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Grand Slams to remain with 32 seeds in 2019

Andrew Hendrie in News 14 Sep 2018
  • Grand Slams will stick with 32 seeds for the immediate future
  • Plans to revert to 16 seeds have been scrapped
Grand Slams will stick with 16 seeds (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Grand Slams will continue to operate with 32 seeds for men’s and women’s singles draws after the Grand Slam Board (GSB) opted to backflip on a proposed decision last year to halve the number.

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In November 2017, the GSB announced plans for a number of radical changes to the four major tennis tournaments from 2019 - Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open - including reverting from 32 seeds to 16, which was the format until 2001.

However, a final decision was never set in stone, and now the GSB have opted against changing the seeding numbers after consulting with players and broadcast partners, along with analysing this year’s matches.

"Following a full year of Grand Slam match analysis and feedback from all other constituencies, especially players and broadcast partners, the Grand Slam tournaments have decided there is no compelling reason to revert to 16 seeds," the GSB said in a statement. 
"Accordingly, all 2019 Grand Slam tournaments have agreed to continue with 32 seeds in singles."


The four majors switched from 16 seeds to 32 in order to avoid large numbers of early round upsets and help the top seeds advance into the second week, which then leads to more revenue and interest.

Under the current system, none of the top 32 seeds can play each other or face a higher-ranked rival until at least the third round.

However, under 16 seeds, top 20 players could have potentially squared off in the opening round - while the recent U.S. Open final between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams could also have been a Round 1 match.


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Grand Slams to remain with 32 seeds in 2019

Grand Slams will continue to operate with 32 seeds for men’s and women’s singles draws after the Grand Slam Board (GSB) opted to backflip on a proposed decision last year to halve the number.

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