Max Purcell and Matt Ebden - Wimbledon 2022

Wimbledon remove unique 139-year-old tradition for ‘greater certainty’

Wimbledon have announced that they will join the other Grand Slams, by having men’s doubles as a best-of-three format, rather than the traditional best-of-five. This brings to an end the 139-year-old tradition, dating all the way back to 1884. 

The All England Club released a statement earlier today, detailing the reasons for following the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open, “This change was recently approved by the main board and members of the committee of management.”

“The decision was made following a wide-ranging consultation and the change brings Wimbledon into line with the other grand slams which stage the gentlemen’s doubles in a best-of-three format.”

The statement continued, “This update will provide the referee’s office with greater certainty when scheduling matches during the event and we hope it will encourage even more players to enter doubles at Wimbledon as a result.”

The best-of-five format received lots of criticism, mostly for scheduling reasons, and Nick Kyrgios added his point of view last year, “I think it is the stupidest thing ever,” he said, “I don’t know why it is best of five sets. No-one wants to play best-of-five-set doubles, no one wants to watch best-of-five-set doubles.”

Shortly after making these comments the Aussie pulled out of the tournament, with his partner Thanasi Kokkinakis, so that he could focus on singles where he ended up making his first Grand Slam final.

Reigning champions Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell may not be so keen on the rule change, after winning a five-set epic from two sets to one down, 7-6(5) 6-7(3) 4-6 6-4 7-6(2), to claim their first Grand Slam title as a pair in 2022.

All other formats are expected to remain the same, when tennis returns to SW19 on the 3rd July.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.