The 2022 U.S. Open is officially underway and intense tennis action is set to hit the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The U.S. Open made some changes to the tournament scoring system this year, creating consistency with other Grand Slams and potentially less court time for players.
In 1970, tiebreakers were first introduced to the U.S. Open and it was considered to be “the most revolutionary step the sport has ever taken in its scoring system.”
While fans showed much approval of the new format, players complained of the overwhelming stress it had caused, as so much money was on the line for the match to be decided by just a few points.
Over 50 years later, the U.S. Open has implemented a new tiebreaker system to the game. Here’s a look at some of the tournament’s alterations and how they’re impacting players this year:
What are the tiebreak rules at the U.S. Open?
As of the 2022 U.S. Open, when a match reaches 6-6 in the deciding set, a 10-point tiebreaker will be played to determine the match. The first person to reach 10 points while holding a margin of two or more points wins the match.
If a set prior to the final set reaches 6-6, a standard 7-point tiebreaker will be played. The first person to reach seven points while holding a margin of two or more points wins the set.
What are the origins of the U.S. Open’s tennis scoring system?
Starting in 1970, the U.S. Open was the first Grand Slam to implement a tiebreaker when a set reaches 6-6.
Between 1970 and 1974, the tiebreaker was the best-of-nine-point, sudden-death tiebreaker before switching over to the current, best-of-12 points system.
The other three Grand Slams did not switch over to a final set tiebreaker for a few additional years: Australian Open (1971), French Open (1973) and Wimbledon (1979).
How does scoring work at the U.S. Open?
On the women’s side, every singles match is the best of three tie-break sets. The first person to win two sets wins the match.
On the men’s side, every singles match is the best of five tie-break sets. The first person to win three sets wins the match.
The first person to win six games wins a set. If the set score is tied at 5-5, the first person to reach 7 games will win the set. If the set is tied at 6-6, a tiebreaker will be played to determine the set.