Tennis’ unpredictability is one of the reasons it can be such a thrilling sport to watch. A game that was supposed to finish fast can develop into an epic, but even a match that appears to be well-matched can end quickly. Unfortunately, tennis players aren’t robots, and even the best of them have bad days.

As a reason, the issue of how long tennis matches last is difficult to answer. Many matches are decided over the best of three sets with a tiebreak in each if necessary, while men’s grand slam matches, for example, are decided over the best of five sets, sometimes with no tiebreak in the final set.

To understand it thoroughly, you might want to take a look at our today’s article explaining how long is a tennis match.



How Long Is A Tennis Match?

The set of three matches lasts 90 minutes, and the best of five sets may last up to 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

However, some factors may influence the length of a game, such as a tennis court surface, weather, and other unexpected accidents.

What Is A Set In Tennis?

The players must score points to win. A set is a number of tennis games, with six being the minimum number of matches played.

The winner of the set match is the one who wins six games with a margin of two victories over their opponent.

The Duration Of A Tennis Set

There have been published mathematical studies that estimate the length of a game under various conditions. These results may be extended to estimate the anticipated time of a set. According to some research, a regular set takes a little over 40 minutes on average.

However, this varies depending on the court surface. A standard set at Wimbledon, for example, takes just under 40 minutes because of the shorter rallies favored by the fast grass courts.

Slow clay courts, on the other hand, result in lengthier rallies. Thus the average set in the French Open is well over 40 minutes long. Of course, these are only averages, and a set can take as little as 15 minutes or as much as an hour in practice.

What Are Factors That Affect the Duration of Matches?

A tiebreak situation

A tiebreak situation has been introduced in a major tennis competition, such as the Davis Cup, to keep matches running too long.

In Wimbledon, the tiebreak plan begins at 12-12 in the fifth tennis set. If the match goes to his score, the winner is decided by a seven-point tiebreaker.

The US Open and the Australian Open begin with a seven-point tiebreak. It’s when the fifth set’s scores are tied at 6-6.


Both men’s and women’s Grand Slams forbid coaching during matches. In addition, in tournaments, including the Grand Slam, the ATP does not allow coaching.

The competitors will not be coached in any way, even during the warm-up during the Grand Slams. There is no coaching allowed, either audible or visible.

Break time

In a best-of-five format, the ATP permits the players to have two bathroom breaks. In women’s tennis, only one break is allowed, although the matches are shorter. After that, they simply need to win two of the three sets.

Refer to this video for more information: Maria Sharapova VS Simona Halep (Break Time) 271015

Is It Possible To Predict How Long A Tennis Match Is?

There is no way to tell how long a match will last. Tennis is equivalent to baseball in this aspect.

The longer the matches last, the better and more competitive the players get, making it tougher to win a set, as winning a set requires scoring two points in succession.

On the other hand, fans seem to lose interest after a while due to the lengthy games.

It’s nice to know that most big events are already taking steps to avoid a repetition of the 2010 Wimbledon incident.


What is the quickest tennis match in history?

In the 1988 French Open final, Steffi Graf defeated Natasha Zvereva 6–0, 6–0. The official match duration on the scoresheet was 34 minutes. However, the game only lasted 32 minutes due to a rain break, which was broken into two parts of 9 and 23 minutes.

What is the longest tennis final?

The record for the longest tennis match was the one in the first round of the men’s singles at Wimbledon in 2010 between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut.

John Isner finally won 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 in a three-day match that lasted 665 minutes (11 hours and 5 minutes) at the All England Club in London.

How long is the average college tennis match?

A typical college tennis match will take between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the number of players. Single matches generally take between 1:30 and 2 hours, while double matches last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. College tennis matches may run up to 5 or 6 hours if a venue only has 3 or 4 courts.

Final Thoughts

Through our article on “how long is a tennis match”, we hope you have gained a deeper understanding of the topic. All in all, there is a certain amount of time for a tennis match, but due to a few factors, the match can last longer as expected. Regardless, enjoying the game is what the audience will do no matter what.

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Further Reading