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A tennis match comprises a number of sets, typically three for both men's and women's matches, the exception being at the major events (Wimbledon and the Australian, French and US Opens) where the men play best of five sets. A set consists of a number of games, and games, in turn, consist of points.
A game consists of a sequence of points played with the same player serving, and is won by the first player to have won at least four points and at least two points more than his opponent. The running score of each game is described in a manner particular to tennis: scores of zero to three points are described as "love" (or zero), "fifteen," "thirty," and "forty" respectively. When at least three points have been scored by each side and the players have the same number of points, the score is "deuce." When at least three points have been scored by each side and a player has one more point than his opponent, the score of the game is "advantage" for the player in the lead. During informal games, "advantage" can also be called "ad in" or "ad out", depending on whether the serving player or receiving player is ahead, respectively. In tournament play, the chair umpire calls the point count (e.g., "fifteen-love") after each point. At the end of a game, the chair umpire also announces the winner of the game and the overall score.
A game point occurs in tennis whenever the player who is in the lead in the game needs only one more point to win the game. The terminology is extended to sets (set point), matches (match point), and even championships (championship point). For example, if the player who is serving has a score of 40-love, he has a triple game point (triple set point, etc.). Game points, set points, and match points are not part of official scoring and are not announced by the chair umpire in tournament play.
A break point occurs if the receiver, not the server, has a game point. It is of importance in professional tennis, since service breaks are rare enough to create a substantial advantage for the receiver in the men's game. The advantage to the server is much less in the women's game, but match analysts like to keep track of service breaks anyway. It may happen that the player who is in the lead in the game has more than one chance to score the winning point, even if his opponent should take the next point(s). For example, if the player who is serving has a score of 15-40, the receiver has a double break point. If the player in the lead wins any of the next two points, that player wins the game. Break points are not announced either.
A set consists of a sequence of games played with service alternating between games, ending when the count of games won meets certain criteria. Typically, a player wins a set when he wins at least six games and at least two games more than his opponent. When each player has won six games a tiebreaker is played. A tiebreaker, played under a separate set of rules, allows one player to win one more game and thus the set, to give a final set score of 7-6. Only in the final sets of matches at the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, Davis Cup, and Fed Cup are tie-breaks not played. A "love" set means that the loser of the set won zero games. For example if the score was 6 to 0, it would be 6 love. (See "tennis terminology" below for names given to unusual endings like the example here.) In tournament play, the chair umpire announces the winner of the set and the overall score.
Matches consist of an odd number of sets, the match winner being the player who wins more than half of the sets. The match ends as soon as this winning condition is met. Some matches may consist of five sets (the winner being the first to win three sets), while most matches are three sets (the winner being the first to win two sets). In tournament play, the chair umpire announces the end of the match with the well-known phrase "Game, set, match" followed by the winning team's name.