World number four, Alexander Zverev has criticized the introduction of final set tiebreaks at the Australian Open, claiming players were not consulted before the decision was taken and according to him, has deprived the tournament of “something special.”
This month, the Australian Open tournament director, Craig Tiley announced that the Slam event has abandoned the advantage final set and adopted tiebreakers for the final set. The move means for matches tied at 6-6 in the fifth set, the winner will be the first player to reach 10 points.
Tiley said the decision was taken after the “most extensive consultation in the tournament’s history,” involving players, past and present.
However, Zverev, who is arguably the brightest youngster in tennis and touted as the future of the sport, has laid into that decision.
“We weren’t (consulted) at all. I don’t think any players were (asked), to be honest,” Zverev told The Australian newspaper.
“I don’t like the change too much because I think it has something special when you go 12-10 in the fifth set, or something like that.
“I really enjoyed those kind of situations, really enjoy those kind of matches, even though they are physically tough.”
The French Open is now the only Grand Slam event still decided by a traditional long final set, with the US Open the first Slam to introduce final-set tiebreaks, with a first-to-seven-points game played at 6-6.
“These are the things we play for, and now, at every Grand Slam except for Roland Garros, there is a tiebreak, which I am not in favour of,” the 21-year-old added.
The Australian Open takes place from January 14 to 27.