How Long Is a Tennis Match? Unlocking the Secrets of Match Duration!

By Lin
Last update:

Determining how long a tennis match will be isn’t always easy. For instance, are you playing best of three or best of five? Is it a singles match or a doubles match? All of these factors will affect the total time spent on the court.

Typically, a tennis match lasts between an hour and 2.5 hours. This varies by person, with many best-of-three matches spanning 1.5 hours. You can expect to play closer to 2.5 or even three hours for best of five matches. Between singles and doubles, doubles tend to take longer, with many matches lasting upwards of five hours.

Are you still wondering about tennis matches? Keep reading because we’ve got plenty more to share!

Table of Contents

Setting Up A Tennis Match

When setting up your tennis match, you’ll likely want to start by playing the best of three. This means you and your opposing player or team will play three sets, seeing which will take the victory once the final one is complete. Remember that if you don’t win the first two sets, the third will be your last chance to win the match.

According to the USTA, these are a few of the things you’ll need to do choose when setting up your match:

  • To serve or receive
  • The side of the court
  • Or defer their choice to their opponent: but the opponent cannot defer back

You can do a coin toss or spin your racket to decide which person chooses first.

How Long Do Three Set Matches Take?

On average, a three-set match (aka best of three) will take an hour and a half. However, this timeline can be shorter or much longer depending on factors like whether one player is more advanced.

In that situation, the player with more skills could easily win the first two sets in 30 minutes, finishing the entire three-set match in under an hour. If both players are on a similar level, the three sets could run for three or more hours.

How Long Do Five Set Matches Take?

Most five-set matches take roughly two hours and 45 minutes. One thing to note, however, is that five-set matches only take place during grand slam events, including the Australian Open, French Open, US Open, Wimbledon Championships.

All other men’s tournaments, as well as women’s, are played in three-set matches.

How Long Is A Tennis Match For The US Open?

A tennis match during the US Open should last about an hour when playing best of three. As we said, there are instances where men will play best of five, which can take as long as 3+ hours. However, most matches in the US Open are best of three, often finished in under 1.5 hours.

The longest tennis match ever played at the US Open was the 1992 semifinal between Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang: 5 hours, 26 minutes.

How Long Is A Tennis Match For The Australian Open?

Most often, matches played at the Australian Open are best of three or, for men, best of five. They can last upwards of 1.5 hours for three-set matches, and we’ve seen best of five ones last nearly six hours.

The longest match at the Australian Open was in 2012, with players Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and it lasted a jaw-dropping five hours and 53 minutes – the longest Grand Slam final of all time.

How Long Is A Tennis Match At Wimbledon?

The average match time at Wimbledon is roughly 90 minutes, putting it in the same timeframe as other major tennis events. Like the US, Australian, and French Opens, Wimbledon mainly relies on best of three matches. However, men do often play best of five sets per match. In that case, the match may last closer to two hours.

The longest Wimbledon match was in 2010; John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played the historical match on Court 18 at Wimbledon. It lasted 11 hours and five minutes.

How Long Is A Tennis Match For The French Open?

Tennis matches at the French Open typically last 120 minutes, with each set lasting closer to 40 minutes. Because of the clay courts, this often causes matches to be longer than other events. This figure assumes it is a best-of-three match, so keep that in mind.

The longest-ever match at the French Open was between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement at the 2004 French Open, lasting 6:33 hours.


How Long Is A Tennis Game?

A game of tennis shouldn’t last more than an hour or two if you’re playing best of three with a player at or below your level. Of course, the more competitive two players are, the longer the game could span.

What Is The Average Length Of A Tennis Match?

The average tennis match for the best of three games is 90 minutes. In contrast, the average length of a best-of-five match is closer to 2.45 hours.

What Is The Longest Men’s Tennis Match?

The longest-ever men’s tennis match occurred in 2010 at Wimbledon between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, lasting 11 hours and five minutes. Of course, this timeframe was spread over three days: but it still broke records and had the entire world tuned in.

What Is The Longest Women’s Tennis Match?

The longest women’s tennis match (by time) took place at a tournament in Richmond, Virginia, in 1984, when Vicki Nelson took 6 hours, 31 minutes to defeat Jean Hepner.

However, the longest women’s match in a Grand Slam tennis singles competition lasted 4 hr 44 min between Francesca Schiavone (Italy) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia).

Are There Breaks In Tennis Matches?

Yes, there are short breaks between sets in a tennis match. According to the USTA, players can take a two-minute break between each set in their match, totaling six minutes for a best of three and ten minutes for five-set matches.

Final Thoughts

This article discussed the average time for tennis matches, with three-set versions being around 1.5 hours and five-set matches taking closer to 2.5 or three.

Generally, you want to expect each set to take around 30 minutes, but this could be much shorter or longer, depending on you and your opponent’s skills. Don’t be afraid to take your time!

Photo of author


Editor of All Points Tennis and a huge Roger Federer fan, I've spent countless hours studying his moves, especially his forehand and one-handed backhand. I also love writing about all the technical stuff like rackets and strings. I'm super pumped to share my insights with fellow tennis lovers here.