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The Australian Open is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world, marking the start of the Grand Slam season. However, to understand the importance of the tournament, it is essential to master the rules of the Australian Open.

Held in Melbourne, the championship attracts the world’s best tennis players, offering a high-intensity spectacle ideal for opening the season on the right foot.

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List of all Australian Open rules

To ensure that all the games are fair, the Australian Open follows a strict set of rules, which we’ll get to know now!

Game Format

Australian Open matches are played in a single elimination format. This means that a player advances to the next round by winning their match, while the loser is eliminated from the tournament.

Among the rules of the Australian Open, it’s important that you pay special attention to this one;

After all, every stage of the championship is a knockout stage. In other words, an athlete can be eliminated after the first game, even in the first round, ok?

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Whoever wins the most sets wins the game

One of the most common questions about the Grand Slam is: “How many sets does an Australian Open match have?”

To answer this question, we need to consider two modalities:

  • os jogos de simples masculino são disputados em melhor de cinco sets (o vencedor precisa ganhar três sets);
  • os jogos de simples feminino são disputados em melhor de três sets (a vencedora precisa ganhar 2 sets). 

In the doubles matches, the Australian Open rules also state that the matches are played in a best-of-three format, both for men and women;

Set score

A set is won by the player who first wins six games, with a minimum difference of two games over their opponent. If the set reaches 6-6, a tiebreak is played to decide the winner of the set;

In the tiebreak, the first player to reach seven points with a minimum difference of two points wins the set.

Also read: Tennis Glossary: ace, volley, fault, deuce, serve and more!


Players are entitled to breaks between sets and games. After the third set of a men’s match or the second set of a women’s match, there is a break of 10 minutes if the temperature exceeds a certain threshold, due to the severe weather conditions in Australia in January, when the competition usually takes place.

In addition, the time between serves must be respected, where tennis players have a time limit of 25 seconds between points to serve.

Is it possible to ask for a review of a point?

Yes, as in other sports, in tennis it is possible to ask for a review of a score given by the judge on court;

According to the rules of the Australian Open, the technology used is Hawk-Eye, the same as Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open;

Electronic tracking technology is used in tennis to decide controversial shots;

At the Australian Open, this technology is widely used to ensure accuracy and fairness in decisions during matches;

To do this, each player is entitled to three challenges per set, and in a tiebreak, players receive an additional challenge, i.e. if they have already used their three challenges in the set, they receive one more challenge specifically for the tiebreak.

To challenge a call (or marking), the player must make a clear gesture and verbalize the challenge immediately after the point is played and before the next serve is made.

The challenge must be done quickly, within the time allowed between points (25 seconds), to avoid delaying the game.

If the challenge is successful and the original marking is reversed, the player does not lose the challenge and keeps the number of remaining challenges.

If the challenge is unsuccessful and the original call is upheld, the player loses one challenge out of the total allowed for that set.

Line calls only

The Hawk-Ey can only be used to review line calls, for example to assess whether the ball was in or out. Therefore, it cannot be used to challenge other referee decisions, such as foot-fault calls.

Also read: Rules of tennis: scoring, tie-breaks, challenges and more

Curiosities about the Australian Open rules

In addition to the Australian Open rules on what can and can’t be played in a match, other rules also need to be known, both by the athletes and by the public following the games. Check out the main ones below.

How many sets does an Australian Open match take?

Men’s matches at the Australian Open are played in best of five sets, while women’s matches are played in best of three sets. This means that to win a men’s match, a player must win three sets, and to win a women’s match, a player must win two sets.

How many ATP ranking points do you earn at the Australian Open?

The distribution of ATP ranking points at the Australian Open is as follows:

  • Campeão: 2000 pontos
  • Vice-campeão: 1300 pontos
  • Semifinalistas: 720 pontos
  • Quartas de final: 360 pontos
  • Quarta rodada: 180 pontos
  • Terceira rodada: 90 pontos
  • Segunda rodada: 45 pontos
  • Primeira rodada: 10 pontos

This distribution of points reflects the importance of the Australian Open on the ATP circuit, offering a significant opportunity for players to improve their rankings and perhaps win a place in the ATP Finals.

How long does an Australian Open match last?

The length of matches at the Australian Open can vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including the number of sets played, the intensity of the game and the skill of the players. However, we can consider an average of:

  • Partidas masculinas: Podem durar entre 2 a 4 horas, mas algumas partidas mais disputadas podem se estender por mais de 5 horas.
  • Partidas femininas: Geralmente duram entre 1,5 a 3 horas.

These variations make the magic of tennis so exciting and unpredictable, with matches that can turn into real marathons.

With this set of Australian Open rules you’ll enjoy the season-opening Grand Slam matches much more! So enjoy cheering on your favorite tennis players from the start of the year!

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