French Open not looking at adding final-set tiebreakers

French Open not looking at adding final-set tiebreakers

Previously, final-set tiebreaks were only used at the US Open, with all the other majors requiring deciding sets to be won be two games. But various tiebreak systems have recently been introduced by the Aussie Open and Wimbledon.

The French Open is not currently looking to add final-set tiebreakers like the other Grand Slams, says the tournament director.

Previously, final-set tiebreaks were only used at the US Open, with all the other majors requiring deciding sets to be won be two games. But various tiebreak systems have recently been introduced by the Aussie Open and Wimbledon, leaving the French Open as the only Grand Slam with a traditional deciding set.

Guy Forget, the French Open tournament director, told L'Equipe that he is not in favor of such differences. 

"I find it a pity that each Grand Slam has introduced a different rule. But it's the ITF's responsibility that they have validated three different types of tiebreak at the US Open, Wimbledon, and the Australian Open," he said. "Our sport needs homogeneity. And to be understandable for the general public." 

The move towards deciding tiebreaks was prompted by a 26-24 fifth-set between Kevin Anderson and John Isner in the 2018 semifinals of Wimbledon.

French Open officials have discussed adding a final-set tiebreak, but found the tournament has not experienced significant problems with extended contests. It is also easier to break on clay than other surfaces.

"For the moment, we do not touch it," said Forget. "In fact, our debate is whether we want to be changing something, if it works. By definition, we want to say no."

At Roland Garros yesterday, Frenchman Benoit Paire and Pierre-Hugues Herbert went 11-9 in the fifth, playing four hours and 33 minutes in front of a roaring crowd and finishing just before darkness.

According to the tournament director, requiring a player to break to win is a better way to decide contests. "The tiebreak is still a little bit of a lottery," said Forget.

The French Open is run by the French tennis federation.