Australian Open Will Begin Using Final-Set Tiebreaker

MELBOURNE, Australia — The Australian Open in January will play a 10-point tiebreaker in deciding sets.

The tournament said 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 said in a statement: “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 standard first-to-seven-points tiebreaker at 6-6, with the final set going to a first-to-10-point tiebreaker at 6-6. In women’s singles play and men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles, the third set will be played with a 10-point tiebreaker if level at 6-6.

Wimbledon announced in October that it will next year have a standard first-to-seven-points tiebreaker when the deciding set reaches 12-12.

The United States Open was the first Grand Slam tournament to introduce final-set tiebreakers, with a first-to-seven points game played at 6-6.

The French Open is now the only Grand Slam event still playing a deciding set until a player wins by two games.

The Australian Open begins Jan. 14.