MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Australian Open in January will play a 10-point tiebreaker in deciding sets, joining Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in using tiebreakers to avoid long matches.
The tournament said on Friday the decision, reported widely a month ago but denied by Australian Open officials, came after consultation with current and former players and tennis officials. Temperatures often soar to 37 degrees (around 100 F) and beyond during the tournament.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley says “we asked the players — both past and present, commentators, agents and TV analysts — whether they wanted to play an advantage final set or not, and went from there.
“We went with a 10-point tiebreak at six-games-all in the final set to ensure the fans still get a special finale to these often epic contests, with the longer tiebreak still then allowing for that one final twist or change of momentum in the contest. This longer tiebreak also can lessen some of the serving dominance that can prevail in the shorter tiebreak.”