While I love most of the traditions of Wimbledon, after all they are part of the appeal and what makes the Wimbledon experience so unique; I find the rule of playing out the final set rather antiquated and ineffective.
Consider this one single fact: No matter how fit these players are, it is unrealistic to expect the winner of a protracted fifth set to be able to compete at their highest level in the next match. How could this possibly be good for the game in the long run?
Here’s a possible solution if Wimbledon wants to retain the tradition of playing out the final set – play out the final set in the championship matches; however, in all other rounds, there should be a final set tiebreak.
Another tradition that seems ineffective is having the two semifinals played on the same court. While it is okay if the first semifinal match ends after two hours; it is unfair to have the second set of semifinalists waiting around for more than six and a half hours to go on court, especially when the delay was not due to inclement weather. Furthermore having them start a match after waiting around for so long is cruel and unusual punishment.
To compound the fiasco, they suspended the match after Novak Djokovic won the tiebreak. I may not understand the rationale of the officials; however, logic demands the use of common sense. The match should have been suspended at one set apiece. If play had to be continued, 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, or even 6-6 were all feasible stopping points.
I have followed Wimbledon long enough to know that in the past they have suspended matches at a juncture that did not give an unfair advantage to one player and considering that they were playing under a closed roof, the officials have no excuse for allowing the completion of the second set given the fact that they knew that the match could not be completed last night.
FINAL SCORE: Djokovic def. Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(9), 3-6, 10-8
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Zimbio.com (Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe: Rafael Nadal)