Most tennis matches begin at a designated time, rather than an exact minute. Typically, players are expected to be ready to play five minutes prior to the beginning of the match.

Many websites offer live scores, statistics and other information for most major professional tennis competitions in real time. This allows individuals who subscribe to these services access to up-to-date scores during any tournament or competition that they may care about. These services also allow people with an interest in the game but without cable television subscriptions (or satellite television subscriptions) access to important matches when they occur. How this is accomplished varies from site to site; some sites offer free live stats while others charge for them; some sites provide score updates automatically while others require users to refresh their screens manually.

Other websites offer archived scores of past matches. While these services are not interactive, they allow users to see the results of important matches after they have completed or to look up previous results in cases where there is no televised record of earlier contests. Some sites offer an opportunity for fans to post their own commentary on the game; others only allow users to read posts submitted by other users.

Most professional tennis matches are available for streaming on the Internet, primarily through two main sources: ESPN3 and Tennis Channel. Some notable exceptions include the French Open & Wimbledon. For a fee, online viewers can watch these streams as an alternative to television coverage of the match by subscribing to a video service such as iTV or FMS.

Note that if you have a TV subscription with DirectTV or Dish Network you can stream live tennis from those channels for free.

Most websites offering free archived scores allow users premium access in exchange for a fee, typically around 20 U.S. dollars per year. In return, subscribers receive higher-quality information about additional tournaments and have access to full statistical data about every player at all events. In addition, subscribers gain access to features such as rally scoring and a match clock that counts down from 15 minutes.

Rally scoring is an alternative to traditional tennis scoring, in which players receive 10 points for a game won and only one point for each service point earned. Instead of games, sets are recorded as the first side to win four cumulative sets by two games or more; this makes it impossible for either player ever to win by three games (a score of 6–0) or lose by two games (6–2). This system encourages longer rallies than traditional scoring because if either player has a 40-point lead at the end of the set, he wins by “two games.” To help avoid this situation, some websites offer a “mercy rule” in which if one player has an advantage of at least 10 points when the score reaches 6–5 (or rarely 6–6), the game will end. This rule is much more common in men’s matches than women’s matches.

Match clocks are useful for timing each point and monitoring how long players are taking between serves. If players exceed the time limit, their serve usually results in a score against them. Sometimes games can take longer because of bad line calls or other unusual circumstances; the match clock ensures that these delays do not unfairly benefit one player over another.