Why Are Tennis Scores Weird? Mysterious Story Revealed

by Weirdo | Last Updated: January 3, 2021

Tennis, the original name of lawn tennis, is a game in which two competing players (singles) or pairs of players (doubles) use tautly strung rackets to smash a ball on a rectangular court of a designated height, weight, and bounce over a net. Now, it’s time to dig deeper and get used to weird tennis scores and scoring system.


It is called a dynamic game and has an important fanbase. If you are new to this game, the mystery of the tennis scoring system was uncovered and the question “why are tennis scores weird?” was answered. In an essay of ours. 

What Does 15-30-40 mean: Why Tennis Scoring System is Weird?

It is thought that the roots of the 15, 30, and 40 ratings were medieval French. A clock face may have been used on the court, with a fourth move of the hand to signify a score of 15, 30, and 45.

The game was over as the hand jumped to 60. To guarantee, however, that the game could not be won by a one-point difference in the scores of players, the principle of “deuce” was introduced. The 45 was changed to 40, to allow the score to remain inside the “60” ticks on the clock face. 

Thus the first player to score gets ten if all players have 40, and that pushes the clock to 50. If the player scores a second time, they are given an additional ten before the competitor can score, and the countdown advances to 60.

60 indicates the end of the game. If a player fails to score twice in a row, though, then the countdown will shift back to 40 to produce another deuce.

Why Is a Score of 0 Called “Love” in Tennis and Other Racquet Games?

The sources are not well understood, although one common theory is that a clock face was used on the court when the game was first played back in medieval times.

For each point, the clock hand will change a fifth. The game was over when the hand jumped to sixty. Instead of the standard 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, the score will then be loving, 15, 30, 45, and 60.

The game will be won by someone who scored 60 (4 points) first. The term “love” was, however, used instead of using “zero”. 

Since the word “love” derives from the French word l’oeuf, which means an egg that symbolizes nothing, “love” is believed to be chosen because it signifies nothing.


The fact that the egg appears like zero is another justification for the use of the word “love.” It demonstrates that you should get used to weird tennis scores. After all “love game” refers to eggs.

The 45 was gradually reduced to 40, and individuals stopped saying 60 altogether. Interestingly, although the English mispronounced l’oeuf as love, the French gradually switched back to zero, while “love” was retained by the English.

The word “love” also means that the game must be genuinely loved by someone who plays and scores zero points.

Tennis Scoring System In a Nutshell: 

A way to keep track of tennis matches is the tennis score system (including pick-up games). As part of a tournament, such tennis matches are played and may have separate divisions, such as singles and doubles.

The vast majority are structured as a single-elimination tournament, with contestants being disqualified after a single defeat and the last contestant without a loss being the ultimate champion. 

Optimally, to round up a single-elimination bracket, those competitions have multiple rivals equal to a power of two.

The brackets are seeded according to a known ranking structure in many professional and top-level amateur tournaments, to prevent the best players in the field from meeting each other until as late as possible in the tournament; besides, if byes are required due to a less-than-full bracket, such byes are usually granted to the highest-seeded participants in the first round.

Points, games, and sets are composed of a tennis match. A collection consists of several games (a minimum of six), each consisting of points in turn.

To win 6 games, a set is won by the first hand, by a margin of at least 2 games over the other side (e.g. 6-3 or 7-5). If the set is tied at six games apiece, to determine the set, a tie-break is normally played.

A match is won when the bulk of the prescribed number of sets has been won by a player or a doubles team.

Matches use either a best-of-three (wins from first to two sets) or best-of-five (wins from first to three sets) set format. In Grand Slam and Davis Cup tournaments, the best-of-five-set format is typically only used in men’s singles or doubles matches.


Although players of virtually any degree of talent will enjoy tennis, top competition is a challenging test of both shot making and durability, rich in stylistic and strategic diversity.

It has developed into a physical chess match from its beginnings as a garden party game for ladies in whalebone corsets and starched petticoats and men in long white flannels, in which players strike and defend, manipulating angles and strategic vulnerabilities with strokes of greatly varying speed and spin. Annually, tournaments deliver tens of millions of dollars in prize money. 

So, now you know the tennis scoring system and why tennis scores weird. It’s a traditional game that has deep connections with its roots.