game consists of a sequence of points played
with the same player serving, and is won by the first player to have won
at least four points and at least two points more than their opponent. The
half of the court used for service alternates
between courts, beginning with the right
half for the first point.
Simple as this scoring appears, the running score of each
game is described in a manner peculiar to tennis: scores of zero to three
points are described as "love" (or "zero"), "fifteen",
"thirty", and "forty". When stating the score, the server's
score is stated first. Thus, for example, the phrase "thirty-love"
means that the server has won two points and the receiver none.
If each player has won three points, the score
is described as "deuce" rather than "forty-all".
From this point on, whenever the score is tied, it is described
as "deuce" (or "40/40") regardless of how many
points have been won. When a player is one point ahead, the score
may also be described as "advantage" to that player.
If the player with advantage loses the next point the score returns
to "deuce". A player wins the game when they win a point
while their score is "forty" and their opponent's score
is "thirty" or less, or stated in the alternative way,
when they win a point while they have "advantage".
A score of "thirty-all" is functionally
equivalent to "deuce", and "forty-thirty" is
equivalent to "advantage". These equivalences are not
customarily used in describing the score: "thirty-all"
means that the players have won exactly two points each, and "deuce"
means that the players have won at least three points each.
The current point score is announced verbally before
each point by the umpire, or by the server if there is no umpire.