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

  • Posted: Dec 21, 2018

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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Nadal Donates €1 Million To People Affected By Mallorcan Floods

  • Posted: Dec 21, 2018

Nadal Donates €1 Million To People Affected By Mallorcan Floods

Spaniard lending support to victims of October floods

Rafael Nadal was born in Manacor, Mallorca, Spain, just 10 kilometres from Sant Llorenc, a town that suffered a tragedy on 9 October. Heavy rains during a flash flood led to 13 deaths and also caused serious structural damage in the area. Since then, Nadal has done everything he can to help. And he has decided to take it one step further.

World No. 2 Nadal will donate €1 million to help the victims affected by the floods, according to the Sant Llorenc town council.

“It is a big help from a very special person, someone who shows his love for our land and its neighbours every day,” said Mateu Puigròs, mayor of Sant Llorenç, in an open letter. “He shows his love for his homeland wherever he goes and he shows it in all aspects because he is one of us.”

The donation is the latest way Nadal has helped those affected. Nadal also went to the damaged area right after the tragedy to assist in the clean-up efforts in the neighborhood. He also made available the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar for those seeking shelter, and held a moment of silence with students and staff at his academy to honour those who passed away. 

“We know of his immense affection and humanity, which is as great as his talent and results. We have seen this on and off the court,” Puigros wrote in the open letter.

A few days ago, Nadal also announced that part of the proceeds gained from the Olazabal & Nadal Invitational — a charity golf tournament that he organised with José María Olazabal — will also benefit the same cause. In addition, next Saturday is the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre Urban Race, and all event proceeds will help those affected by the floods.

To learn more about Nadal’s charitable efforts, click here.

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