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Wimbledon and Australian Open considering introducing fifth-set tiebreak in 2019

Andrew Hendrie in News 6 Sep 2018
  • Wimbledon and the Australian Open are reportedly talking about introducing a fifth-set tiebreak from 2019
  • The U.S. Open is currently the only slam that has a fifth-set tiebreak
Kevin Anderson (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Wimbledon and the Australian Open are reportedly discussing following the U.S. Open’s lead and introducing fifth-set tiebreakers in 2019.

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Ever since John Isner and Kevin Anderson’s isolated six-hour and 36-minute slugfest in the Wimbledon semi-finals - which the South African won 26-24 in the fifth - calls for other Grand Slams implementing a fifth-set tiebreak have gathered steam.

Anderson would go on to lose the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic in straight sets, with many believing he was never a chance of making the title match competitive due to being exhausted from the semi-finals.

Reuters is reporting that Wimbledon chiefs are seriously contemplating the idea of introducing fifth-set tiebreakers in an attempt to cut down marathon matches, with a spokesperson telling the publication the topic will be “reviewed and considered as part of the post-Championships debrief”.

The Australian Open has also been talking to players and coaches about the possibility of proposing fifth set tiebreaks and even best-of-five sets overall and shortening matches to best-of-three in the men’s tournament.

Anderson himself says he expects the fifth-set tiebreaker to be in play sooner rather than later at the three remaining slams.

“I think Wimbledon are looking at it,” he said. “There are obviously some pros and cons but I have heard that they are discussing it.
“It will be interesting to see what they come up with. And Australia, potentially, as well. A lot of sports are having to change their formats, there’s a different demographic coming up, so maybe even three-out-of-five-set tennis may have to be looked at, at some point.
“So I wouldn’t be surprised if at some stage we do get to that (final set) tiebreaker.”

Doubles specialist Jamie Murray is also an advocate for fifth-set tiebreaks.

“I think tennis is long enough,” said the Brit.
“If you haven’t sorted the match out by 6-all in the fifth set…the players have played enough tennis, the fans have seen enough tennis, TV’s seen enough of that match, a tiebreak is enough, so it doesn’t get out of control and sort of mess up schedules, mess up players’ next rounds, mess up draws and things like that.”


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Wimbledon and Australian Open considering introducing fifth-set tiebreak in 2019

Wimbledon and the Australian Open are reportedly discussing following the U.S. Open’s lead and introducing fifth-set tiebreakers in 2019.

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