Aussie Open set to 'throw women under the bus' with radical overhaul

The Australian Open is set to implement a major change that experts say will be “crap for women’s tennis”.

According to a report in The Times, the Australian Open has “obtained permission” to implement a tie-break in deciding sets across all events, shortening the potential length of matches.

The Times reveals that Aussie Open organisers will look to play a “super tie-break” when the score reachers 6-6 in the final set, at which point opponents will have to win ten extra points by a margin of two.

That would be a slight variation on other tournaments, with the All England Club recently announcing it would commence a tie-break when the score reached 12-all in the final set.

Female tennis players such as Serena Williams are set to be the real victims of the overhaul. Pic: Getty

The proposed overhaul comes after a string of five-set marathons in professional tennis which left players complaining of welfare issues.

Most recently South Africa’s Kevin Anderson called for changes to the rules after enduring a six-and-a-half hour slug-fest to overcome John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set at Wimbledon, incredibly that was only the second-longest match in the tournament’s history.

Following Anderson’s exhausting victory, tennis legend John McEnroe led a wave of backlash against tennis powerbrokers.

“I hope this magnificent effort by these two experienced and very fit professionals allows the powers-that-be to make a change,” McEnroe said.

Kevin Anderson endured a marathon match at Wimbledon 2018. Pic: Getty

“I believe that strongly, for our sport to continue to have as many people as possible watching. You can’t say playing a tie-break would not have been a magnificent end to this game. The fifth set doesn’t have to end six-all, it could be 10-all.

“This will have an effect on Anderson’s performance on Sunday. Rules should be made to benefit the players.”

However while the changes make complete sense in the context of marathon men’s matches, the same rule could be a nightmare more women’s tennis, where longer final sets in major matches have been thrilling to watch.

Tennis expert Jose Morgado was scathing of the proposal, declaring the current system already works well for women’s tennis.


Experienced tennis writer Ben Rothenberg meanwhile argued the proposed change would “throw women under the bus”.



Otherwise, there was an outcry from tennis fans, many who argued it was ridiculous to have different rules governing how matches finish in different grand slams.