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Ivan's avatar

Should Wimbledon start using a 5th set tiebreaker?

Asked by Ivan (13439points) June 23rd, 2010

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut’s match was suspended for darkness after 4 sets last night. Today, the match was again suspended for darkness after playing for 7 hours.

Currently, the 5th set is tied 59–59.

Wimbledon doesn’t use a tiebreaker in the 5th set of matches, meaning that you must win by two games. So in theory, the match can just go on and on forever.

In total, the match has lasted 9 hours and 58 minutes, and it will be continued tomorrow. It’s the longest match in the history of Tennis. Essentially every record has been broken.

Should Wimbledon use a 5th set tiebreaker so that something like this never happens again?

Here is ESPN’s analysis.

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7 Answers

HGl3ee's avatar

I’m thinking yes, those poor fellers look sooo tired! It’s like a game of pong, computer against computer… gone horribly wrong!

Good on them though, what an incredible challenge!

cfrydj's avatar

I don’t think so. How long has Wimbledon been going on, and how many times has this happened? It’s an anomaly, and the whole system shouldn’t be overhauled just on the basis of one match. The Federer-Nadal final two years ago would not have been nearly as good with a 5th set tiebreaker.

rebbel's avatar

First, we would never experience amazing records like these of today.
We witnessed something historical (in tennis) this afternoon!
Second, theoretically, a tie break could go on for ever as well.

theichibun's avatar

Very few single events in sports should result in a rule or procedure change. Remember when the MLB All-Star game ended in a tie and then the winner got home field advantage in the World Series? Is that a good idea? Because that’s the type of knee jerk reactions you’re going to get.

When Kareem was in college the rule was changed so that players couldn’t dunk anymore, and was rescinded when he left.

About the only rule I can think of that changed because of one instance is that the final group games of World Cup play are played at the same time so that we don’t have a repeat of the 1982 world cup where West Germany and Austria played long enough for West Germany to get a goal and win the game with a score that still let both sides through to the next round.

ETpro's avatar

And miss the opportunity for a match that goes 10 hours and counting. Certainly NOT!

JLeslie's avatar

Nah. This type of thing rarely happens. I’d rather let them play it out.

Ivan's avatar

Update: Isner defeated Mahut 70–68 in the 5th set. Total match time: 11 hours, 5 minutes.

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