PDA

View Full Version : why do women play best of 3 sets and men best of 5


jukka1970
07-09-2005, 12:42 AM
You know for a long time, this question has always been on my mind. It came into my mind even more when equal prize money was being discussed at the slams.

I've never understood why the women only play the best of three sets. I mean especially now, the women are certainly fit enough. The women are producing some really big 3 set games. I really wish that both males and females should be playing the best of 5 sets. I certainly think it would help tennis in many ways, including pushing that both genders can certainly play the game. Even back in the 80's when I was first watching. Graf and Navratilova certainly could go 5 sets. Novotna, Martinez, and certainly Sanchez Vicario.

So why does tennis still put this somewhat of a barrier between men and women. It would also put an end to the difference in prize money.

jeebeesus
07-09-2005, 12:55 AM
Because women need more time to spend thier winnings on shopping, fashion wear cosmetics and stuff than to stay longer on the tennis courts than us stupid men ..sheeeeez

friedalo1
07-09-2005, 08:00 AM
Female tennis player are weaker than men in stamina.

TwistServe
07-09-2005, 08:15 AM
Because women lack strength, stamina, endurance, and overall game to last 5 sets. They're shaking their legs in fatigue from a long 3 setter already!

Progressive10s
07-09-2005, 08:27 AM
The WTA did play the best of five sets when the season ending tournament was held in New York. I cannot remember when that was, but they did play best of five. That was the only tournament that was best of five for the women.

littlelleyton
07-09-2005, 08:53 AM
i find the level of sexism and rash generlisation here incredible or maybe this is a time wrap back to the 40 and 50s.
do women not compete in the marathon and other long distance athletics events? was it not a women who broke the round the world single sailing record? have many women not been climbing Everest for over 20 years? ar eyou trying to say that these women lacked stamina, strenght and endurance? i think not. so how can any person say that generally women have weaker stamina then men????
this is a very closed minded view.
it is fair to say that women on the WTA tour probably do not have the stamina and endurance to play 5 set matches but then why would they, they training and prepare their bodies only to last the maximum they need to perform. could it also be fair to say that if need be could women train and prepare physically for a longer match, of course they could, it is all relivant to their needs.
i doubt very much if most of the people on this board could last a 3 setter against one of the ladies from the tour or do any of the afore mentioned activities, but could they train and prepare and one day be able to do them, yes course they could.

ACE of Hearts
07-09-2005, 08:59 AM
I think Venus and Serena can play 5 setters, Davenport would need an oxygen mask along with the other female players :mrgreen:

tennissavy
07-09-2005, 09:06 AM
I think Venus and Serena can play 5 setters, Davenport would need an oxygen mask along with the other female players :mrgreen:

WTA championships had a 5 set final format. The women lasted just fine in 5 sets. If you are too young to remember that, you should have listened to Mary Carillo, I believe, who said at Wimbledon last week that immediately after her matches, Sharapova gets on a stationary bike for at least 30 minutes. Most wta players can play high quality 5 setters.

Boy Wonder
07-09-2005, 09:19 AM
WTA championships had a 5 set final format. The women lasted just fine in 5 sets. If you are too young to remember that, you should have listened to Mary Carillo, I believe, who said at Wimbledon last week that immediately after her matches, Sharapova gets on a stationary bike for at least 30 minutes. Most wta players can play high quality 5 setters.

If that really is the case, I'm all for making the WTA format like the men's.

spinbalz
07-09-2005, 09:36 AM
why do women play best of 3 sets and men best of 5?

It is only because Women tennis is boring, so tennis instances had to make it best of 3 instead of best of 5. This way, the peoples who watch it, waiting for the next match played by men, get bored for a shorter period of time.

tennissavy
07-09-2005, 09:41 AM
why do women play best of 3 sets and men best of 5

It is only because Women tennis is boring, so tennis instances had to make it best of 3 instead of best of 5. This way, the peoples who watch it, waiting for the next match played by men, get bored for a shorter period of time.
The federer/roddick wimbledon final was extremely boring. The higher quality final was the williams/davenport match which was far more interesting.
In any case, best of 3 sets should be implemented for both tours. 5 sets is usually too long except in the case when the level is extremely high throughout the match. I could count those matches on one hand in all the years I've watched tennis. Best of 3 sets would be so much better for the atp as there would be less injuries and players would retire from the sport later. Playing best of 5 contributes to burnout.

spinbalz
07-09-2005, 10:12 AM
5 sets is usually too long except in the case when the level is extremely high throughout the match. I could count those matches on one hand in all the years I've watched tennis.

