Australian Open: Final-set tie-breaks to be used in 2019

John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut in Wimbledon's longest match
John Isner's epic Wimbledon victory over Nicolas Mahut in 2010 is the longest match in Grand Slam history

Tie-breaks will be played in the final set at the Australian Open for the first time in January, after organisers decided to move away from the existing practice of advantage final sets.

If the match reaches 6-6 in the final set, the winner will be the first player to reach 10 points.

Organisers made the decision following the "most extensive consultation in the tournament's history".

Wimbledon announced in October it would use final-set tie-breaks next year.

That change came after the final set of Kevin Anderson's semi-final with John Isner this year lasted almost three hours.

Afterwards South African Anderson, who eventually won the set 26-24, called for a rethink of the format.

"We believe this is the best possible outcome for both the players and the fans around the world," said Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley.

Current players, ex-players, commentators, agents and TV analysts were all consulted.

Tiley added: "We went with a 10-point tie-break at six-games-all in the final set to ensure the fans still get a special finale to these often epic contests, with the longer tie-break still then allowing for that one final twist or change of momentum in the contest.

"This longer tie-break also can lessen some of the serving dominance that can prevail in the shorter tie-break."

The new rule will apply to qualifying, men's and women's singles, doubles, mixed doubles, junior singles and doubles, wheelchair singles and doubles and quads.

The first four sets for men and two sets for women will have a normal tie-break, with players winning by two clear points.

The US Open was the first grand slam to introduce final-set tie-breaks, with a first-to-seven-points game played at 6-6.

Wimbledon's is first to seven points at 12-12, while the French Open is the only slam to have a long deciding set.

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