Wimbledon breaks with tradition to introduce final-set tiebreaks

Wimbledon

Isner was also involved in another epic battle at last year's tournament when he lost in the fifth set to Kevin Anderson by 26-24.

The rule will be universal, spanning across men and women's matches in singles, doubles and juniors.

In reaching this decision, the AELTC Committee sought the feedback of both players and officials, analysed two decades of match data, and considered other factors including scheduling complexities and spectator experience.

Wimbledon will introduce final-set tie-breaks when the score reaches 12-12 in all events from 2019, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has confirmed.

"The Anderson v Isner match would have been spectacular in the fifth set but with no end in sight people lost focus and nearly stopped watching".

The victor will be the first player or team to reach seven points with an advantage of two or more points.

Wimbledon is the second of the four grand slams to employ a deciding-set tiebreak although with the U.S. Open using breakers at 6-6 since 1970.


In 2010, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played the longest match in history at Wimbledon.

"This will be beneficial to the player that wins in recovering for his or her next match, the players that are waiting to play the following match, and the fans who have paid to see a full schedule".

When asked about the decision, Isner said: "I am in favour of the new fifth-set tie-break rule Wimbledon introduced today".

Tiebreakers were first introduced at Wimbledon in 1971, but they started at 8-8 instead of 6-6 and were not used in deciding sets.

Djokovic's own five-set semi-final victory over Rafael Nadal also had to be played over two days due to the delay in a conclusion to the Anderson-Isner match.

'As a next step, we look forward to sharing further details with our Grand Slam, ITF, WTA and ATP colleagues when we meet in Singapore'.

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