Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

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Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 7:10 pm

I've been saying for years that Wimbledon should have a final set tiebreak, not at 6-6, but at 9-9 or 19-19, or somewhere in between.

In the past it was just a minority of people such as John Mcenroe - who has been known to go to the umpire's chair in doubles matches in bad light and ask for a tiebreak, as well as propose the same in commentary - going on about it. But now Isner and Anderson have both called for it (with one of them suggesting 12-12). Isner actually won the famous Mahut match, so he can hardly be biased.

I think a watershed moment was reached in the last 24 hours. I think the change is now very likely. Wimbledon is uber-conservative and resistant to change, and slow to react, so it won't proactively address it, and this could yet take some years. But even if it does I think now was the decisive point that will lead to change. But there's even a chance that it would happen right away. Tim Henman has said it is on the agenda for Wimbledon to discuss, and he actually has some inside connections and is involved a bit.

Media a chipping in also
Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jul/14/novak-djokovic-kevin-anderson-mens-final-wimbledon-gruelling-boxing-match
Times has an article about it too if you look (behind their paywall)
Might be some others

A final set tiebreak works better with the curfew, for TV audiences, for transport away from the venue, for players to come back with enough energy for the next round. The long matches after a certain point become more tedious than entertaining and my gut feel is are probably slightly psychologically damaging to the loser.

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Re: Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 7:59 pm

I feel it is now inevitable that fifth set tie-breaks will be brought in at Wimbledon. I'd reign in the limit for the fifth set to 12-12. Whereas part of the evil in me will miss players having to go to the utmost physical extremes it is just not practical and these type of matches just impact too greatly on the tournament.
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Re: Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

Post by laverfan on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 8:26 pm

If AELTC does decide to implement TBs in the final set, for the sake of consistency, it should be the same as other Slams , otherwise it is a terrible idea to implement something different, just for the sake of being different.

A TB is at 6-6 universally, so it should be at 6-6 at W as well. The first four sets play the standard TB anyway, why have a different fifth set definition for W?

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Re: Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 9:05 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:I feel it is now inevitable that fifth set tie-breaks will be brought in at Wimbledon. I'd reign in the limit for the fifth set to 12-12. Whereas part of the evil in me will miss players having to go to the utmost physical extremes it is just not practical and these type of matches just impact too greatly on the tournament.

Yeah, I agree. 12-12 would be fine. It wouldn't affect many matches.

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Re: Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

Post by No name Bertie on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 9:30 pm

In light of the spirit of the modern age - I propose setting up a Direct Action Group - called Justice for Elite Tennis Sportspeople or JETS.  We shall begin our long march to the leafy suburbs of SW19 early tomorrow morning.  Then each day we shall picket the courts with our protest balloons, placards, peace songs, free love, #MeToo and the like.  During the night our underground movement will don balaclavas and raid the storage facilities housing the strawberries and cream, lacing them with LSD.  We shall also create an army of keyboard warriors who will send protest emails to members of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.  This will be phase one of our protest.

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Re: Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sat 14 Jul 2018, 10:35 pm

Don Balaclavas - is he the capo dei capi of the Balaclavas family?

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Re: Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 12:55 am

laverfan wrote:If AELTC does decide to implement TBs in the final set, for the sake of consistency, it should be the same as other Slams , otherwise it is a terrible idea to implement something different, just for the sake of being different.

A TB is at 6-6 universally, so it should be at 6-6 at W as well. The first four sets play the standard TB anyway, why have a different fifth set definition for W?

Sorry, but I think this is a weak argument to be honest. You could use that argument to say that Wimbledon should be on hard courts or to justify any number of things.

Variety is a good thing. I think 6-6 TB at the US Open to give it something a bit different.

But Australian Open, French Open at Wimbledon, could for the sake of consistency all agree say 12-12. It would be a bit confusing if the Australian Open decided 14-14 and the French Open 15-15. So in that sense a bit of consistency would be good. So perhaps Wimbledon could make an agreement with these two slams.

But Wimbledon is a bit more serve dominated, so it isn't much of an issue at the Australian Open at French Open in reality.

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Re: Final Set Tiebreaks at Wimbledon

Post by No name Bertie on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 6:43 am

I think for the sake of All English Club uniqueness how about once they reach 6-6 they continue playing as per normal but are required to drink a quart of beer each after each subsequent game.  The winner is then whoever gains a two game margin or the last one left standing.

I think the AELTC club either decide to keep things as they are or decide to change - but they will only change if pressure is put to bear on them.  If they decide to yield to that pressure and agree to change - further pressure will be applied to them to use the model already in existence (tie break after 6-6).  The AELTC club can resist that pressure and decide whatever.  They probably would not be able to introduce the quart of beer suggestion because that would be considered as being non-inclusive to non-beer drinkers.

Then it would be just a question of deciding when to hold the tie-break after 6-6 or 7-7 or 8-8 or whatever.  I suppose if they want to preserve their uniqueness they could even hold the tie break after 2-2 in the fifth.  That is an example of thinking outside of the box.  However thinking outside of the box is not always beneficial.  As my great friend Don Balaclavas once told me: "today Luca plays croquet with the fishes".  I am not sure what he meant but it must have been important.

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