Australian Open will eliminate tiebreakers in final sets, with the first Grand Slam of the season set to make the change in just a few weeks.
When play gets underway on January 14 at Melbourne Park, the play-it-out final sets (fifth for men, third for women) will be long gone.
Officials have decided to join the trend in speeding up the game as much as possible by going to the tiebreaker if the final-set score reaches 6-all.
The event will use the longer tiebreak format – the first player to 10 points with an advantage of two points.
““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,” TD Craig Tiley said.
“We went with a 10-point tiebreak 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.
He added: “We believe this is the best possible outcome for both the players and the fans around the world.” .
Under the rule modification, 6-all scorelines in the first four sets of men’s matches and the first two or women’s will continue with the classic tiebreak format – best of seven points by a margin of two.