nadal wins sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, then he wins the match. If Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-3, then Serena wins the match.
Following tennis tournaments takes a little getting used to, but the sport can provide some of the most thrilling moments of the summer. Just listen to the applause when the announcer calls out, "Game, set, match!"
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