Following on the lead of Wimbledon, even the Australian Open organisers are seriously contemplating the introduction of final set tie-breakers.
And while the decision to introduce these tie-breakers is yet to be finalised for the 2019 edition, news reports suggest it could happen as early as the upcoming season of the Australian Open.
Interestingly, Wimbledon had decided to introduce tie-breakers in the final set following a marathon match between Kevin Anderson and John Isner at the semi-final in 2018 where the South African won the final set 26-24. An exhausted Anderson then surrendered the final meekly to Novak Djokovic.
Australian Open has yet to decide on the format for the tie-breaker but it is also reported that unlike a Wimbledon where it will be taken at 12-12 in the final set, the organisers in Melbourne will bring in the tie-breaker at 6-6. What could be different is that unlike the other sets, the fifth set tie-breaker will award the win to the first player to reach 10 points instead of seven, with a difference of two.
Before any final decision around the tie-breaker rules is taken, however, players will be consulted and a decision will be accordingly taken. The 2019 Australian Open is less than 40 days away.
If this proposal does go through, it would mean all the four Grand Slams would have a different way to tackle the final set. The French Open doesn’t have final set tie-breakers while Wimbledon now has tie-breakers at 12-12 in the final set and the US Open has them to seven points at 6-6.
Not everyone is happy with the proposed call though with some of the major tennis journalists claiming it ‘throws women tennis under the bus’.
Tennis journalist Ben Rothenburg expressed his unhappiness on a tweet which said women’s tennis doesn’t need a final set tie-breaker.
He claimed in a tweet:
“Halep-Davis going 15-13 in the third was awesome, as was Kuznetsova-Schiavone going 16-14. This rule is crap for women’s tennis. Please, stop throwing the women under the bus because the men demand two sets of self-indulgent foreplay before their matches get anywhere.”
Another tennis writer Jose Morgado also slammed the proposal saying all the recent changes in tennis including the team events like Davis Cup and ATP Cup and now this change to the tie-breaker rule did not consider women’s tennis.