Grand Slam Endings

All four of the tennis Majors have different ways of ending their men’s five-set matches.  Which one is the best for the players?  For the fans?

How They Are Now…

The Australian Open

  • Tiebreaker at 6-6 in games
  • First to 10 points, win by 2

The French Open

  • No final set tiebreaker
  • Play continues until player wins by two games


  • Tiebreaker at 12-12 games
  • First to 7 points, win by 2

The US Open

  • Tiebreaker at 6-6 in games
  • First to 7 points, win by 2

My Opinion…

As a fan watching tennis on TV, a regular five-set, three+ hour match is more than enough “entertainment” for me.  So, I would opt for ending the match at six games all and playing a tiebreaker.

And for the players after all that competition, I would go with the slightly longer ten-pointer; so the struggle is less likely to turn on just one missed shot.

I cannot understand why Wimbledon wants them to still play the equivalent of a SIXTH set before getting to a tiebreaker; or why the tournament with the slowest surface (red clay) and the longest points/games makes them continue to play on, and on.

What are your thoughts?

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11 thoughts on “Grand Slam Endings

  1. I am not in favor of torture. 7 point TB at 6 all.

    Bill, right… torture of both the players and the fans! thanks, george

  2. I’m with you, end it at 6 games all then play a tiebreaker (all the grand slams) for the match.

  3. My feeling is that we are watching tennis, not a fitness match. Two out of three sets lets them show what they have. Also when they have to play two days in a row, it can give the advantage to one of the players.

    Jim, i feel the same way about the USTA senior tournaments. thanks, george

  4. Well, I am a traditionalist ….with the tie breaks, bathroom breaks, trainers for a blisters…does a dis-service to the players of the past. Somehow…they were able to compete WITHOUT 5-6 coaches and trainers sitting in their box!

    Are the athletes of today not pampered (AND compensated) enough already!
    If…one does not want to watch every point…they have this new invention on the TV clicker…called fast forward.

    Dave, Fast forward is my friend! george

  5. I believe the U.S. Open has it right and all the Slams should play it this way.

    If I may digress, I believe all the Slams should utilize the replay. No linespeople.

    Alan, how long to the clay court tournaments start using the replay to avoid the arguments? George

  6. I believe it’s time to change to a shorter format. We no longer play or dress the way that tennis first started . This society is fast paced , for instance look at the lines for coffee( lol) pick up on the way. Our cars everything have changed. The tradition that a lot of these tournaments have is next to torture!

    OhioJack, i wouldn’t mind best of three sets too. thanks, george

  7. I like the Aus Open format the best, and the French Open format the least. If the French want to keep the “win by 2 games” format, they should ONLY do it in the Finals. Almost always (or maybe even just ALWAYS) after one of those really long extended matches there are 2 losers. The guy that lost today, and the “winner” that goes on to lose tomorrow.

    Terry, again, just like in the senior USTA tournaments too! thanks, george

  8. The French and Wimbledon methods are torturous for these thoroughbred athletes. I prefer the Australian 10-pointer to the American 7….less luck involved.

    John, I agree. george

  9. The tie breaker is a crap shoot, and so I am not in favor of it under any circumstance.
    The best 2 of 3 sets and the third set need would need to be won by two is the way I would structure all the tournaments.

    Michael, that is an interesting compromise. thanks, george

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