Wimbledon to introduce final set tie-breaks in 2019

Wimbledon will introduce final set tie-breaks from next year, the All England Lawn Tennis Club has announced.

The new format will see a tie-break played when the score reaches 12-12 in the final set and will apply to all events at the Championships.

The move comes after last year's record-breaking semifinal between Kevin Anderson and John Isner required six
hours and 35 minutes to complete, with the final set finishing 26-24.

In a statement released on the Wimbledon website, tournament organisers said they had reviewed match data from the past 20 years of competition and had chosen to bring in tie-breaks after speaking to players and officials.

It means all singles and doubles matches on both the women's and men's sides of the Grand Slam, and all matches in the Junior tournament, will follow the same new format to decide the winner in the final set.

The US Open had been the only Grand Slam where a final-set tie-break was used to decide singles matches, although both the Australian Open and French Open have brought in tie-breaks for doubles matches.

"Our view was that the time had come to introduce a tie-break for matches that had not reached their natural conclusion at a reasonable point during the deciding set," said AELTC chairman Philip Brook.

"While we know the instances of matches extending deep into the final set are rare, we feel that a tie-break at 12-12 strikes an equitable balance between allowing players ample opportunity to complete the match to advantage, while also providing certainty that the match will reach a conclusion in an acceptable time-frame."

Both Anderson, 32, and Isner, 33, called on Wimbledon to move to a final set tie-break after their marathon match in last year's semifinal.

It was the second longest match ever at Wimbledon, only beaten by the longest match in tennis history which also involved Isner -- his epic 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (9), 7-6 (3), 70-68 win against Nicholas Mahut in 2010.

Anderson went on to lose to Novak Djokovic in the final less than 48 hours after the gruelling contest.

The AELTC said it would discuss its decision with representatives of the other Grand Slams and the WTA, ITF and ATP at a meeting in Singaopre.


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