Grand Slams to test 10-point tiebreak in final set at all four majors


All four tennis Grand Slams will use a 10-point tiebreak in the final set on a trial basis starting with the French Open in May, the governing body of the sport’s most prestigious events said Wednesday.

According to the new rules, matches tied at 6-6 in the final set will move into a tiebreak and the first player or team to reach 10 points with a two-point lead will win.

« The decision is based on a strong desire to create greater consistency in the rules of the game at the Grand Slams, and thus enhance the experience for the players and fans alike, » the Grand Slam Board said in a statement. « The Grand Slam Board plan to review the trial during the course of a full Grand Slam year, in consultation with the WTA, ATP and ITF, before applying for any permanent rule change. »

Each of the four Grand Slams had a different way of deciding the final set previously.


While the Australian Open used the 10-point tiebreak, the US Open employed a traditional, seven-point tiebreak even in the final set. Wimbledon featured a seven-point tiebreak when the score reached 12-12 in the final set of matches at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

The French Open, which begins May 22 at Roland Garros, has been the only major without a final-set tiebreak, with matches continuing until a player secures a two-game lead in the decider.

« It may disappoint the purists, but we are proud to match the other Grand Slams with a super tiebreak at 6-6 in the fifth set, » new French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo told reporters. « From a sporting point of view it makes sense. It’s consistent with the other Grand Slams. Sometimes players didn’t know what the rule was. »

American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut were involved in the longest match of all time in the first round of Wimbledon in 2010, with the pair battling 11 hours, 5 minutes across three days before Isner took the fifth set 70-68.


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