Now that you know the basics of a tennis game, you can read the official rules and regulations. When it comes to scoring the 5th set, Grand Slams have different rules. At the US Open and Australian Open, players play a tie-break when they are tied 6-6. At Wimbledon, players play a tie-break when they are tied 12-12. Finally, at the French Open (Roland Garros) there is no tie-break in the fifth set and the first player who reaches a lead of 2 games (6×4, 7×5, 8×6) wins the match. The rules for men`s tennis events are different from those for women`s events. Most professional men`s tennis tournaments are regulated by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), while most women`s tennis tournaments are organized by the Women`s Tennis Association (WTA). Different organizations, different rules. Check out our animated series What`s the Call to discover some of the most common dilemmas of the rules of tennis. Shortly after the start of the Open era in 1968, the new professional tours each hosted an end-of-year championship (YEC), elite tournaments in which only the best players of the season participated. The return of tennis at the 1988 Olympics led to the idea of a „Super Slam“ as a combination of Golden Slam and YEC title.    The YEC are currently the ATP Finals for the men`s Tour, the WTA Finals for the Women`s Tour, and the Wheelchair Tennis Masters for the wheelchair tennis circuit. New rules, introduced this year and tested for the first time at the French Open, now provide for a 10-point tie-break to decide all final sets that reach all six games.
Several players won three of the four majors in the same year, missing the Grand Slam by a single title, a feat sometimes referred to as the „three-quarters slam“.    In five notable cases, singles players won the first three tournaments of the year and went to the last major tournament with the option of ending the calendar year`s Grand Slam, but lost. They are Jack Crawford in 1933, Lew Hoad in 1956 and Novak Djokovic in 2021 in men`s tennis and Martina Navratilova in 1984 and Serena Williams in 2015 in women`s tennis. A player who won all three in a calendar year was retroactively considered a „professional Grand Slam“ or a „Pro Slam“.   The feat was accomplished by Ken Rosewall in 1963 and Rod Laver in 1967, while Ellsworth Vines, Hans Nüsslein and Don Budge won all three major trophies during their careers.  Professional majors did not have a women`s draw.  Since its inception, the French Open has been played on clay or clay and Wimbledon on grass, surfaces that favor very different styles of play from each other.  Wimbledon usually begins a few weeks after the end of the French Open, meaning that players who have deep runs at the French Open have little time to recover mentally and physically and adapt to the different surface conditions at Wimbledon. This made winning both tournaments in the same year one of the toughest performances of a tennis season.
  Players who do so would have achieved a „Channel Slam“ in relation to the English Channel, the waters separating the France from the United Kingdom, the host countries of the French Open and Wimbledon.  In singles tennis, this feat was achieved by 12 men and 10 women. In the Open era, Rod Laver, Björn Borg, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are the only players to have done so in men`s singles, as are Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams in women`s singles.    Grand Slam tournaments are one of the few major tennis tournaments organized not by the ATP or WTA, but by the International Tennis Federation. As such, they can set their own rules. In 2021, Diede de Groot became the first player to win all six titles in a calendar year, in women`s wheelchair singles.  Steffi Graf achieved a „non-calendar year Super Slam“ in 1988 with the titles mentioned above consecutively, with her Golden Slam in 1988 after winning the Virginia Slims Championships in 1987, the year-end women`s championship. Over the years, the tournament pioneered and promoted ideas that other tournaments later implemented for themselves, including the introduction of a tiebreaker system to decide the outcome of sets that were tied 6–6 in 1970, to be the first Grand Slam tournament to award equal prizes to men`s and women`s tournaments in 1975.  the installation of projectors in 1975 to be able to play games at night, and the introduction of instant rechecks of line calls using the Hawk-Eye computer system in 2006, the first Grand Slam tournament to do so.  „After extensive consultations with the WTA, ATP, ITF and the tennis official community, the Grand Slam Council`s decision is based on a strong desire to create greater consistency in the rules of the game at Grand Slams, thereby improving the experience for players and fans. When Steffi Graf completed the Grand Slam in 1988, George Vecsey wrote: „Even the International Tennis Federation, which should have more respect for history, decided in 1982 that winning four consecutive majors was a Grand Slam – and offered a $1 million bonus for it.
But many tennis players and most writers and probably most fans didn`t accept the new rules, and the ITF dropped the gimmick.  There are several reasons why the rules vary depending on the event being played, including limitations on the number of seats available, player endurance, and even television rights. Grand Slam tournaments, also known as majors, are the four most important annual professional tennis tournaments in the world. They offer the most ranking points, cash prizes, public and media attention, the greatest strength and size of the court and the longest matches for men (best of five sets, best of three for women). Tournaments are overseen by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rather than the separate men`s and women`s tour governing bodies, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women`s Tennis Association (WTA), but the ATP and WTA award ranking points based on player performance. When Martina Navratilova won the French Open in 1984 and became the reigning champion of all four women`s singles disciplines, she was the first player to receive the bonus award in recognition of her performance. Some media even said she won a Grand Slam.   Curry Kirkpatrick of Sports Illustrated wrote, „Whether it was the Slam Grand or the Bfad or a commercial hoax stained with a tennis ball-sized asterisk, Martina Navratilova finally succeeded.“  The number of sets played at professional tennis events depends on the event and tournament played. Different aspects affect the scoring rules: whether it is a singles or doubles match, whether it is a men`s or women`s tournament and the size of the entire tournament. The breakdown of the number of sets played in each professional tournament is below. I hope this article could better inform you about the number of sets played in tennis.
For more information on the rules and how to play them, check out our complete guide to tennis scoring rules – The Ultimate Guide. Here you will find everything you need to know about scoring in tennis. Men`s tennis matches have always been played with more sets than women, but more recently, tennis events have lobbied to introduce similar game formats for men and women. Most tennis matches are played in a best-of-three format, which means players have to win 2 sets to win the match. In Grand Slams, men play best of five sets, while women play best of three sets. The doubles matches are best-of-3 with a tie-break of 10 points instead of the third set. USTA and club matches are usually best of 3 matches. MORE: What happened to Venus Williams? The US Open and the Grand Slam of tennis greats are the most admired and anticipated tennis events in the world. There are only 4 Grand Slam tournaments per year – the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Only the best tennis players in the world qualify for these events.
From 2019, Grand Slam tournaments will also be ranked 16th out of the current 32 – returning to the system that existed until Wimbledon 2001.