US Open 2023 format – Key rules to know ahead of the tournament

The US Open format is always a topic that interests fans, and the 2023 edition is no different. And given the adaptations concerning things like the US Open 2023 tie-break rule, formats for juniors and doubles events, and more – it’s important to stay on top of these changes. After all, you will want to understand what is happening when watching the matches. For example, if a match goes to a final set tie-break, you’ll want to know what’s coming up. 

US Open 2023 format

Furthermore, when flicking between events like singles, doubles, US Open 2023 juniors, or even wheelchair events, it helps to know the format so that nothing catches you off guard. And to stress once again, since the US Open has undergone a few changes this year, it’s a good idea to read through the details I’ve shared here to prepare yourself. 

With that in mind, to discover the specifics regarding the US Open format and other rules, simply read through the respective sections below.

2023 US Open format – tournament overview

The good news about the format of the US Open is that the fundamentals haven’t changed all that much. Therefore, if you are asking questions such as how many sets are played at the US Open or when a tie-break is played, these are consistent with previous editions of this tournament. However, you should still learn these US Open format fundamentals for the respective events before diving into any adaptations concerning the rules. 

So let me disclose the formats for the main events before we take a look at the US Open rules for 2023.

US Open format – men’s and women’s singles

For the men’s singles event, the US Open format is exactly how it has been for several years now. Specifically, the men are set to play best of five singles matches, meaning they must win three sets to win a match. In contrast, the US Open format for the women’s singles requires them to play the best of three sets. Of course, this means they must win just two sets to win a match. 

Men’s and women’s doubles US Open format

For the US Open 2023 doubles events, there is absolute consistency between the men’s and women’s doubles. All matches played in these doubles events will be the best of three sets, and a full third set will be played if a match reaches ‘one set all’. Adding to that, if a match reaches 6-6 in the final set, a 10-point tie-break is then played to determine the winner.

US Open format for mixed doubles

Although the mixed doubles is obviously categorized as a doubles event, I’ve separated it because the US Open 2023 doubles rules are actually unique for this event. While the men’s and women’s doubles matches will be the best of three tie-break sets, the mixed doubles only uses tie-break sets for the first two sets. This means that if a match ‘splits sets’, meaning it goes to 1-1 in sets, the match goes straight into a championship tie-break to 10. 

US Open rules – specific rules to watch out for this year

Now that you have an idea of the 2023 US Open format for the main events, as promised, I will now run through a few key rules to watch out for. There are a few that are relatively fresh to the US Open, yet these rule changes aren’t so extreme that they will completely throw fans off. But either way, by reading through the US Open rules for 2023, you can be 100% certain that you’ve got all of the right information to cover this area. 

On that note, let me quickly discuss the US Open rules for 2023 right now.

Final set tie-break at 6-6

As you might be aware, this rule was also used at the 2022 US Open. As it happens, this was the first time ever that the US Open had switched to a 10-point tie-break if a match reached 6-6 in the deciding set. This is different from a regular tie-break, which is typically played to 7 points with a ‘two clear’ rule if the tie-break reaches 6-6. Yet the only difference is that the tie-break is played to 10 points instead of 7.

Sudden death deuce

The ‘sudden death’ rule in tennis might seem strange to fans who are new to watching competitive tournaments. I say this because the sudden death rule is only used in mixed doubles events in Grand Slams, yet it is also used in standard doubles events in smaller tournaments. Essentially, the sudden death rule means that if any game goes to 40-40 (deuce), the game is then decided by a single point. And in this instance, the returning pair gets to choose whether they receive on the deuce or the ad side.

Coaching now permitted

Of the several US Open rules adaptations that have been implemented this year, this is going to be the most unusual for players and fans alike. After all, the ATP and WTA Tours have experimented with the permission of coaching at various tournaments over the last 12 months or so. And it seems like this trial has been a success. So at the 2023 US Open, you will notice that coaches are allowed to give advice and coach their players during matches.

How many sets at US Open

Although I’ve briefly covered this above, this is still one of the most important bits of information for fans who are watching the US Open. Therefore, let me provide an overview of the US Open format in terms of the number of sets played for each of the events:

  • Men’s singles – best of five
  • Women’s singles – best of three
  • Men’s doubles – best of three
  • Women’s doubles – best of three
  • Mixed doubles – best of three (championship tie-break for third set)
  • Juniors (singles) – best of three
  • Juniors (doubles) – best of three (championship tie-break for final set)
  • Wheelchair (singles) – best of three 
  • Wheelchair (doubles) – best of three (championship tie-break in final set)

As you can see, while the US Open format is slightly different for each individual event, there are only three variations. It’s either a best of five, best of three, or best of three with a championship tie-break to decide the match across the board. And by keeping this as a reference, you will know exactly how each event is played!

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