One of the biggest differences between Grand Slams and other tennis events is that Slams are five-setters. This is how it’s been for quite a long time and now, some players feel that it should change. Novak Djokovic started it by advocating best-of-three matches, and now, Andy Murray has joined him.
“As a fan, unless you have tickets in the stadium on a normal weekday so like a Monday to Friday, you can’t really plan to sit and watch that match because it’s just so long… There’s obviously the more traditional fans who’d prefer the best-of-5 but for like younger kids growing up, the way people are consuming their sport now is a little bit different,” said Murray.
When a Grand Slam match goes to five sets, people call that contest an ‘epic’ due to the duration of the match. However, Murray believes some matches don’t qualify as ‘epic’. He said,
“Sometimes, the best-of-5 matches, like the first 2 and a half sets might be very average tennis. It’s never always good tennis. But then, sometimes, people mistake a great tennis match for a match that was just very very long.”
Murray went on to talk about how 3-set matches can have a greater quality of tennis than 5-setters. He said,
“The players know that you can give everything for every point on a best-of 3 match. Whereas you might go down 4-0 in a set in a best-of-5 match and then you don’t give your best effort the next 15-20 minutes because you’re conserving energy. You would never do that in a best-of-3.”
There are going to be a lot of people who disagree with Murray and want 5-set matches to remain. The governing bodies of tennis will hear them out and decide whether to change the format of the Grand Slams in the coming years.