Australian Open men’s preview 2019
January 14-27, 2019 -- The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, takes place in Melbourne. The 2019 tournament sees the introduction of tie-breaks in the final set. Until now, a player could only win the final set with a two-game advantage, which led to some marathon matches, but the new rule means that if the match reaches 6-6 in the final set, the winner will be the first player to reach 10 points.
A further change at this year’s Australian Open means that men’s singles players will be allowed 10-minute breaks if temperatures reach hazardous levels.
Organisers agreed to extend their Extreme Heat Policy after temperatures in the shade approached 40C during the 2018 tournament. A 10-minute break was already in place for the women’s and junior singles, plus a 15-minute break for wheelchair singles.
Under the new policy, if a reading of 4.0 is recorded on the Australian Open Heat Stress Scale during a men’s singles match, a 10-minute break will be allowed after the third set. Breaks in women’s, junior or wheelchair singles matches will take place between the second and third sets.
If a reading of 5.0 is recorded, the tournament referee can suspend play.