Dec 7, 2012, 4:17 PM EDT
Similar to how wrestling’s semifinals match losers don’t square-off against one another, tennis officials are considering eliminating bronze medal matches for Rio to lighten the load on the world’s best pros.
That would mean handing out two bronze medals, like they did when the event first returned to Seoul in 1988 after a 64-year hitatus from the Games.
Officials are also considering adding a third set tie-break after London spectators witnessed the two longest matches in Olympics history this summer.
International Tennis Federation president Francesco Ricci Bitti, in Rome for the European Olympic Committees meeting, told the AP that the matches in London were “very balanced and very long and that ruins the scheduling somewhat.”
Tennis legend Roger Federer needed a full 4 hours, 26 minutes – including a 36 game third set – to knock-off Juan Martin Del Potro in the semis. That marathon came three days after French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Canada’s Milos Raonic to set the previous record with a 3 hours, 57 minutes second-round bout.
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