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US Open doubles format – how many sets for doubles and other rules

Hundreds of players around the World make the trip to Flushing Meadows for the US Open, the last grand slam event of the year. There are singles, doubles, mixed doubles, wheelchairs and juniors events at this competition. In this article, we would like to talk about the doubles and mixed doubles events.

US Open doubles format

Sep 10, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Jamie Murray of Great Britain, left, and Bruno Soares of Brazil play against Rajeev Ram of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain (not pictured) in the men's doubles final on day twelve of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA Photo by Icon Sport
Photo by Icon Sport

At the US Open doubles event, 64 teams go toe-to-toe with each other in a knockout format; and the number of teams is halved until the final. Unlike the singles event which has seven rounds, there are six rounds in the doubles event, on the men and women’s side. On the other hand, the mixed doubles event starts in the round of 32, and featured just five rounds.

How many sets in US Open doubles?

It’s important to point out that the US Open doubles event uses the best-of-three format when it comes to sets; on the men’s side, as well as the women’s side. What this means is, whichever team wins two sets will win the match. There can be one-sided contests where the victors win in just two sets, while some tightly-contested fixtures can go all the way to three sets.

Ad scoring

Another thing we would like to point out is that the US Open doubles event uses the ‘ad scoring’ system. What this means is, if both players have won three points each, and are currently tied at 40-40 (otherwise known as a deuce), either player will need to win two more points in order to win the game. In contrast, in the ‘no ad’ scoring system, whoever wins the next point after the deuce wins the match. In case you’re wondering how points are scored; the first point counts as 15, the second counts as 30, while the third is recorded as 40. In that case, if a game’s scoreline reads 40-15, it means the leading player has three points, while the other has one.

Third set tiebreak

There are instances where teams have won a set apiece, and are tied at 6-6 in the third set. When that happens, a deciding set tiebreak comes into play. The first team that wins 10 points in the tiebreak wins the match. This applies to just the men and women’s doubles events; as it’s different with mixed doubles. When it comes to mixed doubles, the tiebreak starts as soon as both teams are tied at one set apiece; and the first team to reach 10 points wins the match.

Frequently asked questions about the US Open doubles event

Sep 11, 2022; Flushing, NY, USA; (from left) Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, both of the Czech Republic, and Caty McNally and Taylor Townsend, both of the United States, pose with their trophies after the women's doubles final on day fourteen of the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA - Photo by Icon sport
Photo by Icon Sport
  • Does the US Open doubles tournament adopt the best-of-three of best-of-five format? The best-of-three sets format is used at this event.
  • Does the US Open doubles event use the ad scoring or no ad scoring format? The ad scoring system is used on both the men and women’s tournaments.
  • Is there a tiebreak at the US Open doubles competition? Yes, there is.
  • Can I bet on the US Open doubles matches? Of course, there are many bookmakers that offer betting markets for this competition, and we recommend Ladbrokes.

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