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The Australian Open has obtained permission to follow Wimbledon in shortening the potential length of matches by introducing a tie-break in the deciding set across all events.

However, in a move that perfectly sums up the lack of uniformity across the four grand slam tournaments, Australian chiefs have decided their preference is to play a “super tie-break” at 6-6, in which the player must win ten points by a margin of two.

With approval recently granted by the grand slam board, players are now being consulted to determine whether this should be introduced as soon as the 2019 tournament, which begins on January 14. It is possible that the full implementation could be delayed for another year, with only a trial taking place next month


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/australian-open-to-join-wimbledon-in-introducing-final-set-tie-breaks-ljghwkth0
 

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Discussion Starter #5
much prefer the 12-12 regular tiebreak

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That's definitely the right solution

And now we have:

AO: super TB at 6-6
FO: no TB
W: regular TB at 12-12
USO: regular TB at 6-6

Hopefully we'll see these standardized in the future
 

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What a mess. Now each slam will use a different format? Blergh... Hopefully players veto it.
 

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I don't like Wimbledon, but 12-12, and regular tie-break, seems to satisfy most people, players and followers of the sport. It also seems to strike the right balance between luck and hard work (and also give enough time to players to break each other in the final and fifth set) in deciding the winner of a match, if the players are all even up until that time? Why not all grand slams, including US Open, follow 12-12, regular tiebreak, in the final set for the sake of consistency across all grand slams?

What the &^%@ is super tiebreak? Eunuchs.
 

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Amazing news all around. As it pertains to French Open - guys just have to keep up the status quo. No roofs, no lights, and definitely no shortening of matches. Keep the "business" consistent.

Modern tennis players are physically in greater shape than ever before and slams are starting to shorten possible five set matches.

Ridiculous.
A couple things:
1) One wouldn't want players exhausting themselves in the earlier rounds, jeopardizing the quality of next round match for the winner.
2) In this era of competitive TV and short attention spans, you gotta make adjustments for your sport to survive. I'm not a marketing connoisseur, but I believe having the final set TB is an solid audience draw and great way for people to get exposed to the sport, instead of losing interest after seeing 10 service holds without any BPs.. And of course it is that much tougher to broadcast tennis when you don't know when the hell will the matches end.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Amazing news all around. As it pertains to French Open - guys just have to keep up the status quo. No roofs, no lights, and definitely no shortening of matches. Keep the "business" consistent.



A couple things:
1) One wouldn't want players exhausting themselves in the earlier rounds, jeopardizing the quality of next round match for the winner.
2) In this era of competitive TV and short attention spans, you gotta make adjustments for your sport to survive. I'm not a marketing connoisseur, but I believe having the final set TB is an solid audience draw and great way for people to get exposed to the sport, instead of losing interest after seeing 10 service holds without any BPs.. And of course it is that much tougher to broadcast tennis when you don't know when the hell will the matches end.

Just my 2 cents.
Roofs and lights are coming to the FO next year, or in 2020 at the latest
 

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To be expected that other grand slams would follow after Wimbledon implemented some form of tiebreak in the fifth set, these different formats at each slam might get a little annoying though. But I wouldn't be surprised if the slams end up standardising after a few years once they have seen which one is recieved better.

Both AO and Wimbledon now have variant ending scores for the final set, Wimbledon going with prelonging the standard set and AO going with a longer TB to end the match. As far as I can recall both are unique ways of scoring a set in men's singles at the moment outside of exhos. In Wimbledon we will still have the potential for those long final sets, only cutting them short with a TB once they've gone quite far beyond the usual set ending and are approaching ridiculous length, which seems like a good balance. At the AO it feels like they have tried to go for a more "epic" tiebreak to conclude the match, but I wonder if it will make the final set feel much different at all, or if it will just lead to some odd and confusing moments as we wait to get to 10 points.

Obviously if these are the first steps down a slippery slope towards shortened, non-standardised scoring systems across the big tournaments then it could become a serious problem. But not all change is bad, and tennis is allowed to evolve a little, or else we should all be arguing to remove all tiebreaks. Wanting to avoid seemingly endless fifth sets is a very understandable motivation for organisers, and I don't see it conflicting that much with giving us good tennis (though I prefer Wimbledon's rule change to the others, at least before I've seen them in action). More interested stats folk than myself might find it interesting to list all the grand slam matches that went beyond 6-6 or 12-12 in the fifth in the last couple of decades, so that we can see more clearly what we would really have missed out on if we'd have cut to a TB at some point in those matches. My guess is it wouldn't be a huge loss.
 

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A couple things:
1) One wouldn't want players exhausting themselves in the earlier rounds, jeopardizing the quality of next round match for the winner.
I don't understand why we need to change the scoring system for players to shorten their own matches. The 70-68 Wimbledon match was historical, sure, but Isner was a game in front for more than 60 times! With his serve, he should have been able to at least take more risk in one of Mahut's service games to perhaps shorten the match and have a greater chance of winning the next round. Top athletes shouldn't need officials to force them to do that. It's called professional sport for a reason.

2) In this era of competitive TV and short attention spans, you gotta make adjustments for your sport to survive. I'm not a marketing connoisseur, but I believe having the final set TB is an solid audience draw and great way for people to get exposed to the sport, instead of losing interest after seeing 10 service holds without any BPs.. And of course it is that much tougher to broadcast tennis when you don't know when the hell will the matches end.
That's a fallacy imo, because over the years, (televised) tennis became more popular with the current rules. Why change it? Because generation Z can't focus for more than 10 seconds? A global sport like tennis doesn't need these people to watch matches which could last a couple of hours. They can play video games and stop whenever they want or read thin comic books.

Professional tennis is for the people who like tennis the way it is. Changing things is fine, but not for the sake of commercialism. Besides, I think the players decide the popularity of their sport.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Every Slam has tinkered with the tiebreakers at one point or another. From what I can tell:

Australian Open:
up to 1970: all sets played out with 2-game margin
1971: tiebreakers at 6-6, including final set
1972-2018 (?): final set TB abolished
2019 (?)-present: final set super TB

French Open:
up to 1972: all sets played out with 2-game margin
1973-75: tiebreakers at 6-6 except in final set, and BO3 in the early rounds
1975-present: all matches BO5

Wimbledon:
up to 1970: all sets played out with 2-game margin
1971-1978: tiebreakers at 8-8, except in final set
1979-2018: tiebreakers at 6-6, except in final set
2019-present: tiebreaker at 12-12 in final set

US Open:
up to 1969: all sets played out with 2-game margin
1970-present: tiebreakers at 6-6, including final set
 

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Hmm, I dunno. While I do think a super tiebreak would mean the margin at the end wouldn't be decided by a minibreak or two, I think they should've tried the 12-12 scheme first. We wouldn't have the epic Wawrinka-Djokovic matches without them (yes, I know the 2015 match was 6-0 in the 5th, the previous years have a sort of right tension that one needed to break in order to win the match). I think it's unnecessary for AO in particular with the night matches and the surface (medium hard -- in theory) that I think players will be able to finish a 5-Set match likely under 4:00 hours even in overtime. As I said and many had pointed out, the uniqueness of Slams is that a player must be able to break serve in order to win a deciding Set, and ending it at 6-6 means it's just another Set. 12-12 at least gives a number of attempts to how many times the players should be able to have a 2-game lead when they go beyond what a normal Set should be. That being said, it seems in line with the many changes that will happen in tennis these next years so let's see if this trial will be effective.
 
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