Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3??? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

We have equal pay, but the general concensus seems to be that something now needs to be done about women playing best-of3 sets, while men play best-of-5. Equality would mean both genders playing the same number of sets, but should they play best-of-3, or best-of-5???

Ignoring the entertainment value of epic 5 setters completely, and focusing simply on the scorelines and specifically the general outcome, there are arguments for and against playing best-of-5 sets. Furthermore, many people argue that best-of-5 early rounds for the men are boring and only really ever between two low quality players

First, here are the possible scenarios for the men:
- A beats B in 3 sets = The scoreline was decided after two sets, so best-of-3 would not have changed the result
- A beats B in 4 sets = Player A was up 2-1 after 3 sets (A must have won the fourth), so best-of-3 would not have changed the result
- A beats B in 5 sets has two scenarios:
1. The outcome was decided after 3 sets (A was up 2-1, B leveled it at 2-2, but A won the fifth to take it 3-2), so best-of-3 would still have provided the same outcome
2. In three sets, B would have won as he was up 2-1, but A won the next two sets to "steal" it 3-2

Only one of these scenarios has a different outcome based on whether best-of-3 or best-of-5 sets is played.

So the real question to answer is "how often do players come back from 2-1 down?"


Here are the results of the last two grand slams, focusing on number of sets taken to win, for the men (I have ignored retirements and walkovers):

FRENCH OPEN

First Round
3 – 33
4 – 13
5 Decided after 3 sets – 9
5 Necessary – 4 (Hewitt V Karlovic / Devilder V Wawrinka / Ferriero V Lopez / Granollers V Ouanna)
5 Retirements / WO

Second Round
3 – 17
4 – 9
5 Decided after 3 sets – 5
5 Necessary – 1 (Vassallo Arquello V Andreev)
0 Retirements / WO

Third Round
3 – 9
4 – 6
5 Decided after 3 sets – 0
5 Necessary – 0
1 Retirements / WO

Fourth Round
3 – 4
4 – 3
5 Decided after 3 sets – 0
5 Necessary – 1 (Haas V Federer)
0 Retirements / WO

QF
3 – 3
4 – 1
5 Decided after 3 sets – 0
5 Necessary – 0
0 Retirements / WO

SF
3 – 0
4 – 0
5 Decided after 3 sets – 1
5 Necessary – 1 (Del Potro V Federer)
0 Retirements / WO

F
3 – 1
4 – 0
5 Decided after 3 sets – 0
5 Necessary – 0
0 Retirements / WO

Tournament
3 – 67
4 – 32
5 Decided after 3 sets – 15
5 Necessary – 7
6 Retirements / WO

Overall
5 sets unnecessary – 114
5 sets necessary - 7

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

WIMBLEDON

First Round
3 – 30
4 – 17
5 Decided after 3 sets – 9
5 Necessary – 3 (Rochus V Cuevas / Bolelli V Coellerer / Almagro V Monaco)
5 Retirements / WO

Second Round
3 – 13
4 – 8
5 Decided after 3 sets – 5
5 Necessary – 4 (Petzschner V Zverev / Gimeno-Traver V Troicki / Robredo V Koubek / Kolschreiber V Minar)
2 Retirements / WO

Third Round
3 – 6
4 – 7
5 Decided after 3 sets – 3
5 Necessary – 0
0 Retirements / WO

Fourth Round
3 – 5
4 – 1
5 Decided after 3 sets – 1
5 Necessary – 1 (Hewitt V Stepanek)
0 Retirements / WO

QF
3 – 2
4 – 1
5 Decided after 3 sets – 1
5 Necessary – 0
0 Retirements / WO

SF
3 – 1
4 – 1
5 Decided after 3 sets – 0
5 Necessary – 0
0 Retirements / WO

F
3 – 0
4 – 0
5 Decided after 3 sets – 1
5 Necessary – 0
0 Retirements / WO

Tournament
3 – 57
4 – 35
5 Decided after 3 sets – 20
5 Necessary – 8
7 Retirements / WO

Overall
5 sets unnecessary – 112
5 sets necessary – 8

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So combining the last two grand slams shows that:
Best-of-5 sets is unnecessary in 226/241 matches (93.8%)
Best-of-5 sets is necessary in 15/241 matches (6.2%)

I have listed the matches that went the distance to produce a different outcome had the match been best-of-3. Federer's two matches at the French Open are notable as he ought to have not got past the fourth round!

Out of these 15 matches, I watched a grand total of...1! (Federer V Del Potro), and I am not a Federer fan so I wouldn't have minded him losing this or against Haas!

