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The Five Set Remix - Aussie Style


(News.com.au) Australian Open organizers are reportedly planning to follow in Wimbledon’s footsteps but not before adding a twist of their own as they look to shorten final set marathons by introducing a “super tiebreak”.

In October the All England Club revealed epic five-setters would be a thing of the past by implementing a rule that when the score reached 12-12 in the fifth set, a tiebreak would ensue.Stuart Fraser of The Times reports the Australian Open has obtained permission to take a leaf out of Wimbledon’s book but isn’t planning to copy the English tournament in every way.

According to the report, tennis powerbrokers Down Under are keen on a final set tiebreak once the game score reaches 6-6.However, instead of the usual first-to-seven formula, The Times reports a first-to-10 method is being preferred, where a player must win by two points. [...] Although it’s not yet decided when the Australian Open’s plan will come to fruition, it is reportedly being considered to come into play as early as 2019 when the year’s first major kicks off in January.

Now the Australian's are onto to something! After Wimbledon's controversial, as well as entertaining, marathon matches created a lot of positive news for the sport of tennis, it also created some controversy. A lot of players and fans have made a lot of noise when voicing their opinions about the topic of how long a grand slam match should be.

Personally, I think the Australian Association is making a good compromise when dealing with the "noise". By adding a 10 point tiebreaker at 6-6 in the fifth set, it allows the match to go longer and will not be as short as fans might think. It also will make matches, I believe, to be more competitive. Seven points might be a little too short but ten, will players the chance to come back and battle it out until the end of the match.

The backlash of this forward-thinking, time saving, player saving idea is mostly from traditionalists who watch the sport. By that, I mean most people want to see the never-ending fifth set marathon matches that make tennis a little more entertaining. BUT, those who are playing these marathon matches usually involve a tall player whose serve can't be broken (a.k.a John Isner).

Even though I was opposed to this shorter game plan, I want to see how it plays out for the athletes that are actually putting their bodies on the line for the win. Everything new is a trial and error, right? So let's see the reception that this new format will get at the Aussie Open before judging right away.