Sunday January 29, 2023

Federer, Kerber cautious on new Aus Open tie-break rule

January 07, 2019

PERTH: Star players Roger Federer and Angelique Kerber have cautiously welcomed new tie-break rules for the deciding set at the Australian Open. The year’s opening Grand Slam, starting January 14, will for the first time feature an extended tie-break in the final set when the score reaches 6-6, rather than a traditional full set. To win the decisive tie-break, a player will need to be the first to 10 with an advantage of at least two points. The move means all four Slams now use different rules, with only the French Open holding off from introducing a tie-break in the decider. Speaking at the Hopman Cup in Perth this week, Federer -- who said he had been asked for his opinion on the change by tournament officials -- admitted marathon final sets would be missed by some. "We will miss the 70-68 in the fifth, so that’s a pity," he said, referring to the famous final-set marathon between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010. But Federer, aiming for his third successive Australian Open title and seventh overall, said he was personally "a bit torn" between the options. Kerber -- who has based her game on superior physical fitness -- suggested her advantage could be diluted by shortened deciders in Melbourne, where she won her first Slam in 2016.