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# Why tennis points are counted as 15 30 40 and tiebreak as 1 2 3?

Updated: 9/27/2023

Wiki User

14y ago

The scoring system was copied from the game sphairistike, which was played by British officers in India during the 19th century. That game's scoring system was based on the different gun calibres of the British naval ships. When firing a salute, the ships first fired their 15-pound guns on the main deck, followed by the 30-pound guns of the middle deck, and finally by the 40-pound lower gun deck.

Wiki User

15y ago

Wiki User

14y ago

The origins of the fifteen, thirty, and forty scores are believed to be medieval French. It is possible that a clock face was used on court, with a quarter move of the hand to indicate a score of fifteen, thirty, and forty-five. When the hand moved to sixty, the game was over. However, it was realized that the game could then be won by luck, and so the idea of "deuce" was introduced. In order to make the score still within the ""sixty"" ticks on the clock face, the forty-five was changed to forty. Therefore, if both players have forty, the first player to score receives ten and that moves the clock to fifty. If the player scores a second time before the opponent is able to score, they are awarded another ten and the clock moves to sixty. The sixty signifies the end of the game. However, if a player fails to score twice in a row, then the clock would move back to forty to establish another "deuce"[citation needed]. Another theory is that the scoring nomenclature came from the French game jeu de paume (a precursor to tennis that substituted the hand for a racquet). Jeu de paume was very popular before the French Revolution, with more than 1000 courts in Paris alone. The traditional court was 90ft in total with 45ft on each side. When the server scored, he/she moved forward 15ft. If he/she scored again, he/she would move another 15ft. If he/she scored a third time, he/she could only move 10ft closer. As for tiebreak scores going 1,2,3 etc. that is because they are a modern addition to the game- simple as that.