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Poll: Should the final set have a tie-break?
Final set SHOULD have a TB
Final set SHOULD NOT have a TB
Final set should have a TB but not the normal (e.g. 10-point TB or TB at 15-15, etc.)
Keep it as it is, TB at USO but not at other slams
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Final-set tie-break
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August Offline
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Final-set tie-break
What's your opinion on the final set tie-break?

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that also the 5th set should have a TB. Tennis has gotten so physical that after a long five-setter, the player is almost dead in his next match. Final-set TB would help in that. Also, the longer the match gets, the more it suits to the fitter guy. A long five-setter may be decided by which guy runs out of gas first. The final-set TB would be more about which guy has the balls to win the match.

Also, if TB isn't a legit way to decide matches, then how come it's used in first four sets? Is a 76 46 76 76 win undeserved, as it was the losing guy who got the only break.

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28-Aug-2013 11:28 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
I don't like the final set tiebreak. I prefer the added drama of a player having to break and hold.

Imagine if the '08 Wimbledon final had ended in a fifth-set tiebreak. After everything which had proceeded getting to 6-6 in the fifth, to have gone to a tiebreak would have been anti-climatic. Same goes for the '09 Wimbledon final. Who would crack first? Would Roger ever be able to break Roddick's serve? Could Roddick win without getting broken?

Besides, it doesn't happen that often. Out of the 64 first-round matches only 3 went to a fifth-set tiebreak. They get added coverage, of course, because they did occur, but it's not like it's happening all over the place. By far the majority of matches which even go five end before getting to 6-6. In the first round, 11 went five without going to a tiebreak.
29-Aug-2013 08:00 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
Tennis rules in general are fine as they are. It's a bit arbitrary that the US Open employs a fifth set tie-break though, as it would make more sense if all the Grand Slams adopted similar rules.

EDIT: Meaning the US Open should ditch the fifth-set tie-break rule.
(This post was last modified: 29-Aug-2013 09:15 AM by Broken_Shoelace.)
29-Aug-2013 08:27 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
^ in general, yes. however, i must say that like tented, i find the final set TB somewhat inadequate, almost anticlimactic. on the other hand, while the double digit-second sets are rare, they have happened and usually don't have good consequences for the players.

i like a variation of the third option - how about a 10-point TB at 10 games all? this is really the point where not a whole lot is added to the drama, and making it 10 instead of 7 is a nod to the gravity.

alternatively, does it make a difference whether it's the final or any other round? they can slug it out to 70-68 in the final if they want to, it'll be worth it. doing the same to bow out in the 2nd round? probably not.
29-Aug-2013 09:08 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
(29-Aug-2013 09:08 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  ^ in general, yes. however, i must say that like tented, i find the final set TB somewhat inadequate, almost anticlimactic. on the other hand, while the double digit-second sets are rare, they have happened and usually don't have good consequences for the players.

i like a variation of the third option - how about a 10-point TB at 10 games all? this is really the point where not a whole lot is added to the drama, and making it 10 instead of 7 is a nod to the gravity.

alternatively, does it make a difference whether it's the final or any other round? they can slug it out to 70-68 in the final if they want to, it'll be worth it. doing the same to bow out in the 2nd round? probably not.

To be clear: I meant that the US Open should ditch the final set tie-break, not that other slams should adopt it. Re-reading my reply, I can see how I worded it wrong.
29-Aug-2013 09:14 AM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
Final set TB is a bit like a penalty shoot-out in soccer. You fight for the whole match and than it comes down to a little game...seems unfair. Having said that , it also requires nerves of steel and cajones of brass to play one...where every point is a break point.


Isner-Mahut could have used a TB though...No No

29-Aug-2013 09:29 AM
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August Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
(29-Aug-2013 08:27 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Tennis rules in general are fine as they are. It's a bit arbitrary that the US Open employs a fifth set tie-break though, as it would make more sense if all the Grand Slams adopted similar rules.

Well, at least there's more consistency than in golf where every major has its own play-off rules. Big Smile

(29-Aug-2013 09:08 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  ^ in general, yes. however, i must say that like tented, i find the final set TB somewhat inadequate, almost anticlimactic. on the other hand, while the double digit-second sets are rare, they have happened and usually don't have good consequences for the players.

i like a variation of the third option - how about a 10-point TB at 10 games all? this is really the point where not a whole lot is added to the drama, and making it 10 instead of 7 is a nod to the gravity.

alternatively, does it make a difference whether it's the final or any other round? they can slug it out to 70-68 in the final if they want to, it'll be worth it. doing the same to bow out in the 2nd round? probably not.

