Padel is highly similar to tennis. There are few distinctions, like how a padel court (33 x 66 feet) is 1/3 of a tennis court.
But tennis and padel rules are essentially the same.
Following that, the tiebreak games are also the same. If both teams tie at 6-6 in a set (six games), the tiebreak winner wins with a 7-6 score.
Let’s learn more, shall we?
How to Count the Scoring in a Tiebreak in Padel
The point system for a tiebreak game is numerical. The first point won is counted by ‘zero,’ ‘1’, ‘2,’ and so on, and the first team to score seven points wins.
There must be a 2-point clearance, meaning the leading pair should have a two-point advantage. In other words, they must have a minimum advantage of at least two balls.
The pair wins if they score seven (7) points and the other team scores five (5) points.
Who Starts to Serve in a Padel Tiebreak?
The first server in a tiebreak game is similar to the order of service that initially follows.
The first player serves one point from the right side of the court (in the deuce) to the opposite court for this first tiebreak point.
The opposing players will serve next with two consecutive points, starting from the left side of the court (the advantage).
After following this service order, each team will serve two points, starting from the court’s left side (advantage) and then the second point on the right, until the tiebreak game ends.
At the 6th point, the teams will change courts. As mentioned, the winning pair must be two points ahead of the opposing team. This order must always be respected in a tie-break match.
Who Starts to Serve the Set After a Tiebreak is Padel?
After the tiebreak match, the team that did NOT serve first will start the set this time.
It differs from the start of the game, where the tournament umpire decides who starts the match by flipping a coin. The winning team can determine if they want to start serving or receiving first.
Changing Sides in a Tiebreak
In a tiebreak game, the players change court play after every six (6) points or if the scores add up to six. Examples are 6-6, 3-3, 4-2, and so on.
The difference with a non-tiebreak game is that players will change ends after a subsequent odd game in a regular game. It could be every 1st, 3rd, 5th game, and so on.
Or, for instance, if the scores are 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, which constitute odd-numbered points (1, 3, 5).
Although there’s no rest time during tiebreak, there will be a maximum rest periodof one hundred twenty (120) seconds at the end of every set.
The aforementioned rest time starts when a point finishes and before the following point begins.
Additionally, the following games must begin at least 20 minutes after the previous match ends. But this could be adjusted depending on the players’ discretion.
In Case of Error and No Change of Sides Was Made
Errors are committed in some cases, and players forget to change courts. If this happens, the points won before the mistake is still valid, but proper corrections must be made immediately.
If the first player served incorrectly, but the error was realized, the same pair will be allowed to serve again.
- The player hits the ball wrong (missed, or the ball hits the server)
- The server steps beyond the service line or imaginary central line
- The ball bounces outside of the opponent’s court (out-of-court play)
- The ball bounces inside the opponent’s court but hits the metallic fence before the second bounce
- The ball bounces in your court first, then on the receiver’s service box
- The ball doesn’t bounce on the receiver’s service box
- The ball in play doesn’t hit the ground of the opponents’ court
Allowed Time to Change Sides in a Tiebreak of Padel
Upon changing courts every six points, the allowable time to switch to the other side of the court is a maximum of 20 seconds only.
This change end process must be done without a rest duration during a tiebreak game.
Super Tiebreak Game to Define the Match in Padel
There are different fun ways to end a tiebreak to avoid a lengthy and dragging game.
One acceptable method is the super tiebreak game, wherein the first team to score ten points win. This game replaces the previous set, still following the 2-point clearance.
For example, if the set’s score is 1-1, a tie-break game will determine the deciding point to declare the winner.
If the tiebreak game replaces the final set, they will follow the original service order.
Additionally, there will be no changing of balls at the beginning of a tiebreak regardless if it’s due for a change.
A change ball happens:
- After an established odd number of games
- The warm-up period is equivalent to two games
- At the start of a set
- Beginning of the second game (after a tiebreak)
What’s a Common Strategy to Use in a Tie-break of Padel?
There is no ‘cookie-cutter’ strategy to dominate a tie-break match, but we all know that it’s a very crucial game without much room for errors.
Here are some tips:
A tie-break match can make or break the set, so avoid a wandering mind and pour your focus into the game.
Remember, it’s highly likely that the team that scores in tie-break games wins the match.
2. Do What’s Familiar
Do not try unfamiliar stances or techniques to hit the ball during a tiebreak game. It’s not the time to experiment.
Do the same movement and strategy during the last six games!
3. Practice Makes Permanence
Be sure to train well and practice. It’s a long-term solution, but practice makes permanence. It helps if you have a properly accredited coach to help you.
Here’s an excellent tiebreak round that you can enjoy and learn from:
Alternative Scoring Method
With a deuce score, the alternative method can be used for scoring. It’s a ‘no advantage‘ or no gold point (El Punto de Oro) method.
The opposing court (receiving team) can decide if they want to receive on the court’s right or left side.
However, they cannot change their positions in receiving. The team that scores the point wins the game. Here are some scoring terms:
- No point – ‘love’
- First point – ’15’
- Second point – ’30’
- Third point – ’40’
- Fourth point – ‘game’
Frequently Asked Questions About Playing a Tiebreak in Padel
Let’s address some of the FAQs about tiebreak and padel.
A tiebreak is a sudden death round when both players ties at 6-6, and the first pair to win the next point will win by 7-6.
No, but they are similar. Golden points happen when the score reaches a deuce (i.e., both teams scored three points each). A tiebreak happens when the scores are tied at six games (6-6).
Here are some tips for a good service that won’t disqualify you:
– Only do small feet movements that don’t affect the adopted service position
– At least one foot must be in contact with the ground
– Serve the ball at a below-waist level
– It’s not allowed when a player jumps, runs or walks during service
Interference is when a player distracts the opponent with a deliberate or involuntary action while making a shot. If intentional, the opponent will be awarded. If involuntary, they will call a ‘let’ and the point repeated.
If you know tennis, you’ll learn how to play padel.
But it takes practice to do it well in the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play — only the right and ethical methods are considered professional.
Overall, we hope this article helped you understand tiebreak better. Good luck!
Lucas Sánchez is the founder of SimplePadel. Born and raised in Spain, Lucas has been living in the US and UK for the last 20 years and currently calls Miami his home. While he’s never played professionally, the dream is still alive.
Lucas loves nothing more than playing (and talking) about padel, and he considers himself lucky to have a wife and family that share his love for the game.