Final sets in all four grand slams to be decided by 10-point tie-break | Tennis


The four grand slam tournaments will no longer feature extended final sets in any of their competitions after it was announced on Wednesday that the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open will all enforce a 10-point tie-break once the score reaches 6-6 in the final set of any match.

The new scoring rules will begin at the French Open in May having first been introduced as a trial this year. Tennis has increasingly scrutinised the length of matches in recent years, particularly after some excessively long men’s fifth sets involving big servers such as John Isner.

“Further to extensive consultation with the WTA, ATP, ITF and tennis officiating community, the Grand Slam Board’s 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,” read a joint statement.

In recent years, the four majors have each enforced different rules in the final set of singles matches. Since the pandemic began, however, the governing bodies have worked more closely together on certain issues, allowing them to convene and produce more consistent decisions.

The decision will not be universally popular. Many classic matches have occurred over extended final sets and this ruling means that they have essentially been eradicated from the top level of the sport following changes to the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup formats.

Likewise, while events in the men’s tournaments have driven these changes, it is unclear what benefits this new format brings to the already shorter best-of-three sets matches that women’s players are required to compete in.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic will be able to defend his title at Roland Garros as things stand, according to the tournament director Amelie Mauresmo.

Djokovic was denied the right to enter Australia for the year’s first grand slam due to his unvaccinated status and was also ruled out of a tournament in Indian Wells for the same reason. However, France largely lifted coronavirus restrictions this week, with the exception of certain areas such as hospitals and nursing homes.

Mauresmo told a press conference on Wednesday: “As things stand, nothing stands in the way of Djokovic taking part in the French Open.”



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