I COMPLETELY agree that it is unfair to pay equal prize money for two weeks of unequal work, but I personally don't think that making the women play 5 sets is the right thing to do.

I also agree with a lot of people that early 5-setters are BORING!!! (at least in comparison to 3-setter semis!) and there are VERY few exceptions.

So I guess, if I were the CEO of the ITF, I would bring equality by making QF/SF/F 5-setters, or maybe just SF/F, or perhaps even all second-week matches (4th round forward).

At Wimbledon, this would have meant 5-sets of Mauresmo V Safina, and Azarenka V Petrova... which I would consider beneficial in terms of entertainment value. Venus V Ana would also benefit, but best-of-5 instead of best-of-3 would not change her injuring herself.

SO... are you guys happy that the mentioned men's matches went to five, and would therefore like to see women play five? Do you think men should play 3 sets? Or do you agree that only later rounds should be best-of-5 sets...???
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 12:03 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

Done to death.



It's fine as is, just leave it.

Men's five set matches are great.

Women's three set matches are okay, but they'd be even worse if they were five.
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 12:22 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

I think being forced to play best of 5 would force women to play smarter tennis. The transition period might include some ugly-ass tennis though. I just don't buy that women wouldn't be able to physically manage best of 5 sets tennis 4 times a year. It is not like female marathon runners run shorter distances. If anything best of 5 would help the girls who are either in fantastic physical shape or have games that don't break down as easily. It might push the women to concentrate on improving their serves so that cheap, fast points are more easy to come by. I have always jokes that best-of-5 might give my girl Dementieva a better chance to win a slam since she always seems willing to grind out those long matches.
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 12:34 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

I think the grand slam final should be played in five sets, because over the last years, we had a lot of boring finals, straight setter... I think it would add drama to the final!

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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

I think women final actually should be best-of-five match...this way we would know for sure which player was clearly better, instead of which one dealt with her nerves better at the start. It would be more entertaining affair and I guess it would give grinders like Dementieva and Safina more hope of winning a slam...
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

Men should play best of 3 I get board with best of 5 sets they go for way too long.
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 07:22 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

Men play best of three. Mens tennis is a waste of space at the best of times little lone watching it for 4 to 5 hours. It would then be a lot easier to schedule the day's matches at slams and night matches wouldn't run till 4am in the morning.
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 07:26 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

Quote:
Originally Posted by danieln1 View Post
I think the grand slam final should be played in five sets, because over the last years, we had a lot of boring finals, straight setter... I think it would add drama to the final!
This wouldn't work. The women played best of three set matches up till the final at the YEC and then a five set final the last time being in 98. The players voted to have all matches best of three for the 99 tournament on wards.
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

The only place 5 sets of tennis is bearable is at Wimbledon, because the points are so quick relatively. Even then, 3 sets for everyone would be OK for me. I'd definately watch more men's tennis if it were best of 3. Now my philosophy on watching men's tennis is, call me for the tiebreaker.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 07:46 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

No, it should stay like this
The women have just to play better.

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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

Given that the men play best of three in every non GS tourney, make it best of 3 there too.

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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchieGirl View Post
Given that the men play best of three in every non GS tourney, make it best of 3 there too.
NO !!!
We would have never seen Rafa Roger last year ! This is crazy.

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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

a) woman have smaller hands than men so the ball with feel slightly larger and heavier
b) men have stronger shoulders than woman so serving for 5 sets is easier
c) men don't have to carry a chest around for 4 hours
d) a maximum of 3 sets means you can play more matches on a court in a day than a 5 set events, a match that goes more than 3 sets is dull to me and I would prefer to see more matches than 2 or 3 long ones.
e) woman are better to look at
f) if you attend a movie in the cinema that last 3 hours, does this mean it will be better than a film that last 90 minutes? NO Quality over Quantity.
g) hope this helps.

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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

thats what separates the slams from the MM/also ran events
5 sets is much better


the women have it alot easier, they get to play 7 matches over 2 weeks whilst in their normal tour they have to play 6 matches in 6-7 days to win their biggest title. (Miami/IW excluded)

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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 12:44 PM
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Re: Equality Issue - Should the women play five, or should the men play 3???

Quote:
I COMPLETELY agree that it is unfair to pay equal prize money for two weeks of unequal work
ATP brings in more money because it's more attractive to people, generates higher TV ratings, therefore men deserve to be paid more than women. It's really simple as that. Good work to present all those stats though.

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