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Tennis

Australian Open introduces first-to-10 final-set breakers

Australian Open introduces first-to-10 final-set breakers

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A first-to-10 tie-break format will be used at Melbourne Park for the Australian Open from 2019, the tournament confirmed on Friday.

The Australian Open will use the first-to-10 tie-break format in deciding sets from 2019, it has been announced.

It was confirmed by the tournament on Friday that the system will be used to decide matches locked at 6-6 in deciders following "the most extensive consultation in the tournament's history".

Earlier this year, Wimbledon changed its own rules for breakers and the Australian Open's decision means all four grand slam tournaments now have different criteria.

The French Open will continue with advantage final sets, the US Open is a tie-break to seven at 6-6, while Wimbledon will have a breaker to seven from 12-12 in 2019.

Explaining the decision in a news release, tournament director Craig Tiley said: "We asked the players – both past and present, commentators, agents and TV analysts whether they wanted to play an advantage final set or not, and went from there.

"We went with a 10-point tie-break at six-games-all in the final set to ensure the fans still get a special finale to these often epic contests, with the longer tie-break still then allowing for that one final twist or change of momentum in the contest. 

"This longer tie-break also can lessen some of the serving dominance that can prevail in the shorter tie-break.

"We believe this is the best possible outcome for both the players and the fans around the world."