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View Full Version : Why don't female players play 5 set tennis?


deep bass
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:20 PM
Just wondering, seems a little odd. Though I guess it would bugger up the scheduling at GS and the like.

Dementinator
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:24 PM
prob cos the organisers think the poor little girlies couldnt cop playing five sets ,which as a guy ,i think is total BOLLOCKS of course they can!! hell with some of the rallies in womans match they are almost as long anyways ,the girls these days are all very powerful and fit they can manage it!
TO be honest tho , 5 setters can be soooooooo boring! so why no 4 sets with a tie breaj to decide if 2 sets all??

GoDominique
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:25 PM
Because they don't have to.

Martian Willow
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:29 PM
So the men don't have to wait around too long for their match.

deep bass
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:38 PM
So the men don't have to wait around too long for their match.

Oooh, meeooowwww! Retract those claws before you do yourself a damage! :lol:

Martian Willow
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:44 PM
Oooh, meeooowwww! Retract those claws before you do yourself a damage! :lol:

I believe that was the original reason. :)

Martian Willow
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:45 PM
I read it somewhere.

jonny84
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:48 PM
They used to play a 5 set match at the finale of the YEC but that is now scrapped. Maybe do 5 sets in the finals of main tour events?

Joana
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:52 PM
It sure would be exciting to watch Henin-Hardenne vs Craybas or Serena Williams vs Foretz playing best-of-5-sets.

Calimero377
Nov 19th, 2004, 11:29 PM
Just wondering, seems a little odd. Though I guess it would bugger up the scheduling at GS and the like.


Because only Graf could play and win 5-setters.
And Seles before she gained weight ....

manu32
Nov 19th, 2004, 11:50 PM
Because only Graf could play and win 5-setters.
And Seles before she gained weight ....
and i remembered her victory (ies) in 5..sets....she was the first and the one to do do that.....

Doc
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:02 AM
The main reason is historical

100 years ago when the rules were set, women were considered too feeble and fragile to play 5 sets, or run long races, or do a lot of other athletic things.

Nowadays women run Marathons, pole-Vault and a lot of other things that weren't allowed years ago.

However tennis has stuck with three sets for women. Why?

Probably because 5 setters for women would make the slams hard to schedule. 5 setters are probably a better test, because a 3 setter can slip away so quickly, but most people seem satisfied with three sets, and they are easier on the players.

I'm glad the awful idea of reducing Mixed doubles to 2 sets and a Tie break seems to have been abandoned. That was so unfair, and there was no need to reduce these popular matches below 3 sets.

darren cahill
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:02 AM
Because only Graf could play and win 5-setters.
And Seles before she gained weight ....this is exactly true...didnt they finally scrape the best of 5 there cause someone complained that only Graf was fit enough to ever win best of 5 matches? seems the WTA did a lot of changing of formats when Graf was around...didnt they also change the ranking calculations to hurt her # 1 status as well?

by the way, my 2 cents is, the women dont play best of 5 now cause most of them cant even get on the tour anymore to play a tournament let alone a 5 set match. they need to get to the point where 1/2 the top isnt injured all the time before anyone can play best of 5

WorldWar24
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:02 AM
Look at the top players today! Half of them had serious injuries the last couple of years and are coming back

Clijsters, Henin - injured
Dementieva had a shoulder injury that caused her to serve like this
Myskina had a wrist injury a few years ago that almost made her quit
Serena still has a knee injury
Davenport almost had to quit in 2002
Hingis and Kournikova quit at the age of 22
Venus spent most of 2003 injured, and is still not playing well
Mauresmo is injured week in week out
Petrova had a career threatening injury in 2002

Need I go on? They DON'T NEED 5sets!

MinnyGophers
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:24 AM
and most importantly, 5 setters are extremely boring... some 3 setters between women can go up to 3 hours, so imagine 5 setters....
and since they are so used to 3 setters now, they can't just change it like that.

kabuki
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:28 AM
I think the men should play two out of three too.

