Australian Open organisers to seek player views on fifth-set tie-breakers for men

Kevin Anderson and John Isner Wimbledon scoreboard

Kevin Anderson and John Isner’s marathon Wimbledon match may well lead to change in terms in terms of fifth-set tie-breakers.

Their semi-final lasted six hours and 36 minutes with Anderson winning 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (9-11), 6-4, 26-24 with the last set taking nearly three hours to complete.

It was the second-longest match at SW19, coming up short of the 11-hour shift that Isner and France’s Nicolas Mahut put in during the American’s 6–4, 3–6, 6–7 (7–9), 7–6 (7–3), 70–68 win back in 2010.

Many current and former players as well as pundits have called for change on the back of the Anderson-Isner encounter as they feel it is time to introduce fifth-set tie-breakers at all Grand Slams.

Currently only the US Open has fifth-set tie-breakers in the men’s game and third-set tie-breakers in the women’s game.

Australian Open Tournament Director and Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley says they will consult players about possible changes for 2020.

“Obviously in recent days there has been a lot of public comment on a fifth-set tie-breaker for the men,” Tiley said. “We encourage the discussion and we want to know what the players think.

“We also want to know what they think about a third-set tie-breaker for the women, how they feel about the current presentation of doubles and many other aspects of the existing playing conditions.

“This consultation is simply an in-depth information gathering exercise that will help inform our decision making regarding the next phase of innovation for our event.”