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Wimbledon to bring in final set tie-breaks from 2019

John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in 2010. Credit: PA

Wimbledon’s marathon matches have been consigned to the past after the All England Club announced the introduction of final-set tie-breaks when the score reaches 12-12.

One of the most famous matches in Wimbledon history saw John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in 2010 while the change was prompted by another match involving Isner, when the American lost to Kevin Anderson 26-24 in the final set in this year’s semi-finals.

The knock-on effect meant the second semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had to be completed the following day, causing a two-hour delay to the women’s final.

The new rule will apply to all matches at next year’s tournament.

Chairman Philip Brook said: “In reaching this decision, the AELTC Committee sought the feedback of both players and officials, analysed two decades of match data, and considered other factors including scheduling complexities and spectator experience.

“Our view was that the time had come to introduce a tie-break method for matches that had not reached their natural conclusion at a reasonable point during the deciding set."

Wimbledon is the second grand slam to introduce final-set tie-breaks, with singles matches at the US Open decided by a tie-break at 6-6.

Konta defeats Mertens in Kremlin Cup

Credit: PA

Johanna Konta made an excellent first impression for prospective coach Dimitri Zavialoff by defeating Elise Mertens in the opening round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

The British number one split from Michael Joyce last week after a disappointing first season together and is working with Frenchman Zavialoff, long-time coach of Stan Wawrinka, on a trial basis at her final tournament of the season.

Konta has looked low on confidence for much of 2018, with her ranking tumbling to 44, but this performance was reminiscent of the top-10 player she was for the past two seasons as she saw off seventh seed Mertens 6-3 7-5.

The victory was only Konta's fifth over a top-20 opponent all season and was all the more impressive given the high-quality nature of the contest.

The British number one was particularly effective on Mertens' second serve, winning 20 of 29 points overall and breaking the Belgian, who hit nine aces, four times.

Konta only faced two break points herself and one of the most encouraging aspects of the match was the way she withstood pressure after getting an early break in the opening set and then again in the second.

Mertens' only success on Konta's serve came in the opening game of the second set but the British player recovered the break to make it 4-4 and then broke again in the final game.

She will face either Australian Daria Gavrilova or lucky loser Vitalia Diatchenko in the second round.

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British number one Konta splits with coach Joyce

Johanna Konta has split with her coach Michael Joyce after less than a year together. Credit: PA

Johanna Konta has split with her coach Michael Joyce after less than a year together.

The British number one's representatives have confirmed to Press Association Sport that Konta has parted with American Joyce.

Konta will now begin the search for a new coach - her fourth in three years - in time for the new season.

In 2016 Konta split with Esteban Carril and at the end of last season her association with Wim Fissette also came to an end.

Konta's ranking has slipped this season - she is now down to 45 having been as high as four in the world following her run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon last year.

It has been a tough season, at least in the grand slam events, with first-round losses at the US and French Opens and second-round exits at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

The 27-year-old did, however, hand Serena Williams the biggest defeat of her career, 6-1 6-0, at the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose in August.

Joyce, 45, had previously been Maria Sharapova's coach for seven years.

Edmund cruises through to last-16 in Shanghai Masters

British number one Kyle Edmund is through to the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters after victory against Andreas Seppi. Credit: PA

British number one Kyle Edmund is through to the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters after victory against Andreas Seppi.

The 23-year-old, who reached the China Open semi-finals last week, continued his good form with a 6-3 6-4 success over the experienced Italian to set up a tie against world number 48 Nicolas Jarry of Chile in the next round.

Edmund saved a break point in the third game of the match before exchanging three further breaks of serve to come out on top and take the opening set, using his trademark hard-hitting baseline game to good effect.

Seppi had another break point at the start of the second set but Edmund survived before taking control of the match with a break to go 3-2 ahead.

Edmund maintained his advantage and closed out the match on serve with a forehand winner to reach the last-16 as he chases a first ATP Tour title.

Edmund beaten in China Open semi-final

Kyle Edmund fell at the semi-final stage in the China Open as Nikoloz Basilashvili advanced with a hard-fought 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 victory. Credit: PA

Kyle Edmund fell at the semi-final stage in the China Open as Nikoloz Basilashvili advanced with a hard-fought 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 victory.

Fifth seed Edmund forced Basilashvili into five break points in a first set which took over an hour, but could only make one of them count before it went to the tiebreaker.

