Wimbledon’s fifth set tie-break rule: Preventing another ‘Isner-Mahut marathon’?

Tennis News
Thursday, 27 June 2024 at 19:56
stadium wimbledon 2021
The memorable 11-hour Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in 2010 is impossible under current regulations. Since 2022, a change in the tie-break rule for the fifth set ensures that matches won't end with a result like that.
In that instance, the longest tennis match in history was played in the first round of the tournament. The 23rd seed Isner claimed victory by 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68, in a match that had to be played over three days, with the final set lasting an incredible 8 hours and 11 minutes.
This prompted the organizers to consider a change in the tie-break rules. At that time, matches were played until one player reached six games with a lead of at least two over their opponent. If neither player could achieve the two-game lead, they could continue indefinitely until one player had a two-game advantage in the fifth set, which in the case of Isner-Mahut ended 70-68.
Starting in 2022, the organization decided that to determine the match winner, a tie-break is played if the players are tied 6-6. They no longer have to continue playing games until gaining a two-game advantage; instead, a 10-point tie-break determines the winner (considering a two-point lead over the opponent).
Wimbledon will begin next Monday, July 1st, and run until Sunday, July 14th, featuring a full rest day in the middle, introduced in 2022. The first week will see the first three rounds played between Monday and Saturday, while the second week will start with the round of 16 up to the grand final on Sunday. The current defending champions are Carlos Alcaraz and Marketa Vondrousova.

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