Short format for "Unlock" rounds

See the information on this page for our current short format rules. Where rounds/leagues are normally 2 points for a win leagues (ie, a point for each set won)  they will continue to be so. (In a few existing short format leagues we also award a point for completing a match but this will not additionally apply in these special coronavirus affected rounds.)

How to play short sets

For the most part, nearly all of our close to 200 leagues play full sets.

Don't miss out on your local league. Find it here and get playing this spring!

But there are a handful of leagues where short scoring is in use (check on the How It Works tab of your league to see if yours qualifies). Matches played within these leagues consist of two short sets with a conventional tie-break at one set all.

(Please note, where we play long format matches we will normally accept a match where players have played a ten point match tiebreak in lieu of a third set, but in certain circumstances, these matches will be considered to carry less weight at the end of the round if players are tied on points at the top of the table. To be fair to other players, shortened matches do not count towards bonus points.)

  • A short set is played to four games instead of six.
  • A set is therefore won at 4-0, 4-1, 4-2, etc. 
  • At 4-3 the player with the four game advantage needs to win one more game to win the set (ie 5-3). 
  • At 4-4, the next game is sudden death - the set is won 5-4. 

If the match goes to one set all, a match tie-break (first to 10 instead of 7) is played. The player who received serve at the end of the previous set serves first in the tie-break. 


  • You get one point for every set you win (the tie break counts as a set as far as points are concerned) 
  • In addition, in Bromley Tennis Centre, Christchurch Park (Ipswich), Craiglockhart (Edinburgh), Golden Lane (London), Hyde Park. Islington Tennis Centre and Regents Park you earn a point for completing the match
  • So the player winning the match on a tie-break gets a total of 3 points (one for each set, one for completing the match; the loser gets 2 points (one for the set, one for completing the match)

Typical final scores might be:

Roger Federer bt Andy Murray (Feb 5) 4-0, 4-2
(Federer 3 points; Murray 1)

Andy Murray bt Roger Federer (Feb 6) 2-4, 5-3, (10-4)  
(Murray 3 points, including one for the third set tie-break; Federer 2 points)

Players who complete three or more matches by the mid-point of the round receive 2 bonus points, and a free can of balls which we will post to you.

If a match is won through a forfeit (see Rules & Regs), the winner receives 2 points.