Best of 5 sets?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Mike Y, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I just got done playing a best of 5 set singles match for fun, and I came back from a 0-2 set deficit to win in 5 sets. Really fun, maybe I'll petition the USTA to make all USTA matches best of 5 sets :).

    Has anyone ever done this? I never have before today. I found the match dynamics to be very different than a 3 set match. No lead is safe, and it was a nice feeling to win that 3rd set (like I am back in the match, no point in a best of 3 set match is equivalent), and I'm sure the pressures on my opponent were different with blowing a 2 set lead.

    Final score: 1-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 10-5 (so we played a super-tiebreaker for the 5th set because of time constraints, sue me). It took about 3 hours, my opponent is very streaky and I started off very poorly. And it helped that we had shorter points than I am normally used to due to my opponent's streakiness. But it felt really good to turn around the match and win after such a deficit and play so well after starting off poorly. I felt like Agassi or something.
     
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  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    That's because most recreational players simply lack the fitness/stamina to play a mandatory 3sets, let alone a possible 5setter.

    We're all proud of our own individual fitness, but let's be real. If you're not a pro, you simply don't have the opportunity or the time to train day in and day out to last 5 sets on a regular basis, and make ends' meet.

    Not to mention, there's a reason why even the Tour don't mandate 3 out of 5 sets format except for the Grand Slams and a few special occasions like Davis Cup and the WTF-Finals.
     
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  3. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    But where are you in the Bay Area? I'll play you 3 out of 5 sets.
     
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  4. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    There is no way USTA would do this for regular league tennis lol.

    People can barely handle the two full sets + one 10 point tie break, possibly twice a day, up to 3 days in a row. Some people cant even handle two full sets, once in a day, and one day per week.

    Best of 5 sets?

    Save it for Majors and finals of the main draws lol.
     
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  5. Andreas1965

    Andreas1965 Rookie

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    A good friend and I play best of five sometimes on Sunday afternoons. Usually the match goes over four or five sets. The day after you might feel a bit sore, but its so much fun to play over 3 or 4 hours! I would not want to do this more than once a week, but its definitely better than the stupid "2 sets plus a tiebreaker" they force us to play in league matches.

    I want my regular third set back!
     
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  6. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I have to agree with the others. Fitness is the big issue preventing this from ever being a reality. I save my best of five for casual singles play. A lot of people at the club can barely make it through three sets of doubles.
     
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  7. kabrac

    kabrac Rookie

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    I'm for 5-setters. Love to play them. Some of my most memorable moments on a tennis court are 5-setters going the distance with me winning most of them. Some people say that people want best of 5 sets because they can't win in 2 or 3, maybe,.....but I just like playing best of 5 when I get a chance. Definintely a different game, and it just has a special kind of atmosphere that I seem to pick up on during the match that makes playing tennis so much more rewarding and enjoyable.:p
     
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  8. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Yeah, I know this can never happen for USTA matches. In fact, I am really hurting this morning. I wouldn't be able to do this very often. And there happened to be a ladies 6.5 Combo match going on next to us, they started a little after we started, and they were still playing when we were done. It looked like they had a lot of time between points and were socializing between games, and the points were mostly lob-fests (we played at a very fast pace, very little time between points and games). So if they played best of 5 sets, they would have been out there for hours longer.
     
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  9. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    The WTF Finals aren't even best of 5 anymore. 2007 was the last time that was best of 5. Since the ATP completely took 5 set matches out of their rulebook, I'm not seeing USTA going to 5 set matches in league/tournament play. :)
     
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  10. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    RDIS300! My old stick! Someone else uses it!

    3 out of 5 sets is a blast, assuming that, since you are playing for fun, you enjoy competing against your opponent/friend.
     
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  11. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    That's crazy. The only way I'm lasting 5 sets is if I'm going for winners on every shot!
     
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  12. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    I don't follow the OP's point that "no lead is safe" in a five set match. That would certainly also be true in a three set match, moreso actually in a three set match because being up 2-0 in sets in a five setter is more likely to demoralize the opponent (i.e. the lead is safer) than being up 1-0 in a three setter where the opponent realizes he doesn't have such a high mountain to climb.
     
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  13. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I think what OP meant to say was, in a best of 5 match, you have at least one extra set to extend the match.
     
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  14. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I'm in the East Bay, but I am pretty full with tennis commitments, I play too much as it is.
     
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  15. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I don't think being demoralized comes into your mindset when you are down 0-2, it didn't come into my mind. It was more that this was do-or-die time, if you lose this set, you are done, if you win, then you are right back into the match. And it is harder to close out an opponent if you have a 2-0 lead and you are starting to get tired. Say you breeze through the 1st set, then win a hard-fought second set, which is what my opponent did. You still have to go out and win another set, and if you don't win the next one, then you are going to be playing for a lot longer.