Then you are very unlucky, because personnaly I couldn't count those matches on only one hand for only this year's Australian and French open, so imagine how many great 5 setters I saw during all the years that I follow tennis...

And personnaly, even if the Women wimbledon final had more drama and momentum switch, the fact is that the shotmaking during the men final was ten times better, it is the case since tennis exists and it will continue to be like that. Seeing a girl like Venus williams winning wimbledon with all the ugly technical defaults and that she has, facing a Davenport during the final who can barely move her body is not a show that provides any pleasure to me, instead, I will always prefer to watch the flawless tennis of federer facing the brutal force and energy of Roddick, even if there is less suspense/drama and momentum switch.

There are plenty of matches with much intensity, drama, suspens, and mometum switch even at the recreational 2.5 level, but nobody pays to watch it, because everybody knows that the quality of execution of the shots doesn't deserve attention, and for me it is about the same thing concerning women pro tennis, of course I know that the stroke execution is way better than 2.5, but it simply can't be compared to professional mens. The level of women pros is usually not good enough to get my attention. Of course everybody is free to prefer women tennis or to simply don't have any preference, but the real reason why women play best of 3 sets and men best of 5, is because there are too much peoples like me who get bored by women pro tennis and prefer to watch the mens. It is the simple true answer to the original question of this thread.

tennissavy
07-09-2005, 10:23 AM
Spinbalz,
L'annee derniere j'etais a Flushing Meadow ou Je regardais un match entre Henman et Karlovic. Barbant. Je suis alle ailleurs pour voir Petrova qui frappait avec plus de puissance et precision. C'est vrai. J'aime le ATP et j'aime le WTA mais je prefere regarder les matches entre les femmes. Pour moi, je souffre quand je regarde 5 manches entre les mecs. A chacun son gout.

spinbalz
07-09-2005, 10:28 AM
A chacun son gout.

We agree on that point.


And I want to express all my compassion for you, because I agree that seeing any match involving karlovic is a hell of a torture, I hope that you don't suffer from too many after-effects ;)

ATXtennisaddict
07-09-2005, 10:54 AM
The federer/roddick wimbledon final was extremely boring. The higher quality final was the williams/davenport match which was far more interesting.
In any case, best of 3 sets should be implemented for both tours. 5 sets is usually too long except in the case when the level is extremely high throughout the match. I could count those matches on one hand in all the years I've watched tennis. Best of 3 sets would be so much better for the atp as there would be less injuries and players would retire from the sport later. Playing best of 5 contributes to burnout.

They don't play 5-setters all the time. If they burn out, then they should be in another profession. That is the nature of pro sports.

PusherMan
07-09-2005, 11:02 AM
Lotta sour grapes on the TW boards.

dennis1188
07-09-2005, 11:22 AM
Maintain, equal prize money and effort, regardless?
Would that many folks, care to watch for five sets, is another matter.

ambro
07-09-2005, 11:51 AM
WTA championships had a 5 set final format. The women lasted just fine in 5 sets. If you are too young to remember that, you should have listened to Mary Carillo, I believe, who said at Wimbledon last week that immediately after her matches, Sharapova gets on a stationary bike for at least 30 minutes. Most wta players can play high quality 5 setters.
The stationary bike is to drain the lactic acid from the legs. People do this to avoid cramping in all sports.

