There is a desperate need for a Wimbledon 5th Set Tie Breaker! It’s happening again, another match going well into double-digit games in the fifth set. It happened almost 10 years ago, back in 2010 John Isner faced Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in an epic 3 day, 5 set battle.
Wimbledon 5th Set Tie Breaker: More Long Matches
It was the longest tennis match in history, with the firth set reaching a total of 138 games with Isner winning in the 5th 70-68. The reason why it went so long was because the tennis court they played on had no lights. As the match went on, it kept having to be postponed due to darkness to the next day to finish.
That match and many other matches have been postponed because of darkness, not all courts have lights (Neither does the French Open), so when the sun goes away it’s too dark to play and matches get suspended. Players will have to finish up their matches the following day, weather permitting. This causes all sorts of scheduling conflicts, players scheduled to appear in the first sessions of Wimbledon will have to wait until the match from the previous day finish. Ultimately, some players don’t get the same amount of rest that other players get.
Wimbledon 5th Set Tie Breaker: 2018
It happened again, John Isner went the distance with South Africa’s Kevin Anderson with a lengthy 6 hour 36 minute, 5 set thriller, with Kevin Anderson winning 6-7(8), 7-6(7), 6-7(11), 6-4, 26-24. No Wimbledon 5th Set Tie Breaker, and a set that seemed to go on forever! It was a great match, don’t get me wrong; just seemed that these players could have potentially gone on forever, but Anderson won very late in the 5th set.
This lengthy match pushed the second semifinal with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal wait to get on Centre Court. Here’s the caveat, Novak and Nadal have a tendency to have long matches…remember the 2012 Australian Open men’s final? . It was the longest Grand Slam final match in history, lasting 5 hours 53 minutes, overtaking the record previously set by the 1988 US Open Final between Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl. So a semifinal between these two could go on for hours, reaching the 11pm Wimbledon cutoff time, which would mean they would have to finish their match on Saturday. Which, I assume, would be held after the Women’s final (Serena Williams vs. Angelique Kerber). Then, after they finish, the winner of the semifinal wouldn’t have the full day’s rest that Kevin Anderson would have. More problems.
A Wimbledon 5th Set Tie Breaker: A Solution
If the organizers at Wimbledon would replace their traditional “No 5th Set Tie Breaker” format of play, the matches would finish much faster, and the players could potentially have the same amount of rest between matches. It would quicken recovery times for the players, and would make it so that most matches would finish ON TIME. That is key, no more multi-day matches (unless of course the weather causes delays).
A side note: If Wimbledon organizers were to change the Wimbledon 5th Set Tie Breaker ruling, they could also consider making the grass a little faster. In 2018, the grass seemed to play incredibly slow, almost clay-like speeds. It could reintroduce the serve and volley game and faster service games.
What do you think? Should there be a Wimbledon 5th Set Tie Breaker? Let me know in the comments section below.
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