    I finally started to play better toward the end of the 2nd set, and especially the 3rd set, while my opponent had a let down in the 3rd, which probably comes naturally when you are in that position. The 4th set was, surprisingly, our best played set, we had longer points and a lot of good shotmaking. At one point in the 4th set I was serving at 2-2, love-40, but I was able to hold, and broke him in the next game, then I went on to take the set. I was throwing in a lot of slices and kick serves in the last two sets, since when you get tired, your footwork is often the first to go, and my opponent was often hitting shots with his feet not in the right position and he would make errors.

    But I was surprised at how good I felt late in the match. In a 3 set match, our minds may "see the finish line", so to speak, so you might feel more tired, but when you are playing best of five, you know you potentially have more tennis to play, and it's like you are more mentally prepared for the long haul. 3rd set feels more like the middle of the match, instead of the end, if that makes sense. Of course, it probably helped that I just let some balls go for winners at certain points where I felt that it would have been futile to weakly get the ball back from way deep in the corner, but those are just things that you do in a long match.
     
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  16. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I love 5 set matches, play one every tuesday night for practice, but I have never actually played one in a tournament or league competition, nor would I expect to.

    It might be fun in league if that was your only match, but our format is really good, too. We have 3 man teams and play 2 dubs and a singles. (it is a 5.0+ league made up of mostly coaches and their best juniors (age has to be >16), so we would struggle to field bigger teams even if we wanted to!

    I wouldn't like it much in a tournament, though. We odn't have two weeks to get through a draw so it is pretty rare to not have to play at least two matches in a day, and that's just the singles.
     
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  17. hammer

    hammer Rookie

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    If I guessed correctly on who you are, Mike, then playing three sets against you is torture enough for me let alone five :)
     
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  18. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Oh crap. I'll just be vague about it. :)
     
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  19. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I absolutely love playing best of 5. The only time I'm able to is outdoors in the summer where courts are free for that amount of time. I try and do it at least 1-2 times a week during outdoor. Indoor I'm completely happy with 3 sets due to time restraints and the feeling of near death due to how freaking hot it is LOL!

    -Fuji
     
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  20. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    Yes, me and a guy I play every week do it from time to time. Especially in the winter to get in shape for the spring. We have access to indoor courts at night. You are right...5 sets is much different. We play the whole 5th set out if it goes that far. It's happened like twice. I can't remember he won, but we most all the time play a min of 4 sets. I'm up in the series for the year 13 to 12. :) I win the bulk of the indoor matches for some unknown reason. So I'm looking to clean up the next couple of months.


     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hey, I play at RoseGarden, Berkeley. Drop by and play some 4.0 doubles, best of ONE set...
     
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  22. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    And no deuces.
     
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  23. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    The only five setter singles that sticks in my mind was probably about 20-25 years ago. We started playing in the light after work with the Friday night club buffet just starting in the dining room next to the court. He was an athletic Polish soccer player and I was running marathons back then. We just kept playing and playing. What sticks in my mind was about four sets in, an amiable club member came out from the buffet to smoke a cigar and started the usual good ol' club boy banter, like "What's the score?". At that point we were in no mood to hear it and told him to more or less ****-off. Five setters will play with your mind a bit. We were still playing under the lights when all the food was gone, but there was still plenty of booze left.
     
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  24. hammer

    hammer Rookie

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    The last and only time I played a five setter was against a friend of mine back in high school almost 20 years ago, and I won with a bagel in the fifth and coming back from being down 2 sets to 1. 10 years ago I wouldn't have mind playing a five setter if I had the chance, but now I can't imagine doing it. The closest thing to it was two years ago when I played back to back three set matches with less than an hour break between matches. I was so exhausted I ended up defaulting at 4-3 in the third set of my second match.
     
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  25. tennisee

    tennisee Rookie

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    Best of five is good, but you have to do it properly; none of this tiebreak rubbish. Advantage sets only. A friend and I play it on grass once a year for fun. We don't play best of five, we just play five regardless. This thread prompted me to look up our old scores; here was 2009 - 11-9, 8-6, 9-7, 6-3, 17-15.
     
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  26. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    Wow, that's insane, lol.
     
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  27. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    I love playing best of 5 singles matches and fortunately have a couple of friends that are my level and also into it. But guys like that are rare among the tennis guys I know. Most make cranking out a set of doubles sound like running the NYC Marathon.
     
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  28. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Best of 5 is good,never be adopted in regular usta tournaments as the matches would not get done over the weekend,,some sites have few courts and theres no limit on how many can enter,,
     
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  29. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    That's for SURE, and it would kill the club's bar business, players wouldn't have the strength to hold their beers up afterwards.
     
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  30. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Best of 5 is fun as hell. I just love wars of attrition. Sounds like I might be in the minority. My fitness is pretty good and a 5th set is always thrilling regardless of the circumstance. In fact, playing BO5 with my friend (both 4.0-4.5) really improved my fitness. We played a 33 match series strictly BO5, and at first our shots were very timid and weak during the latter sets. Now there's not as big a discrepancy. Of course, there are exceptions. One week our matches went to a 5-setter on three consecutive days. I don't think we played for a week or two after that third match.

    But I would recommend people try it out more, it makes bo3 go by in a breeze.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
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  31. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    Love 3 out of 5's
     
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