How rotten for this year’s Wimbledon to end with the first final set tie-break in a singles match. There had been two before today, but they had been in a men’s doubles match and a mixed doubles match, and while such a thing shouldn’t exist there either in a Grand Slam tournament, the others had already shortened doubles matches even more, and even more so in case of mixed doubles, which have other insane “fast tennis” rules applied to them as well in all others. Not that it’s any excuse, of course, but it is even worse when it happens in a singles match. As I was saying back in December, for singles Roland Garros remains the only major tennis tournament, while for doubles there are absolutely none left.
In case of today’s final, it also seems likely that the tie-break, and in fact probably all tie-breaks, changed the winner, seeing as all three sets won by Djokovic were won in tie-breaks, while Federer won his two normally, and also had two match points when he served for the match, after breaking to lead 8-7 in the final set, only for Djokovic to come back from there and draw level with his own break. While there were admittedly times when Federer had a harder time holding his serve, and even fell a break behind, before also promptly breaking back, earlier in the final set, Djokovic never seemed to have a real chance to win a set normally today, so unless Federer would have completely collapsed physically, I’m of the opinion that he’d have eventually managed another break and then held his serve to win. And if there were no tie-breaks at all, he might have even won in fewer sets.
I’m not even sure I can say I’m angry anymore. Was when the changes were announced, but now… It’s more disappointment than anything else, seeing how such rare but all the more memorable truly epic matches can’t exist at all anymore, and having it happen right at the end as well, in such a match, between such extraordinary players, and likely change the result as well, as I have already stated. It’s very little consolation that Kevin Anderson lost in the third round, in a match that finished with a regular tie-break, since it was in the third set. I mean, that’s the asshole who was so adamant in demanding final set tie-breaks and likely had much to do with the fact that they were introduced for both Wimbledon and Australian Open this year, and even now was saying that they should be regular tie-breaks, at 6-6, everywhere, so it feels like a bit of justice being served to see him kicked out so early just after such a tie-break, but I’d have of course much preferred him to even win the tournament but final set tie-breaks to not be introduced at all, anywhere, and to have at least one match of truly epic length, of the kind that’s no longer possible now, at some point.