How Long Do Tennis Matches Last?

Without a clock in tennis, the length of matches can vary considerably. No one knows how long do tennis matches last, but there are some ways to at least predict the average length.

How Long are Tennis Matches?

The average length of a tennis match is 97 minutes. However, since tennis games are not limited to a specific time period, some matches only last 40 minutes, while others can last more than 3 hours. 

How long are tennis matches lasts depends mainly on the number of sets a tennis match lasts, and most of them are in the range of 40 to 60 minutes.

If you are interested more about tennis, you can read about the best tennis matches in the world.

How Long Does a Tennis Match Last of Three Sets?

At most levels of tennis, a match is played to the best of three sets. This means that the first team to win two sets wins the match.

This format works not only to help people stay in shape during the match and tournament, but it also makes things much more predictable over time.


In a best-of-three sets match, there are fewer variables that will alter the timing of the entire match. 

This type of setup makes the most sense for everyone involved during most events. There are many instances where a tournament or even a TV show gets completely derailed because a match goes on for an incredibly long time.

Everything is much more likely to stay on time (at least to some extent) in a best-of-three-set format. You have the opportunity for a third set, but that usually adds less than an hour to the match at most.

Unbalanced matches in a best-of-three format still take at least 30 to 45 minutes. Even if the two players are not equally skilled, it takes time to win a minimum of 48 points to win two sets.

On the other hand, a competitive three-set match can last more than three hours. The tiebreaker at the end of the set certainly helps, as the previous format in some cases depended on a player winning by two games in the final set.

How Long is a Five-Set Tennis Match?

There is something special about a best-of-five configuration played by the men in Grand Slams.

These are the only instances where this format is used, turning Grand Slams into a battle of skill and endurance. Fans love the extra drama it brings.

Unfortunately, a best-of-five-set match is incredibly unpredictable with the total time, meaning a fan could get stuck in a match that lasts five hours or more.

Even if a matchup is completely lopsided, the match still needs three sets to declare a winner.

It is doubtful that any best-of-five-set match will end in less than 90 minutes. Where it becomes unpredictable is if the match is not a straight sets win.

Anything that lasts four sets or more as pushes it to at least the 3-hour mark.

This is because there is at least one additional set and it is assumed that at least one of those sets was quite competitive and took a long time.

Marathon matches often last five sets, as that can last hours and hours. A five-set match brings all kinds of drama at Grand Slams, but often throws the entire schedule off in the process.

Tiebreakers Make Matches Last Longer

It took a while, but now it’s getting closer and closer to being universal, and every major has a tiebreaker situation set up to keep matches from dragging on too long.

There used to be a time when it was necessary to play the fifth set until one player had a two-set lead. 

Now, heading into a tiebreaker ensures that the match comes to an end sooner rather than later. At least, everywhere but the French Open.

The penultimate holdout was Wimbledon, as they hosted the longest match in history. At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, John Isner and Niclas Mahut played a match that lasted 11 hours and five minutes.

Wimbledon received a lot of notoriety for this, but they also knew it wouldn’t exactly help with ratings and scheduling in the long run. No one has time to fixate on a match that lasted three days and lasted over 11 hours.

This new tiebreaker plan at Wimbledon now starts at 12-12 in the fifth set.

If a match reaches its point, there is a seven-point tiebreaker to determine the winner. The U.S. Open and Australian Open start the seven-point tiebreaker when it is 6-6 in the fifth set.

Speeding Up the Game

Everyone knows that tennis games can be quite lengthy at times, so they are doing their best to speed up the game in subtle ways.

Perhaps the most controversial new change is the installation of a server clock. A player has a set amount of time to start the next point once everything comes to an end from the previous point.

Players currently at the pro level did not grow up with this clock, so it has caused some confusion and controversy so far. People will receive warnings and even lose points if they consistently miss the clock.

They are also limiting options like medical timeouts, breaks between sets, training and more. This is all done to fix the game a bit more and see if a few minutes can be saved here and there.

It won’t make much difference at the end of the day, but it helps keep the fans in the game. It could also help the tournament director determine the schedule.

The Longest Match in the World


On 22 June 2010, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon: it lasted no less than 11 hours and 6 minutes. Between one thing and another, it had to be played on three different days. 

Why was the match so long? Until a few years ago, Grand Slam tournaments were defined by the best of five sets, but in the fifth set there was no tie break (as in the other sets) or super tie break (as now), but the players had to beat their opponents by two games.

How did they reach this situation? Both players excelled with their serve, so the points were short and the match was full of aces (113 for Isner and 103 for Mahut. They are the record 1 and 2 of aces scored in the same match respectively).


Unlike sports like soccer and basketball, you never know how long a tennis event will last.

Longer matches are generally considered better and more competitive, but it can get to the point where matches last too long for the average fan to stay interested.

Tennis may undergo some changes in the coming years to help make the times a little more even, but it is one of the most popular sports in the world without a clock to dictate play.


How long does a tennis match last❓

The average length of a tennis match is approximately 97 minutes, but it can vary significantly.

What factors influence the duration of a tennis match❓

The number of sets, competitiveness of the players, and tiebreaker situations can all impact the length of a tennis match.

How long is a standard best-of-three-set tennis match❓

A best-of-three-set match typically lasts between 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the level of competition and match intensity.

How long does a best-of-five-set tennis match last❓

Best-of-five-set matches, common in Grand Slam tournaments for men, can range from 2.5 to 5 hours or more, with higher variability due to the potential for longer sets.

What role do tiebreakers play in the duration of tennis matches❓

Tiebreakers help expedite match endings, especially in deciding sets, preventing matches from extending indefinitely.

How has tennis adapted to speed up the game❓

Initiatives such as server clocks, limiting timeouts, and reducing break times aim to streamline matches and keep fans engaged.

What was the longest tennis match in history❓

The longest tennis match occurred at Wimbledon in 2010 between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, lasting a staggering 11 hours and 6 minutes over three days.

Why do some tennis matches last longer than others❓

Factors like player skill, serve dominance, match competitiveness, and format (best-of-three vs. best-of-five sets) contribute to varying match durations.