How Long Does a Tennis Match Last?

As for a tennis game, there is actually no particular or standard set duration for the match. The duration of the match is largely influenced by the number of sets of the game (for instance, there might be three or five sets involved)and if it is a women’s or men’s tennis game. 

However, generally, the average length of a tennis match is about two hours and thirty minutes, especially for men. This might seem quite long, but a greater part of that time is spent on breaks. There are many breaks injected into a tennis match that takes most of the match time. These breaks as many as they are are however as important since each has its own purposes. For instance, there are breaks set to challenge seemingly unfair rulings, or in determining the actual scores of the players. 

The set of a game is a major determinant of how long a tennis game will last. In a tennis game, there are a number of sets that must be played to win the match. A good question now might however be what a set is. Well…, a set is a sequence of tennis games where the players rotate their servicing between different plays until six games are won with a difference of two or when they get to the seventh game after a tie-break. This sure might lead to asking what number of points is needed to win a tennis game. The answer to this would be – whether the player has got difficult and experienced player to battle with or not, a total of four points is needed to win a tennis game without the opponent have a draw or an equal point. 


As a result of this, the scoring process of a tennis game could go as follows. 

  • 15: 0 or a draw. 
  • 30: 0, 30: 15, or a draw. 
  • 40: 0, 40: 15, 40: 30 or a draw. 

When the players hit a draw at the 40: 40 tie, one of the players must win two-game servicing after. Therefore an A or advantage plus another point. 

Now to the question of how many set is to be played and won in a tennis match. It is two set-type in a tennis game. There could be the best of three sets as common in many professional tournaments like the ATP Tour 250 or 500 tournaments. Another set type is the best of five sets such as the Davis Cup or the Grand Slam Open. 

As for the best of three sets, during a tennis match as such, the players of all game will be on the court until either of them wins two if the three sets since two sets might not be enough for as both might win a draw. For this tennis set type, the duration would usually range from 2 to 3 hours before the game end. An example of the game here is 6-4, 4-6, and 6-3. 

 However, as for the best of five sets such as the Grand Slam open, either of the players would play must win at least 3 sets to be celebrated as the winner of the game. The loser might win two or lesser number of the sets then. Also here, there can’t be a four-set type since it is possible that both players of the game might hit a tie leading them to win two-game sets each. An example of a five-set win could be 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, and 10-2. Here, the duration of the game here could last from around 5 to about 6 hours. 

Again, it is difficult to give an exact game duration when it comes to a tennis match. And apart from the sets number, the duration of a tennis match can also be determined by the gender involved in playing the tennis game. Male tennis games are however generally much longer than the female match. For instance, for a male grand slam tennis game, the duration can last up to 3 hours and a few minutes if a player easily wins 3 of the sets at a go. However, the duration would be much longer if there is a tie-breaker or a close win. It could last for as long as five hours. In a female match, however, a three-set duration would last from 1 and a half hours to around 3 hours if the game is a close one. The duration however could be as short as an hour or two, if it is a double best of 3 sets. This because the win points for such games are much shorter as well as the breaks. 

This unpredictability of its duration makes the tennis matches generally longer than many similar sports matches. In fact, the longest tennis game (for men) yet was confirmed to have lasted up to eleven hours. The match was in 2010 at Wimbledon between a French and an American. Nicolas Mahut versus John Isner with John emerging as the winner. The final score ended as 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 9-7, 6-7, 3-7, and 70-68. The longest tennis game for women, however, was for six and a half hours. The match was in 1984 at Virginia between two Americans, Jean Hepner versus Vicki Nelson with Vicki emerging as the final winner. Most female tennis game is however not as long as the male. The final score ended as 6-4 and 7-6. 



It is really difficult to give a direct answer to how long a tennis game lasts because the duration is largely determined by the number of sets played in the game and the gender type involved in the gameplay. There might also be other conditions related to the duration of a tennis match because, for instance, a two-set game on clay could last as long as ninety minutes while a two-set game on grass could be as short as sixty minutes. Despite the unpredictable duration tennis games are however very interesting to watch and in the end worth every second spent around the court. 


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