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Davis Cup Committee Considering 5th Set Tiebreaker

The Davis Cup committee are considering whether or not to implement a fifth set tiebreaker.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) says the change is being discussed with the competition organisers.

“The idea is that from next year’s Davis Cup we will introduce a tie break in the fifth set. We’ll decide soon,” ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti told Argentinian newspaper, La Nacion.

Both Novak Djokovic and John Isner have spoken out in favour of the rule change.

This news comes after the longest match in Davis Cup history took place last month during Argentina’s tie with Brazil in Buenos Aires.

Leonardo Mayer defeated Joao Souza 7-6, 7-6, 5-7, 5-7, 15-13 in six hours and 42 minutes to clinch the tie for the home team. The final set alone lasted over two hours.

Mayer and Souza smashed the old Davis Cup record that has stood for over 30 years. They also set the record for the longest clay court match on the ATP Tour.

In July 1982, John McEnroe beat Mats Wilander 9-7, 6-2, 15-17, 3-6, 8-6  in a six hour and 22 minute epic in St. Louis.

The United States went on to win that tie and, eventually, the Davis Cup. In a strange coincidence, Wilander lost another six hour Davis Cup match in 1989, where he was defeated by Austria’s Horst Skoff.

While some people might miss these long, energy-sapping battles, the introduction of the final set tiebreaker might bring some tension to Davis Cup matches.

Eilís Brennan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.