Grand Slams to trial uniform deciding set rule

Grand Slams to trial uniform deciding set rule. At 6-6 in the final set, they will play a 10-point tie-break at all the four majors

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Grand Slams will trial uniform deciding set rule this year. John Isner had famously beaten Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon in 2010.

All the four tennis Grand Slams will trial using a first-to-10 tie-break in deciding sets this year in a bid to bring uniformity in the sport.

Until now, the major events all employed different rules on how to end a match which reaches 6-6 in a deciding set.

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The Australian Open already uses a first-to-10 breaker, while the US Open has opted for a traditional first-to-seven tie-break at 6-6 for over 50 years.

The French Open has still not used a final-set tie-break, although Wimbledon introduced a first-to-seven breaker at 12-12 in 2019.

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“The Grand Slam Board are pleased to announce the joint decision to play a 10-point tie-break at all Grand Slams, to be played when the score reaches six games all in the final set,” the organisers of the Grand Slams said in a statement on Wednesday.

“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.”

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With the exception of the US Open, the Grand Slams had no final-set tie-breaks until three years ago.

But there were calls for change after John Isner’s famous match against Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, which the American won 70-68 in a fifth set after more than 11 hours of play over three days.

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The Grand Slam Board added they would review the trial before “applying for any permanent rule change”.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who won a 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, said doesn’t think the change will “make a big difference.”

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“I read that everyone going to be the same. In some way that’s positive,” Nadal said.

“I don’t think in Roland Garros makes a big impact,” added the 13-time French Open champion.

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“My opinion the biggest impact is going to be in Wimbledon. Sometimes it’s so difficult to break, so the matches become very long.

“I don’t feel in Roland Garros you going to go normally 22-20. In Wimbledon that can happen.”

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