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Marathon man John Isner reacts to new Wimbledon tie break rule

Kachi Wachuku in News 23 Oct 2018
  • Tie break specialist John Isner hopes other Grand Slams emulate new Wimbledon rule 
  • World No.9 jokes it should be called the 'Isner Rule' given his history of long matches
John Isner. (credit: Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Isner has backed new Wimbledon tie break rule

Marathon man John Isner has a few things to say about the new Wimbledon rule. Last week, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) announced their decision to implement final set tie breaks at 12-12. This comes off the back of this year's event, which staged the two longest men's semi-finals ever; Kevin Anderson's 6hr 36mins win over Isner and eventual champion Novak Djokovic's five-set victory over Rafael Nadal (which extended into the Saturday traditionally reserved for the ladies singles final).

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek the American had this to say, "I have said all along 12-all is good."

"That is sensible - you're getting people who like the advantage and people who like tie breaks. It is bucking tradition but a lot of people believe it is not a bad thing," said the Wimbledon semi-finalist.

Isner was also famously involved in the longest tennis match in history, when he defeated Nicolas Mahut 6-4 3-6 7-6(7) 6-7(3) 70-68 in a match which lasted 11hrs and 5mins at the 2010 Championships.

A view of the plaque hanging outside court 18 in honour of The Longest Match played by John Isner and Nicolas Mahut during Wimbledon 2010 . (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


"The next match that gets to that, they should just say we will now play the Isner rule," he joked. 

"I don't think they are going to do that, but I think I have been a big driving force for it."

Two-time major finalist Kevin Anderson has also been very vocal about this much needed change. 

"I hope we look at this because you don't feel great...I hope this is a sign for Grand Slams to change," the South African said after his Wimbledon semi-final win.

33-year old Isner is of the opinion that the other two majors may want to emulate Wimbledon's latest change. The US Open is the only major tournament where a tie break is played in the deciding set, both the Australian and French Open are still played to advantage - with the winner having to triumph by a two-game lead after 6-6 in the final set.

"It may be that Wimbledon acting like this could drive them them to do it as well," Isner said. 

"There is drama enough in a tie breaker. You could argue there is more drama in that," he added.


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Marathon man John Isner reacts to new Wimbledon tie break rule

John Isner shares his feeling on the new Wimbledon rule to be introduced from 2019. Last week, the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced their implementation of tie breaks at 12-12 in the final set across all disciplines.

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