Melbourne: The Australian Open in January will play a 10-point tiebreaker in deciding sets, no longer playing advantage in the final sets.
The tournament said on Friday that the decision, reported widely a month ago but denied by Australian Open officials, came after consultation with current and former players and tennis officials.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley says "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 tiebreak 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 tiebreak still then allowing for that one final twist or change of momentum in the contest. This longer tiebreak also can lessen some of the serving dominance that can prevail in the shorter tiebreak."
In the men's singles draw, the first four sets will feature a seven-point tiebreaker at 6-6, with the final set going to a 10-point tiebreaker at 6-6. In women's singles play and men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles, the deciding set of three sets will be played with a 10-point tiebreaker if level at 6-6.
The Australian Open begins Jan. 14....