Grand Slam Board Announces Final-Set Tie-break Trial
The Grand Slam Board, made up of representatives from all four Slams, announced on Wednesday that there will be a trial of a 10-point tie-break played at 6-6 in the final set at the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open, beginning in Paris this year.
“Further to extensive consultation with the WTA, ATP, ITF and tennis officiating community, 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, and thus enhance the experience for the players and fans alike,” a media release attributed to the Grand Slam Board said.
This format will apply to men’s and women’s singles and doubles, qualifying, as well as wheelchair and junior singles. At the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open, a 10-point tie-break will be contested in lieu of a full final set in mixed doubles, junior doubles and wheelchair doubles. Wimbledon will maintain the same format in those events, with a 10-point tie-break played at 6-6 in the final set.
Before this announcement, the Australian Open was the only major to feature a 10-point tie-break at 6-6 in the final set. At Roland Garros, the final set was played out. At Wimbledon, a 12-point tie-break was played at 12-12 in the final set. At the US Open, a 12-point tie-break was played at 6-6 in the decider.
According to the media release, the Grand Slam Board will review the results of the trial for a full Grand Slam year. This is not yet a permanent change.
“It’s probably good for fans and good for the players if they want to move forward in the tournament,” Taylor Fritz said on Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open. “I think if I find myself in one of those in the future I'll be pretty happy that they have that rule now.”