Melbourne – Tie-breaks will be used in the final set at the Australian Open for the first time next year after organisers decided to follow Wimbledon in abandoning advantage final sets.
In matches that reach 6-6 in the final set, the winner will be the first to reach 10 points.
The decision was made “following the most extensive consultation in the tournament’s history”, organisers said.
Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said: “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.”
He said the choice of the longer 10-point tiebreak would “ensure the fans still get a special finale to these often epic contests”.
Wimbledon said in October it was reverting to final-set tie-breaks. The change came after Kevin Anderson’s semi-final with John Isner this year lasted nearly three hours.
Anderson eventually won the set 26-24 but the exhausted South African went on to lose the final in straight sets to Novak Djokovic. Anderson led calls for the rules to be changed.
The 2019 Australian Open takes place from January 14 to January 27.