Australian Open 2019: Fans slam AO organisers for ‘ludicrous’ rule change

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal pose for photos after Australian Open final

In what is a unique first for Grand Slam tennis, the 2019 Australian Open will feature a 10-point super tie-break to break final-set deadlocks in men’s and women’s matches.

While the decision to implement such a radical change has not gone down too well with tennis fans, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley staunchly defended the move, saying, “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.”

The rule change also means that each of the four Grand Slams will have a different scoring pattern. While the Australian Open will employ a tie-break at 6-6 in the final set, the Wimbledon tie-break will come into effect only at 12-12.

The French Open remains the only Slam to avoid the use of a final set tie-break.

The decision received widespread criticism on social media, with fans slamming the organisers for taking away a chunk of the entertainment.