Ryoma Kun
07-09-2005, 11:59 AM
its because women are inferior to men. they would start *****in n pushin teh ball midway in the 4th and it just wouldnt be fun anymore.

plus, we dont want to give the blacks a chance to win

newnuse
07-09-2005, 12:15 PM
i find the level of sexism and rash generlisation here incredible or maybe this is a time wrap back to the 40 and 50s.
do women not compete in the marathon and other long distance athletics events? was it not a women who broke the round the world single sailing record? have many women not been climbing Everest for over 20 years? ar eyou trying to say that these women lacked stamina, strenght and endurance? i think not. so how can any person say that generally women have weaker stamina then men????
this is a very closed minded view.
it is fair to say that women on the WTA tour probably do not have the stamina and endurance to play 5 set matches but then why would they, they training and prepare their bodies only to last the maximum they need to perform. could it also be fair to say that if need be could women train and prepare physically for a longer match, of course they could, it is all relivant to their needs.
i doubt very much if most of the people on this board could last a 3 setter against one of the ladies from the tour or do any of the afore mentioned activities, but could they train and prepare and one day be able to do them, yes course they could.

Right on, although I find it ironic coming from a Hewitt fan.

I think they play 3 sets because it's just tradition. Women have always played best of 3. Maybe back in the days, women were considered more fragile or something. But now, it's just tradition. It's the way it has always been done.

Babblelot
07-09-2005, 12:31 PM
IMO, this is a great topic. I don't buy into the camp that believes it has to do with stamina. I think the individual who pointed out that women compete in the marathon (or triatholon, or heptatholon, etc..) hit the nail on the head. Moreover, many singles players also play doubles, so often they play two best of 3 matches, back-to-back (i.e., same day).

My cynical view is that American television viewers are accustomed to sporting events that last around 2:30 hours (e.g., MLB, CFB, NFL, NBA). In 2:30 hours, you can show 1 outstanding women's match, or two blowouts and two lame interviews with the winners. It's been one of my pet peeves that American networks will pick a women's best of 3 over a men's best of 5 every time. In fact, American networks will only join a compelling, early round, marathon men's match in progress. :mad: !!!

By contrast, a best of 5 men's, god forbid, could go 4+ hours. IMO, unless it's a SF or F, networks "believe" American viewers channel surf, and no sponsor wants to spend big advertising $$$$ on something relatively few people are watching.

Best of 3 matches are tidy in that respect.

...Somewhat related, on her way to playing in at least 10 straight W. finals and 9 straight W. wins, I wonder how many times Martina played 3 sets...1/7, or just 14% of the time???? That would mean that, over that 10 year stretch, of her 70 W. matches, 60 matches were 2 sets and 10 matches went 3 sets. Not much work. If, say, Sampras (who really didn't have the stomach for 5 set matches--recall v. Corretja US Open classic), went the distance just 1/7 times, he'd have played 69 sets in just 3 years!

jukka1970
07-09-2005, 01:16 PM
Newnuse, I think you might be right as far as how it started at 3. I watched a special on the olympics, and for the longest time the longest distance they'd let woman run was 800 meters I believe, and yes it was their view that women couldn't last. So I think you hit it on why they started with only playing 3.

If it is around because of tradition I hope that they'll get rid of tradition. And others have posted nicely on comparison of marathon runners. Add to that Biathalons and Triathalons.

I agree with you Babble that the american channels sometimes blow it, when picking what matches they show. Thank god cable sports shows 90% of it now, and now my cable has a tennis channel. Am looking forward to watching what they show. Finally a station where I don't have to sit through the boring Football, Basketball, Hockey and worst Baseball scores and highlights just to see 2 minutes of Tennis.

Cobrien
07-09-2005, 02:09 PM
Why dont you realise that the males are the superior race and we can last longer than the women.

They may be highly trained, but not to the level of the men. The men play at a faster pace for longer.

No-one can deny that males are stronger than females and the 5-set match is used for this purpose.

newnuse
07-09-2005, 02:14 PM
Why dont you realise that the males are the superior race and we can last longer than the women.

They may be highly trained, but not to the level of the men. The men play at a faster pace for longer.

No-one can deny that males are stronger than females and the 5-set match is used for this purpose.

I don't know if I should laugh or take your post seriously. :confused:

Cobrien
07-09-2005, 02:19 PM
I am a sexist pig.

newnuse
07-09-2005, 02:45 PM
I am a sexist pig.
Glad you clarified that. ;)

BTW you are wrong

Ryoma Kun
07-09-2005, 04:28 PM
im with cobrien,
but i believe if women wanted to earn jsut as much money, they shoudl play by the same rules. best of 5, and.... if they want to change, it must be done on the court...

