Need to know how to play a tiebreak?

Here at Local Tennis Leagues we run nearly 200 friendly, competitive leagues throughout the country for adults. It means that you can play great matches where and when you like, fitting tennis into even the busiest of lifestyles. Knowing how to play a tiebreak is pretty important to our players as they're matched against similar level opponents, it makes for many close matches, often decided through tiebreaks!

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

Tiebreaks are the penalty shoot-outs of tennis, though actually the system makes a much better job of reflecting the play so far in a match. 

In league matches, when a set reaches six games all, a tie break is played. A tie break would conclude each level six all set, not just a final set.

The player whose turn it would be to serve in the next game starts the tiebreak. He or she serves normally to the deuce court (the left hand court as the server perceives it - that is, from right to left).
The opponent serves the next TWO points, starting with a serve to the ad (right-hand court from the server's perspective as the look accross the net).  It feels a bit odd till you have played a number of tie breaks.

Points are numbered 1, 2, 3 etc, rather than 15, 30, 40 Deuce.

From the second point, each player serves for the next two points. The tiebreak is over when one player reaches seven points, provided he or she is two clear points ahead of his or her opponent. From 6-6 in a tiebreak a player must have a two point advantage to win the tiebreak.

A typical tiebreak score would be 7-5, or 8-6, or 9-7. Where a Match Tiebreak is played (at the end of short format matches) the set is  won when a player reaches 10 points and is two points clear of his or her opponent e.g. 10-7, 11-9, 14-12 etc)

After 6 points have been played, players change ends, i.e. at 3-3 or 6-6. The players also change ends at the end of the tiebreak to begin the next set.

The player who served first in the tiebreak, RECEIVES at the beginning of the next set (assuming there is one!).

You don’t need to report actual tiebreak scores to the League, but if you do they will be recorded. So a final score for a match might be:

6-2, 6-7, 6-4
6-2, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4

In doubles, service alternates between the teams - the same player serves for both points (his or her partner) serves for the entirety of the team's next service game.