BY LIAM MORGAN
The men’s singles tennis final at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo has been reduced to best-of-three sets, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced.
According to insidethegames.biz, the ITF confirmed in a statement that the men’s gold medal match at the Games in the Japanese capital would be staged in the best-of-three set format instead of five.
The worldwide governing body claim the change was made to “reduce concerns of overplay for players who reach the latter stages of all three events – singles, doubles and mixed doubles”.
It means all men’s singles matches at the Olympic Games from Tokyo 2020 onwards will be played as best-of-three sets.
The final was previously the only game which used the longer best-of-five set format.
The decision from the ITF also brings the Olympic tournament in line with other men’s singles events outside of the four Grand Slams, which are played over best-of-five sets.
The ITF also announced a change in format for the men’s and women’s doubles events.
They will now feature a match tiebreak to 10 points when the score is tied at one-set all, the ITF said.
Tennis events at Tokyo 2020 are due to be held at the Ariake Tennis Park, which is undergoing renovation work to be ready in time for the Games.
The centrepiece of the park is the 10,000-capacity Ariake Coliseum, the main arena which hosts the Women’s Tennis Association Pan Pacific Open every year.
Britain’s Andy Murray and Monica Puig, Puerto Rico’s first Olympic gold medallist, won the men’s and women’s singles events respectively at Rio 2016.