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Why is Thirty30 better than FAST4?

Updated: Nov 26, 2019

Why is Thirty30 better than FAST4?

The FAST4 format of tennis was introduced by Tennis Australia to produce shorter matches.

There has been a wide uptake of the FAST4 format in competitive tennis over recent years.

FAST4 provides an alternative scoring method to the traditional tennis scoring method and is included in the 2017 ITF Rules of Tennis Appendix V Alternative Procedures and Scoring Methods for a trial period (2016-2017).

Summary of the FAST4 format

- A set is complete when a player reaches four games.

- A FAST4 (nine point) Tie-Break to five points is played if the score reaches three games all.

- Uses the “No-Ad” scoring method.

- Is played using the “No Let Rule”.

Reasons why the Thirty30 format is better

- Thirty30 retains the final set “Advantage Set”: The first player(s) to win six games wins that “Set”, provided there is a margin of two games over the opponent(s).

- Thirty30 retains the “Tie-break Set”: The first player(s) to win six games wins that “Set”, provided there is a margin of two games over the opponent(s). If the score reaches six games all, a Thirty30 "Golden Game" shall be played (instead of the seven point tie-break game) to decide the set by seven games to six.

- Thirty30 retains the “Ad-points”.

- Thirty30 matches build in a similar fashion to traditional tennis.

- Thirty30 matches contain many more 'big-points' – every second point is a game-point. (A FAST4 match produces less 'big-points' than a traditional match due to the combination of using the "No-Ad” scoring and shorter sets to only 4 games)

- The set’s game score ticks over more quickly. There are more intense and exciting moments and end-of-set’s dramas are reached more quickly – A best of 5 sets match takes no longer than 90 minutes.

- A Thirty30 match score is identical to traditional tennis, e.g. 7-5, 1-6, 2-6, 7-6, 8-6, i.e. the "final set - lead by 2 games rule" is retained. (A FAST4 match score is e.g. 4-2, 1-4, 2-4, 4-3, 4-3).

- Used as a “3rd set match-decider", a Thirty30 final set (lead by 2 games) can provide a better and fairer alternative to the Match Tie-Break (10 points).

- Changing from the traditional tennis scoring format to the Thirty30 format is simple and seamless for players, audiences and officials.

- The name “Thirty30” is associated with tennis, i.e. “30-30”. “FAST4” is not.


Thirty30 and FAST4 both produce shorter matches but Thirty30 retains the traditions of tennis far better.

Maintaining the traditions of tennis is key to success in the future, and retaining “sets to 6 games”, and playing “Ad-points” are critical to that success.

Thirty30 produces more intense matches that FEEL, SOUND and LOOK like traditional tennis.

FAST4 produces truncated traditional matches, i.e. the matches have been cut short.


Is the Thirty30 format better than FAST4?

An emphatic YES! But make up your own mind.

TRY THIRTY30 NOW! and judge for yourself.

Mark Milne Creator of Thirty30 Tennis 04 November 2017

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