Do tennis players go off court for a break before the next set when a set concludes after an even number of games?

3 Answers 3


The USTA rule for Changeovers have the following:

  • 90 sec changeover break between odd games
  • 120 sec changeover break between sets (regardless if the set ended even)
  • A bathroom break can be taken at anytime but it is preferred it during a changeover and the duration is reasonable

For ATP the Rule book has the following for a toilet break (90/120sec rules also apply as above):


O. Toilet Break

1) A player may be permitted to leave the court for a toilet break. A player is entitled to one (1) toilet break during a best of three set match and two (2) toilet breaks during a best of five set match. Toilet breaks should be taken on a set break and can be used for no other purpose

It does come down to the specific organisation running the game but generally the rules are consistent.

Injury is more detailed and depends on its severity, but I would not call that so much as a 'break'


Leave the court for a break is not expected during tennis matches even if the previous set was very long.

It can happened that a very long match is interrupped by the umpire because of the hours (see Isner-Mahut match details)

Different from what are you asking is the break ask by the tennis player because of a little injury (eg blisters) or to go to the toilet


Going off court is one thing, having a changeover is another. You can have a changeover even if there's an even number of games. It would be kind of strange not to give players a rest after playing a full set.

Of course, the rules can differ from tournament to tournament and from organizer to organizer. But the standard thing is for the players to have a changeover break at the end of a set, no matter what.

But one thing is for sure: when you do end on an even number at the end of a set, you don't switch sides after you've had a break. That's one thing that will always remain the same no matter in what tournament your playing in.

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