John Isner: They should call new Wimbledon final-set rule the Isner Rule

Wimbledon

John Isner has welcomed Wimbledon’s decision to introduce final-set tie-breaker, but he feels he deserves some recognition for the rule change.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) announced on Friday that as of next year, matches will go to tie-breaks once the score hits 12-12 in the final set.

The change comes on the back of a couple of historic matches involving Isner. Back in 2011, the American and Nicolas Mahut took 11 hours and five minutes to complete their match with the final set, which Isner won 70-68, taking eight hours, 11 minutes.

Then in June this year, Isner and Kevin Anderson served up a six-hour, 35-minute epic with the South African winning the final set 26-24.

It prompted AELTC to change the rules and Isner, for one, is happy with the decision.

“I have said all along 12-all is good,” he told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek.

“That is sensible – you’re getting people who like the advantage and people who like tie-breaks. It is bucking tradition but a lot of people believe that is not a bad thing.

He added: “The next match that gets to that, they should just say we will now play the Isner Rule,” he said. “I don’t think they are going to do that, but I think I’ve been a big driving force for it.”

The US Open already uses the traditional tie-breakers in the final set, but the world No 10 believes it is time for the Australian Open and Roland Garros to follow suit.

“It may be that Wimbledon acting like this could drive them to do it as well,” Isner said.

He added: “There is drama enough in a tie-breaker. You could argue there is more drama in that.”


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