Wimbledon to introduce fifth-set tiebreakers starting in 2019

John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut in Wimbledon's longest match

The All England Club says it will introduce fifth-set tiebreakers at Wimbledon next year when a match reaches 12-12.

It comes after the final set of Kevin Anderson's semi-final with John Isner this year lasted nearly three hours.

Upon learning of the Wimbledon news, Isner reacted on Twitter with a GIF of WWE legend The Undertaker - whose alias is "The Deadman" - who saw his 21-match winning streak at Wrestlemania end in 2014.

At least by setting the tiebreaker score at 12-12, it keeps the spirit of the final set while avoiding marathon matches like this year's, and it can be a bit easier on schedulers.

The rule will be introduced across Men's, Women's, Mixed and Junior Singles and Doubles competitions, ALTEC said.

AELTC Chairman Philip Brook commented: "In reaching this decision, the AELTC Committee sought the feedback of both players and officials, analysed two decades of match data, and considered other factors including scheduling complexities and spectator experience".

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The decision was made after a review of data from the past 20 majors in London and consultation with both players and officials.

South African Anderson eventually won a near three-hour fifth set 26-24 against Isner to revive memories of Isner's 2010 record-breaking match against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut which lasted 11 hours and five minutes over three days.

"We feel that a tie-break at 12-12 strikes an equitable balance between allowing players ample opportunity to complete the match to advantage, while also providing certainty that the match will reach a conclusion in an acceptable time frame", he added. But the prospects of a repeat performance has disappeared for good after the All England Club announced the introduction of a tie-break in the deciding set.

Djokovic's own five-set semi-final victory over Rafael Nadal also had to be played over two days due to the delay in a conclusion to the Anderson-Isner match.

Wimbledon is the second of the four grand slams to employ a deciding-set tiebreak although with the U.S. Open using breakers at 6-6 since 1970.

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