Australian Open's new tiebreak rule draws mixed reaction from players

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HIGHLIGHTS: Roger Federer d. Cameron Norrie, 6-1, 6-1


The Australian Open's decision to introduce a match tiebreak in deciding sets has drawn mixed reaction from ATP players.

"A ten-point tiebreak at 6-6, it affects hardly any matches during the event," Andy Murray was quoted as saying by the Brisbane Courier-Mail. "There are other things tennis could look at to change the matches and make them a little more exciting."

Alexander Zverev was critical of the change, saying the players had not been asked for their opinion and it deprived the event of special contests.

"We weren't at all. I don't think any players were, to be honest," Zverev was quoted as saying by the Australian. "I don't like the change too much because I think it has something special when you go 12-10 in the fifth set, or something like that. "I really enjoyed those... even though they are physically tough."

But others backed the adjustment, saying it allows players who win a long encounter to come back and be competitive in the next round.

"I'm all for the players," said Grigor Dimitrov. "I think it's a great thing."

A similar change had previously been announced by Wimbledon, but using a regular seven-point tiebreak at 12-12 in the fifth set. The US Open, which uses a regular tiebreak at 6-6 in the fifth, had previously been the sole Grand Slam to use a deciding set tiebreak. The French Open has not changed.

The various reductions are helpful, said Kevin Anderson, who had called for final set tiebreaks following a 24-22 fifth-set victory against John Isner at Wimbledon.

"It is kind of weird, and interesting I guess," Anderson was quoted as saying by Sport360. "Each one is different."

"I think a normal tiebreaker [would have] been fine but it's a little interesting take to make it first to ten. 

"I think it's still a good step forward in reducing the long five-setters."

There will also be a tiebreak in the third set of the women's competition.

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