Whose Serve Is It?

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It is the start of a ten-point Match Tie Breaker; so whose serve is it and what other choices can be made?  This was done incorrectly by a veteran tournament player…

Like a New Set

The unnamed veteran tournament player had just had his serve broken and lost the second set 6-4.  As they got ready to start the ten-pointer, he said to his singles opponent, “You started serving the set; so I start the tie breaker.”  Wrong!

It would have been correct if it were a SET tie-breaker; but starting the Match Tie Breaker is like starting a new set.  Since our vet had just served the last game of the second set, his opponent should have started the breaker.

Other Choices

In addition to that, the other choices that are made…

  • Since the set score was even (6-4), they stay on the same side of the court as they were.
  • If this were a doubles match, the team serving could choose which of their players served first in the tie breaker.
  • Again if doubles, the receiving team could actually change which side of the court (deuce/ad) they were returning from.

Are there any other issues to be decided??

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3 thoughts on “Whose Serve Is It?

  1. I think he would have also been wrong in a set tie breaker. It would be 6-6. Since it is an even number of games, the person who served the first game would also serve the first point of the 7 point tie breaker.

    Rick, correct. george

  2. In a singles or doubles set tie-breaker, the same person who served the first game in that set serves first in that tie-breaker. In a superbreaker, if the previous set ended in an even number score, e.g. 6-4, the same player/team, depending on if it was singles or doubles, serves first as the set before although in doubles either partner can start. If the previous set ended with an odd score, e.g 7-6, the player/team that did not serve first in the prior set would serve first. Again, in doubles, either partner can start.

    Mark, correct. george

  3. George,
    Another comment. Not exactly the same, but similar. In a tournament match many years ago, the first set went to a tiebreaker and I served the last point in the 7 point tie breaker. My opponent said that because I served the last point, he would serve the first game of the second set. We had to get the tournament director to tell us that it was based on the first point served, not the last. Lots of ways to make mistakes.

    Rick, yes, but the SIDE is determined by the last point served. george

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