Wednesday, 28 January 2009


The Australian Open has been happening in Australia for the last few weeks.

Watched a very exciting match between Jelena Dokic and Dinara Safina last night.

But if there is one thing I don't understand about tennis, it is the scoring system.

Follow my logic for a moment:

When you win the first game, you score 15.

When you win the second, your score increases to 30.

(That kind of makes sense, since it's an increase in multiples of 15.)

But when you win the third, your score then increases to 40. (What happened to the multiples of 15?)

And finally, when you win the fourth, your score becomes 45.

(Now it utterly and completely does not make sense. How does a score increase by 15 twice, then 10, then 5? And why?)

Isn't it better to simply score 1, 2, 3 and then 4?

I don't understand.


iaminchennai said...

The unusual scoring system has medieval and French roots.

The system may be based on the presence of a clock face at the end of the tennis court. A quarter move of the appropriate hand was made after each rest, with the score being called as 15, 30, or 45. As the hand was moved to 60, this was the game.
-- the four points when 15, 30, 45 (which was later abbreviate to 40) and 60, or game.
Also, the word "love" comes from the french "l'eouf" meaning "the egg" supposedly in relation to number 0's resembance to an egg. "Deuce" comes from the french for two "deux", meaning you have two more points to go to win the game.

richies said...

I have never understood either, but your comments solve the mystery

An Arkie's Musings

Melody said...

Huh! That actually makes sense!

Thanks for the insight!

Although, not sure why if they were abbreviating the scores, they don't simply abbreviate it to a more logical form. LOL.

Love the explanations of love and deuce though!

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