10-point TB at 10-10 sounds good. Personally, I like it until about 20-20, then it's getting frustrating. But 20-20 is about four sets, so I think that's too much when there's another match two days later. 10-10 sounds good, that would very much be one additional set to a TB set.

About having different TB rules in the final, I don't particularly like about that. Imagine RG having a rule that 5th set has a normal TB except for the final. Whichever from Nole/Rafa would've won this year's SF in TB, one could've said the other player could've won the final as it doesn't have the final set TB.

(29-Aug-2013 09:29 AM)1972Murat Wrote:  Final set TB is a bit like a penalty shoot-out in soccer. You fight for the whole match and than it comes down to a little game...seems unfair. Having said that , it also requires nerves of steel and cajones of brass to play one...where every point is a break point.


Isner-Mahut could have used a TB though...No No

I actually don't like penalty shoot-outs even though I'm not against final-set TBs. I don't think they are the same thing at all. In TBs you play your normal game, in penalty shoot-outs, well, you just shoot penalties, the game changes completely. t's like tennis match getting decided by who hit more aces with five attempts. The only thing they have in common and what I like is that they prevent matches from getting so long that they have a huge negative affect on the next match.

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(This post was last modified: 29-Aug-2013 09:48 AM by August.)
29-Aug-2013 09:42 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
(29-Aug-2013 09:29 AM)1972Murat Wrote:  Isner-Mahut could have used a TB though...No No

That was one match. It will probably never happen again. To rewrite the rules based on one match is extreme, but some people suggested it at the time. (I'm not saying you are.)

This debate occurs every year at the USO because they do stand out as the only one with the fifth set tiebreak. As soon as the first one happens, enter John McEnroe, stage left, microphone in hand, talking about how every GS needs one. The chances are pretty good he'll even mention Isner/Mahut, as if one freakish match should be used as the measure to change the rules.

Again, the actual occurrence of fifth-set tiebreaks is rare -- 3 out of 64 matches. I'm also willing to bet that if we analyzed the data, we would discover that they mostly take place in the first 2-3 rounds, and frequently involve at least one player ranked below 30. In other words, players who I think should be forced to prove they can break and hold in the fifth in order to advance. Tennis's knight's challenge. Wink
29-Aug-2013 09:49 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
I'm in favour of two clear games in the final set.
29-Aug-2013 09:52 AM
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GameSetAndMath Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
No Tie Breakers for me in the 5th set period

"Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference" - Mark Twain
29-Aug-2013 02:08 PM
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Mog Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
Here the arguements could go both ways.
In the first place the Tie-Breaks were introduced to save time in the matches because two game difference could go in many sets and hence long matches.
But now we have Tie-Breaks in all sets except the fifth set, except USO has it in all sets.
If we have Tie-breaks in four sets then why not in the fifth, to be fair and uniform. If someone can win the matches in 3 or 4 sets playing tie-breaks then why not in the fifth.
If we argue for the two games difference then I think the 10 point Tie-Break should be played when they reach 10-10 games in the fifth
or keep 10-point tie-break at6-6 games in the fifth set only to give some fairness.
I think winning a set with two games difference is much different and difficult than winning with the 7-point tie-breaks.In tie-breaks the things for/against you could change quickly and lose that.
To be fair all sets should be played with the two games difference but the matches could be long ones.

Just my opinions.
(This post was last modified: 29-Aug-2013 05:46 PM by Mog.)
29-Aug-2013 05:31 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Final-set tie-break
I think everyone agrees that the first 4 sets should be decided in TBs. There DOES have to be a limit. But I like tented reminding us that the 5th set doesn't so often go beyond the usual limit. (And that ever using Isner-Mahut as example is so anomalous as to be ridiculous.) At this level, I agree with BB, too...win by 2 clear games.

A few years back, I was watching Safin v. Haas at the USO live in Ashe. It went to the 5th, and got to the TB. Of course, I was disappointed that Safin lost, but it happened so quickly, in the end, it felt like a gip, after watching such a great battle. It would have been so much more dramatic and epic if they'd had to play it out by games.
29-Aug-2013 07:15 PM
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