London : The organisers of Wimbledon have announced the introduction of a final set tie-break in all the events of the championship.
According to the changed rules, once the score reaches 12-12 in the final set of all the matches of the tournament, the match winner(s) will be the first player(s) to win seven points with an advantage of two or more points.
The new method will be applicable from 2019 Wimbledon Championship to all the events across Qualifying, Gentlemen's, Ladies', Mixed and Junior singles and doubles.
However, there will be no change to the current format of the Wheelchair and Quad Wheelchair events, which are the best of three tie-break sets.
Reflecting on the changes, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) Philip Brook said that the decision was taken on the basis of feedback received from players and officials. He further stated that the method was introduced to reach the "natural conclusion" of matches.
"In reaching this decision, the AELTC Committee sought the feedback of both players and officials, analysed two decades of match data, and considered other factors including scheduling complexities and spectator experience," Wimbledon's official website quoted Brook, as saying.
"Our view was that the time had come to introduce a tie-break method for matches that had not reached their natural conclusion at a reasonable point during the deciding set. While we know the instances of matches extending deep into the final set are rare, we feel that a tie-break at 12-12 strikes an equitable balance between allowing players ample opportunity to complete the match to advantage, while also providing certainty that the match will reach a conclusion in an acceptable timeframe," he added.
The change in rule came after two exceptionally long matches in the Wimbledon history. In 2010, America's John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut of France 70-68 in the fifth set while in this year's Wimbledon semi-finals, South Africa's Kevin Anderson registered a 26-24 win over Isner in the final set.