Yours!05
07-09-2005, 04:37 PM
Looks like the charming banned racist Ryoma Kun tried to join this thread - perhaps to raise misogyny to a new level??;)

newnuse
07-09-2005, 04:49 PM
Looks like the charming banned racist Ryoma Kun tried to join this thread - perhaps to raise misogyny to a new level??;)

:mrgreen: Looks like he is not only a racist, but a sexist pig as well.

No disrespect meant to all the sexist pigs on this board. ;)

Haka Boy
07-09-2005, 07:55 PM
Well now we all now the sexist members on this board. Cobrien are you married ? or am I just feeling pity for your wife already or maybe you need pity when she discovers what you have posted on this board :)

Steve Huff
07-09-2005, 08:30 PM
At one time, women had best of five setters too (maybe not at the slams). Most of the matches that went that far were being crowded out for network time. Often, a 5-setter would last way too long. Networks feared that Tracy Austin and Andrea Jaeggar would end up in a final, and the network wouldn't have 7-hours to devote to that match. Truthfully, with most of the 5-setters I saw, the quality of tennis really fell off around the middle of the 4th set. It became a war of attrition, not a war of tennis. After Capriati beat Hingis in the Australian one year, which really took a lot out of both players, I think the WTA abandon ever bringing the 5-setter in.

Yours!05
07-09-2005, 09:08 PM
Well now we all now the sexist members on this board. Cobrien are you married ? or am I just feeling pity for your wife already or maybe you need pity when she discovers what you have posted on this board :)Think he's about 14.

Rickson
07-09-2005, 10:13 PM
Men play best of 3 in many smaller tournaments, but if the women are playing that in the majors, the men should have it as easy and play 2 out of 3 also.

jukka1970
07-09-2005, 10:19 PM
Cobrien, ok so you brought up the point of males being superior, which is bs but also off point. The men aren't playing the women, so I don't see where this so called superiority fits into the argument. Aside from that, you brought up stamina, so how is it that women compete in marathons, biathalons and triathalons. And in those three Olympic sports, you should look at the training they do for it, that should kill the whole stamina argument.

Steve you've added a great point. I must admit when they show the early 70's and 80's playback of matches, there certainly was a lot of, what's the word for it, lofting I guess, of the ball. And I've got to agree that 5 sets of that could really go on forever. But I think the WTA should revisit the 5 sets, because for the most part, gone are the days of the players just lofting the ball. I mean if someone lofts a ball to Serena, Venus, Davenport, Sharapova, Henin-Hardenne, Clijsters, etc. I think they'll kill the ball with an overhead smash, so the lofting days are probably gone. But definitely a good point steve of some more reasons why it's been left at 3 sets.

I guess it's true that there have been some 3 setters that have wiped out the players. The one you mentioned, and even this years wimbledon. Both Davenport and V. Williams looked exhausted at the end.

But changing training would probably fix this. As some others have said, the women train and tailor their training to best of 3 set games. I also think it would improve the women's game because all power won't necessarily get you through winning 3 sets, where sometimes it's enough when they only need to win 2.

Tennis Ball Hitter
07-10-2005, 04:56 AM
I think changing the WTA to 5 setters will gretly decrease the number of female tennis players in the pro ranks and at the moment its already small enough.

to play 5 sets of tennis you will need endurance as well as more muscle. Consider the period where a talented junior starts to get serious and concentrates on training for tennis. How many more girls will drop out due to the unwanted image of extra muscle? While this area of sport is great for males since it helps with their image.

If you consider the same period of time in terms of development for marathon runners, this actuall helps the girls image by staying toned and fit ... however all marathon runners will turn into walking sticks later in their careers.