It was Edmund who was on the back foot in the second set with Basilashvili forcing five break points and taking three while Edmund could not take advantage of the one opening he created.

It was Basilashvili's first victory over Edmund in three attempts and the Georgian now advances to face top seed Juan Martin del Potro.

The Argentinian should be well-rested given his semi-final was settled by a walkover, with fourth seed Fabio Fognini forced to withdraw due to an ankle injury.

In Tokyo, home favourite Kei Nishikori advanced to Sunday's final in the Japan Open with a 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 win over eighth seed Richard Gasquet.

The third seeded Nishikori will face qualifier Daniil Medvedev after the Russian saw off Canada's Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-3 to become the first qualifier to reach the final in Tokyo since Magnus Norman in 2002.

Edmund battles his way to China Open semi-fnal

British number one Kyle Edmund battled his way through to the China Open semi-finals with a 6-3 7-6 (7/4) victory over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic. Credit: PA

British number one Kyle Edmund battled his way through to the China Open semi-finals with a 6-3 7-6 (7/4) victory over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic.

The 23-year-old was made to work hard for his place in the last four against qualifier Lajovic but came through in an hour and 35 minutes.

Edmund did not lose his serve throughout the match, claiming a break in Lajovic's opening service game which was good enough to win the first set.

It was a tougher challenge for the fifth seed in the second as he had to stave off two break points.

Lajovic also refused to have his serve broken, offering just the one break opportunity to Edmund, and forced a tiebreak, which the Brit won to claim his place in the last four.

Edmund will face Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili after the Georgian saw off Tunisia's Malek Jaziri - conqueror of second seed Alexander Zverev - 6-2 6-2.

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Edmund battles through to quarter-finals in China

British number one Kyle Edmund is through to the quarter-finals of the China Open after a hard-fought three-set victory against Matteo Berrettini. Credit: PA

British number one Kyle Edmund is through to the quarter-finals of the China Open after a hard-fought three-set victory against Matteo Berrettini.

Edmund overcame the Italian qualifier 7-5 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 in Beijing. He made the perfect start by breaking Berrettini's opening service game but immediately lost his own serve before securing a decisive break to take the first set.

The 23-year-old could not threaten Berrettini's serve as easily in the next set and had to save break points in the third and seventh games as it went to a tiebreak, which the Italian won comfortably.

The deciding set was also close as both players dominated with their serve. Edmund made the vital breakthrough at 5-5 with a break but had to save another break point before serving out the victory.

Edmund will face another qualifier Dusan Lajovic in the last eight after the Serb knocked out third seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Edmund fights back to beat Gojowczyk in China

Kyle Edmund fought back from a set down to reach the second round of the China Open with victory over Peter Gojowczyk. Credit: PA

Kyle Edmund fought back from a set down to defeat Germany's Peter Gojowczyk and move into the second round of the China Open in Beijing on Monday.

Playing his first tour match since his US Open first-round loss to Paolo Lorenzi, the British number one struggled to assert himself from the start and was broken in his opening service game.

But Edmund hit back with three breaks in the second set and two more in the decider to wrap up victory 3-6 6-1 6-2 in 91 minutes and book a second-round meeting with either Matteo Berrettini or Leonardo Mayer.

Murray knocked out of Shenzhen Open by Verdasco

Murray has been knocked out of the Shenzhen Open at the quarter-final stage after a straight-sets defeat to Fernando Verdasco. Credit: PA

Andy Murray has been knocked out of the Shenzhen Open at the quarter-final stage after a straight-sets defeat to Fernando Verdasco.

Murray, who recorded a promising win over top seed David Goffin in the last 16, was broken three times as he fell 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 40 minutes.

Murray is set to move on to next week's China Open before curtailing his season to focus on fully recovering from his recent hip injury.

Nadal ruled out of China Open due to knee injury

Credit: PA

Rafael Nadal has announced he will not be taking part in next month's China Open and Shanghai Masters due to his knee issue.

The world number one was forced to retire from his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin Del Potro earlier this month because of the problem in his right knee.

And he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: "This past Monday I was in Barcelona looking with the doctors the situation of my knee.

"While the discomfort in my knee is nothing new, we decided together with my medical and technical team not to participate in the Asian tour to recover the knee in the way we have always done."

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