The Super-Tiebreaker Explained

Many of you may know that professional doubles matches are now played with no-ad scoring for the first two sets (except in Grand Slams) and the third set is decided by a “super-tiebreaker.”  The Super-Tiebreaker is a tiebreaker with the first team to garner 10 points winning the third set.  There has been some debate in our doubles and singles matches where I have employed this method of scoring to speed matches along, as well as attempting to minimize exhaustion for the players, as to how this super-tiebreaker should be scored.  On the pro level, the super-tiebreaker is scored and executed exactly the same as a regular tie-breaker except that you play to 10 instead of 7.  Side changes are after 6 points.  You must win the tiebreaker by 2 points, meaning that if the score is 9-9, you change sides and someone must get to 11 to win if the other team has 9 points.

An alternative tie-break system called the Coman tie-break is sometimes used by the United States Tennis Association. Scoring is the same, but end changes take place after the first point and then after every four points. This approach allows the servers of doubles teams to continue serving from the same end of the court as during the body of the set.

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