Fifth sets should be replaced by tiebreaks, says McEnroe By Reuters

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(Reuters) – Best-of-five-set marathon matches have had their day and shorter formats should be introduced at Grand Slam tournaments, seven-time Major League winner John McEnroe said. Men’s singles matches in all four Slams remain the first to three sets, although tiebreaks have now been introduced to shorten the fifth sets at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, along with the US Open, which made the move 50 years ago. . McEnroe believes that with so many options for viewers these days, games that last five hours or more could turn fans away from the sport. The American believes that a championship tiebreaker (played at 10) should replace a fifth set. “I was always looking for that solution in the middle, which is the best of five, but I say a 10-point tiebreaker at the end of the fourth set,” ESPN’s McEnroe said in a conference call. “That would be my commitment. I wouldn’t make it two out of three now in the majors. I’d still do it differently.” But we want this sport to grow, for crying out loud. We shoot ourselves in the foot all the time. I do not get it. We have this amazing sport, so we should try to make it accessible, so they want to tune in. “That would be a no-brainer personally. I mean, I’ve been saying it for 30 years.” Many believe that the long fifth set creates a memorable drama, although Wimbledon acted after Kevin Anderson beat John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set of their 2018 semi-final, a match that lasted six hours and 36 minutes. The longest match in history also took place at Wimbledon in 2010 with Isner again involved, beating Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in 11 hours and five minutes over three days with the final set going 70-68. McEnroe’s compatriot Chris Evert also believes that a 10-point tiebreaker would be a fair way to resolve matches tied at two sets apiece at the Grand Slams. “I’m going for the junior circuit, that’s all they do, the ITF. There are still enough points in a 10-point tiebreaker for you to play your way to the tiebreaker,” he said. “It’s not like a seven point tiebreaker where every point is like you are shaking in your boots.”

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