TIEBREAKERS

Tiebreakers are an important part of tennis. It is the time in a match when players are under the most pressure, as sets can quickly be won or lost. It is important for Ballkid volunteers to maintain total focus and concentration during this period of a match. Balls need to be transferred from end to end rapidly during tiebreakers, as players move quickly from serving to receiving and then serving again.

RESPONSIBILTIES DURING A TIE BREAK
  1. 1. The Net Ballkids play a key role in maintaining the speedy interchange of balls to different ends of the court throughout a tiebreaker.
  2. 2. The Net Ballkids must always be holding two balls during the tiebreak points so the relay of balls can begin as soon as a point has finished. All of the other balls should then be quickly rolled to the server’s end.
  3. 3. Balls at the Net should be rolled before receiving additional balls from the Base Ballkids.
  4. 4. Be aware that as the server alternates every two points, sometimes a player may request the balls from a Net Ballkid. In this case, the Net Ballkid should service the player with the same technique as Baseline Ballkids do when servicing.
  5. 5. At the completion of all tiebreakers, the Net Ballkids should check with the central chair umpire about which end the balls should go to for the start of the next set.

REMEMBER: In a tiebreaker, concentrate and communicate! Know the tiebreak serving pattern of 1-2-2-1:

- The first player will serve once (1)

- The second player will serve twice (2)

- The first player will serve twice (2)

- The second player will serve once (1)

After this pattern is finished, the players will change ends and the pattern will be repeated; 1-2-2-1 until a player wins the set. When they change ends, the second player will start the pattern and this alternates at each change of ends.


Tiebreakers are played at different times depending on the type of match being played. It is important for all Ballkid volunteers to keep score and listen to the chair umpire to know when these tiebreakers occur.

MATCH TYPE
NO. OF SETS PLAYED
WHEN TIEBREAKS ARE PLAYED
Men’s singles Best of five sets Tiebreakers in first four sets, at six games all #
Women’s singles Best of three sets Tiebreakers in first two sets, at six games all #
Men’s doubles Best of three sets Tiebreakers in all three sets, at six games all
Women’s doubles Best of three sets Tiebreakers in all three sets, at six games all
Mixed doubles* Best of two sets Tiebreaker in first two sets *
Wheelchair Singles Best of three sets Tiebreakers in first two sets, at six games all #
Wheelchair Doubles Best of three sets Tiebreakers in all three sets, at six games all #
Boys singles Best of three sets Tiebreakers in first two sets, at six games all #
Girls singles Best of three sets Tiebreakers in first two sets, at six games all #
Boys doubles * Best of two sets Tiebreaker in first two sets *
Girls doubles * Best of two sets Tiebreaker in first two sets *

# For men’s and women’s singles matches, the final set is played out without a tiebreaker until a player is two games ahead.

* In mixed doubles, boys doubles and girls doubles matches, if the score is tied at one set all (1-1), a third set match tiebreak (first to ten points with a two point advantage) is played to decide the match.