Santiago: The International Tennis Federation Friday announced it would institute a fifth-set tiebreaker in the Davis Cup, beginning in 2016.
The measure, aimed at reducing the length of matches and encouraging participation of top players who are more and more reluctant to add the men`s nations tournament to their busy schedules, was approved at the ITF general assembly in Santiago.
Currently, Davis Cup best-of-five set matches feature tiebreakers in the first four sets, but not in the fifth.
The format has made for some epic encounters.
In the first round of the 2015 Davis Cup in March, Argentina`s Leonardo Mayer defeated Brazilian Joao Souza 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 5-7, 15-13 in a match that lasted six hours and 42 minutes -- the longest singles match in Davis Cup history.
Among the Grand Slam tournaments, only the US Open uses a fifth-set tiebreaker, setting it apart from Wimbledon, the French Open and the Australian Open.
The longest match ever played in any tournament was at Wimbledon in 2011, the 11-hour, five-minute marathon in which American John Isner beat France`s Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/3), 70-68.
It was played over three days.