On principle I'm not against tie-breaks, as a system it seems - in and of itself - better than the alternatives, but as with penalty kicks in football, the problem arises when the tie-break system begins to affect the match itself, to such an extent that the match almost becomes subordinate to the tie-breaker.
Whether we've reached that point or not is a matter of debate. For all I know the next match is going to finish 5-3 with four draws and we'll wonder what all the fuss was about. What isn't a matter of debate, I don't think is that if there wasn't a tie-break coming up, this
It's the moment we've all been waiting for - the last game, the match level, one player pressing, one player fighting for his life, and really there shouldn't be anywhere to go from here but play.
So maybe there shouldn't be anywhere to go from here, no escape route, no play-offs.
Ideally - and no system is ideal - a system should
- be as simple as possible
- be as fair as possible
- be as little disruptive as possible (in this context, affect how the players play as little as possible).
Seems to me it's simple enough to understand. Whether it's as fair as possible - I think we all know that the only fair way is to play to a given number of wins, but that isn't going to happen, for all kinds of good reasons. And we ought to have much longer matches than a dozen games, but that probably isn't going to happen either. Whether it would affect the way the players play - I'm not seeing it, any more than it has affected matches in the past when a player has gone one up.
Yes, it allows for a winner when the scores are level at the end. But that's what happened in 1951 and 1954. And, for that matter, in 2016 and 2018, because we had a winner then and we're going to have a winner today.
But the scores were level at the end.