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Judy Murray says male tennis stars should play just three sets - Aug 2017. Use Thirty30?

Updated: Nov 22, 2019


Judy Murray – Edinburgh International Book Festival (August 2017)


Judy Murray has suggested she would prefer to see men playing best of three sets instead of five in major tennis tournaments.

The tennis coach admitted that five-set thrillers in Grand Slams can be a "great spectacle" but said they can be "so tough" on the players, especially in hot climates.

She suggested that allowing the men to play to the best of three sets, as is the case in the women's game, could also free up more of the top male players to participate in doubles and mixed doubles match.

In many tournaments, men and women play to the best of three sets, but in the Grand Slams - the Australian, French and US Opens and Wimbledon - the men play best of five.

Mrs Murray made the comments during a wide-ranging discussion on Tuesday evening at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF).

During an audience question-and-answer session, she was asked for her views on equal pay for women tennis players and whether they should also play five sets.

She told the packed gathering: "I think that I would rather see the men play three sets and having it all as three sets."

"I think there are implications of the women playing five sets that actually would mean that the tournament needs more court time. It just would take a whole lot longer.”

"I think the five sets is a great spectacle and special at a Grand Slam, for example.

But for the guys ... sometimes you're out there for four or five hours. Especially if you are playing in Australia where the heat is just amazing, it just takes so much out of them, it's so tough on them.

I think the women actually have an advantage only playing three sets in that most of them, if they choose to, can play doubles and mixed as well.

"You'll never get the top men being able to do that because the five sets physically take so much out of them. So I'd probably rather see it go the other way and the men playing three."

Eve Muirhead – Scottish International Curling Champion

Reference article in the Dundee Courier (25 August 2017) by Eve Muirhead: Time for tennis to drop down to three sets for the men?

“Judy Murray might be on to something with her suggestion that men’s tennis becomes best of three sets rather than best of five at the grand slams.

I was always a fan of the longer format and, if anything, thought that women going up to that length of match rather than the men cutting back would be a better bet.

But the casualty rate in the men’s game at the moment is changing my mind.

The number of drop-outs for the US Open is going up and up, with Milos Raonic the latest to succumb to injury.

And, even players like Federer, Nadal and Murray, who will be in New York have had to pull out of other tournaments recently.

It’s looking like the cost of getting your way to the top of the game is a physical one.

If the big names continue to miss the big tournaments the governing body may be forced to give serious consideration to the three-set idea.

Perhaps the best compromise would be to follow the Olympic format – three sets and then five in the final.”

Thirty30 Tennis Comment

Equality – Both Men & Women can play best of 5 (Thirty30) set matches?

5 set matches completed in generally no longer than 90 minutes.

Thirty30 Tennis produces shorter, less physically demanding, faster and more exciting matches.

The top players can choose to compete in singles, doubles and mixed events.

There will be less players pulling out of competitions due to injuries - better for fans.


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