I also think it would improve the women's game because all power won't necessarily get you through winning 3 sets, where sometimes it's enough when they only need to win 2. This is a very good point for female 5 setters. UNfortunately at the current moment in time, I think this actually will aid the the power hitters in the current era ... especially the williams sisters who IMO is leaps and bounds far more athletic/strong then their nearest competitors.

uNIVERSE mAN
07-10-2005, 05:56 AM
Please no women's five setters on TV, I can barely stand three sets! However if they play separate grand slams instead of co-op like today I'm all for it, since I have the choice of boycotting women's altogether :)

Babblelot
07-10-2005, 06:18 AM
Andrea Yeager and Tracy Austin enter into this topic???? LMAO! Only so much that, with technology and fitness the way it is today, you'd never see their style of play, if that's what you long for. No 7 hour moon-balling. I'm certain a 5 set women's match would last under 3 hours, today.

If you'd like to see the future of men's tennis, take a look at Gael Monfils up close and personal. He's at least 6'3" (likely still growing?), and I'm certain the kid can do a helicopter dunk with a basketball. For better or worse, technology has run the Johnny Mac's, Aaron Krieksteins, S&Vers, etc.. out of tennis and ushered in the Boris "Boom-Boom" Beckers, Ivo "I can't return serve, but I own Hewitt" Karlovics, baseliners, etc..

If, as someone suggested, sex appeal is the savior of women's tennis...well, that's a pretty sad statement which I don't subscribe to. My gripe with women's tennis is that so many 45min 6-0, 6-1 thrashings are televised in favor of a best of 5 men's match. :mad: !!! Besides, at this point, how many women's best of 5 matches would even be competitive matches into the 4th set, let alone the 5th. (I'm in favor of any measure that would entice a network to show a best of 5 men's match over a women's thrashing.) ;)

IMO, I still think this is a worthy topic.

spinbalz
07-10-2005, 06:48 AM
Perhaps that with a best of 5 format for the women, they would start to consider to seriously work on their fitness, and then will would perhaps stop to see so many overweighted women players beeing competitive and having a descent pro career.

Babblelot
07-10-2005, 06:51 AM
Perhaps with a best of 5 format, you'd see more strategy and less slugging....????

Let's face it, it couldn't hurt the present state of women's tennis.

As for the person who said the Hingis-Capriati match killed it from ever coming to fruition, that match was played under unhealthy, extreme heat conditions. I'd throw it out as an abberation.

Cobrien
07-11-2005, 08:40 AM
If the women were to play best of 5-sets then by all means give them the same prize money as the men. But at the moment the men give more entertainment for longer, so tough.

PS. I'm not married, but sadly I have offended the non-sexist pigs.


SORRY

Timecop
07-11-2005, 09:56 AM
I think people just don't want to see such one-dimensional matches women exhibit.

Tchocky
07-11-2005, 11:29 AM
Women are inherently weaker and cannot play best of 5. I know that sounds terribly sexist. I think women should have to play best of 5 in the Grand Slam.

A D
07-11-2005, 02:40 PM
Simple, women would not last back to back to back 5 setters in any tournament.

Remember how Dav was near exhausted in the Wimby finals?
I'm not to say she's in bad shape or anything(considering how much weight she's lost over the years), but she's a prime example.

If the #1 ranked woman cannot possibly last an eventual 5 setter, there's no point arguing further.

Babblelot
07-11-2005, 03:55 PM
Simple, women would not last back to back to back 5 setters in any tournament.

Remember how Dav was near exhausted in the Wimby finals?
I'm not to say she's in bad shape or anything(considering how much weight she's lost over the years), but she's a prime example.

If the #1 ranked woman cannot possibly last an eventual 5 setter, there's no point arguing further.
This isn't about Lindsay. Every match will have a winner and a loser, I guarantee. ;)

I'd also go so far as to say that you couldn't pencil the top 8 seeds into the QFs, like you pretty much can do taday.

newnuse
07-11-2005, 04:09 PM
If you play nothing but best of 3, of course you will get tired playing a five set match. You would not be used to it.

AngeloDS
07-11-2005, 04:13 PM
I don't doubt that women can last longer. Because they obviously win a lot of those endurance games and such. The question is how they'll hit, volley, move around, think and serve in those last sets? I'm not sure really. How was those 5 setters Steve Huff? Where they sitll getting good percentages, winners, errors etc.?