“If you have ever seen a WTT match you have seen my philosophy of life in action – men and women, competing together, on a team and both genders making equal contributions to the result.”
— WTT co-founder Billie Jean King
World TeamTennis showcases the best in professional tennis with the innovative team format co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s. Recognized as the leader in professional team tennis competition, WTT features many of the world’s best players competing annually for the King Trophy, the League’s championship trophy named after King.
Since the League’s debut, virtually every major champion of the Open era has played WTT, including Andre Agassi, Venus and Serena Williams, Pete Sampras, Stefanie Graf, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Bob and Mike Bryan, Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, and Chris Evert.
In July 2015, WTT became the fifth major professional team sports league in the U.S. to reach the 40th season milestone. Owned by innovator Fred Luddy and entrepreneur Eric Davidson, WTT’s 44th season plays from July 14 to July 31, with the league semifinals set for Aug. 2 and the finals Aug. 3. On the community side of the sport, WTT Community Tennis operates team leagues and events, providing grassroots programming throughout the year.
Learn more about the history and league champions of World TeamTennis on the history page.
Firsts & innovations
With a fascinating history of firsts, innovations, and an emphasis on gender equity, WTT stands out among all professional sports leagues.
- Only professional sports league where men and women have equal roles.
- In 2015, the league introduced an on-court 25-second service clock.
- Pro tennis competition to regularly feature no-ad scoring – first to four points wins the game.
- On-court coaching.
- Let serves are played.
- Sets are played to five games (nine-point tiebreak at 4-4).
- Invented use of Supertiebreaker and Extended Play in tennis.
- Fans are allowed to keep balls hit out of play.
- Substitutions are allowed during a match.
- Matches have half-times, Extended Play, and Supertiebreakers.
- Player names on the back of their shirts.
- Matches are played on the League’s signature multi-colored courts.
- Use of instant replay technology in 2005 with Coaches Challenge.
- As with other professional league team sports, the use of timeouts during match play was added in 2012.
- WTT crowds are encouraged to be vocal about great play (while still being respectful of all players) and are allowed to enter/exit the stadium during play without having to wait for a changeover. Often, between games, music is played or a DJ fires up the crowd.
How we play
In a WTT match, each team is comprised of two men, two women, and a coach. Team matches consist of five sets, with one set each of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. The first team to reach five games wins each set. A nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches four games all. One point is awarded for each game won and scoring is cumulative. If necessary, Extended Play and a Supertiebreaker are played to determine the winner of the match.
- Scoring is no-ad (first team to win four points wins the game).
- All games, sets, and Supertiebreakers are won by a margin of one point.
- Each game counts as one point in the team’s cumulative match score.
- The receiver has the choice from which side he/she will receive serve should the game reach three points each. In mixed doubles, the serve is always gender-to-gender at 3-3.
- Teams change sides every four games.
- Let serves are played.
- The first team to reach five games wins a set. If the set is tied at 4-4, a 9-point tiebreaker is played.
- If the team ahead in the cumulative score wins the final game of the last set, then that team is the winner.
- If, however, the trailing team wins the final set, the match is sent into Extended Play and continues until:
- a) the leading team wins one game, or
- b) the trailing team ties the match score.
- If the score becomes tied, the match is decided by a Supertiebreaker.
- If the match is tied at the conclusion of five sets OR if the trailing team ties the score in Extended Play, a 13-point Supertiebreaker, involving the same fifth set, decides the outcome of the entire match.
- A coin toss determines the choice of side, server and receiver. Players change sides after six points.
- The first team to win seven points is awarded a single game and the match.