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Understanding the Score Following a Deuce in Tennis

Tennis, a sport rich in history and tradition, is famed for its unique scoring system. One particular aspect that often raises eyebrows, especially among tennis novices, is the concept of "deuce." So, what happens after a deuce is called? Let's dive into the intricacies of tennis scoring.

Introduction to Tennis Scoring

The Uniqueness of Tennis Scoring

Unlike many other sports where points increase incrementally by ones, tennis has a scoring sequence that goes: 15, 30, 40, and game. This system adds a layer of complexity and drama to each match.

How Points Progress in Tennis

To win a game in tennis, a player needs to score four points. However, they must also have a two-point lead over their opponent. Without this lead, the game can extend, leading us to the scenario of a deuce.

What is a Deuce?

A deuce occurs when both players have scored three points each (40-40 in traditional terms). Essentially, it's a tie, and now, the race to get that crucial two-point lead begins.

Scoring Post-Deuce: The Advantage System

The Concept of "Advantage"

After a deuce, the next point doesn't immediately decide the game (unless playing with no-ad rules, but we'll get to that). Instead, the player who scores the next point after deuce gains an "advantage."

Moving from Advantage to Game

With the advantage in hand, if the same player scores another point, they win the game. So, it's essentially a two-point sprint to secure the game.

Returning to Deuce

However, if the player without the advantage scores, the game returns to deuce. This back-and-forth can continue indefinitely until one player achieves that crucial two-point lead.

The Historical Context of Deuce Scoring

The term "deuce" originates from the French word "deux," meaning two. It represents the two points a player needs to win the game from that point. This scoring method adds suspense, making the game unpredictable and exciting, especially in tight matches.

The Importance of Deuce in Match Dynamics

Mental Toughness and Deuce

Deuce situations test a player's mental fortitude. Being able to stay calm and execute under pressure often separates the good players from the great ones.

Strategy Changes at Deuce

Knowing when to play aggressively or when to play conservatively is key. Some players opt for high-risk, high-reward serves, while others might play safe, hoping their opponent makes an error.

Variations in Deuce Rules: The No-Ad System

In some tennis formats, primarily in doubles or certain amateur tournaments, the "no-ad" scoring system is used. Here, the game is decided by the next point after deuce, eliminating the need for an advantage point. This speeds up the game and adds a sudden-death excitement to each deuce situation.


The deuce and advantage system in tennis, while initially perplexing to newcomers, adds depth, strategy, and drama to the game. Understanding the post-deuce scoring is essential for both players and spectators, as it often dictates the momentum of a match. So the next time you hear "deuce" in a game, brace yourself for some edge-of-the-seat action on the court!