ITF make major rule change which benefits Roger Federer at 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
All signs are pointing towards Federer battling for one of the only honours he has never won – the men’s Olympic singles gold.
The 37-year-old is expected have one more shot at representing his country and winning the elusive medal.
His recently signed sponsorship deal with Japanese manufacturer Uniqlo is also considered a hint he will play in their home event.
And now the ITF have changed the rules so that the final will be best-of-three sets, instead of the usual five.
“These amendments reduce concerns of overplay for players who reach the latter stages of all three events — singles, doubles and mixed doubles,” the ITF said in a statement.
Federer will be 38 years old when the Olympic Games come around and he has already shown over the last few years he is struggling in the longer matches.
The Swiss star lost an epic five-set battle against Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon semi-finals last year.
All of the matches in the build-up to the Olympic final will remain as three-set ties.
But the final will also follow suit from next year.
“The ITF has announced changes to match formats for the Olympic Tennis Event, with the men’s singles gold medal match now to be played as best-of-three tiebreak sets rather than best-of-five sets,” the statement added.
“The change to the men’s singles final aligns with the other matches in the men’s and women’s singles events, all of which are played as best-of-three tiebreak sets.
“A further change has been announced for doubles events, with men’s and women’s doubles matches now to feature a match tiebreak to 10 points when the score is tied at one-set all. This format is already in use in the mixed doubles event.
“The changes will come into effect for the 2020 Olympic Tennis Event in Tokyo.”
Federer is currently enjoying a one-month break after reaching the Indian Wells Masters final and winning the Miami Open title.
He will return to action at the Madrid Open in May.
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