AimeeLizAni
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:29 AM
I hate five setters.

fammmmedspin
Nov 20th, 2004, 02:27 AM
this is exactly true...didnt they finally scrape the best of 5 there cause someone complained that only Graf was fit enough to ever win best of 5 matches? seems the WTA did a lot of changing of formats when Graf was around...didnt they also change the ranking calculations to hurt her # 1 status as well?

by the way, my 2 cents is, the women dont play best of 5 now cause most of them cant even get on the tour anymore to play a tournament let alone a 5 set match. they need to get to the point where 1/2 the top isnt injured all the time before anyone can play best of 5
Steffi won 3 sets convincingly and anke won two convincingly - they seemed to have to take a set off to recover each time they won one. Imagine it would be worse with say Justine who looks worn out after 3 tough sets and has had awful cramp pronlems in GS SF and finals and Serena with a falling-apart body. Myskina could do it, as could Dementieva and Kuznetsova, but they could only do it if they started relatively refreshed as they all fall off form when they are tired going into the match. Might turn tennis matches into last man limping competitions.

The main reason is also probably TV and practicality - TV likes short matches . 4 hours is beyond Tv and viewer attention spans , you would see half as many matches and few tournaments could schedule current draws with matches 30- 150 % longer.

darren cahill
Nov 20th, 2004, 02:39 AM
Steffi won 3 sets convincingly and anke won two convincingly - they seemed to have to take a set off to recover each time they won one. Imagine it would be worse with say Justine who looks worn out after 3 tough sets and has had awful cramp pronlems in GS SF and finals and Serena with a falling-apart body. Myskina could do it, as could Dementieva and Kuznetsova, but they could only do it if they started relatively refreshed as they all fall off form when they are tired going into the match. Might turn tennis matches into last man limping competitions.

The main reason is also probably TV and practicality - TV likes short matches . 4 hours is beyond Tv and viewer attention spans , you would see half as many matches and few tournaments could schedule current draws with matches 30- 150 % longer.
well that match with huber wasnt her only time playing best of 5...she had a couple with navratliova, one with Sanchez and one with Hingis that went 5 with 2 6-0 sets in there. when it was a best of 5 match, you didnt bet against Graf, most likey she'd lose a set in there, but she'd more than likely take the last set 61 or 60

~Cherry*Blossom~
Nov 20th, 2004, 02:53 AM
If you did any classes in Sports Science, then you will know that the stress on the body of a female in 3 sets is the same stress on the body of a male in 5 sets!

So basically the men are being lazy as they only play 3 sets in normal ATP tournaments, which is like the women only playing 1 or 1 and a half sets.

GoDominique
Nov 20th, 2004, 02:57 AM
If you did any classes in Sports Science, then you will know that the stress on the body of a female in 3 sets is the same stress on the body of a male in 5 sets!

So basically the men are being lazy as they only play 3 sets in normal ATP tournaments, which is like the women only playing 1 or 1 and a half sets.
This is an oversimplified statement IMO. :)

~Cherry*Blossom~
Nov 20th, 2004, 03:01 AM
This is an oversimplified statement IMO. :)

It was apparently proven!

My teacher (a man) started a discussion about whether men and women should get equal prixe money in sports. All the boys said no because women are slower, not as strong and tire easier. So all the sports women do men can do it better. But then the teacher (using tennis as an example) said that tests have shown that women go through the same stresses on the body in a 3 set match as men do in a 5 set!

Greatest
Nov 20th, 2004, 03:11 AM
Just wondering, seems a little odd. Though I guess it would bugger up the scheduling at GS and the like.

1990 -- 16 year old Monica Seles becomes the first tennis player since 1901 to win five-set women's match by defeating Gabriela Sabatini 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Virginia Slims Championships.

Doc
Nov 20th, 2004, 03:29 AM
If you did any classes in Sports Science, then you will know that the stress on the body of a female in 3 sets is the same stress on the body of a male in 5 sets!

So basically the men are being lazy as they only play 3 sets in normal ATP tournaments, which is like the women only playing 1 or 1 and a half sets.
I'm sorry. This is nonsense. Women are often BETTER at endurance events like long-distance swimming. If it was true, women wouldn't be able to run Marathons ard compete in triathlons, often far better than many men. And a marathon or triathlon is at least as stressful to the body as a tennis match.

ics_seitan
Nov 20th, 2004, 04:07 AM
I think the men should play two out of three too.

Yeah, same here... I can't sit through an entire 5 set match.

JLDementieva
Nov 20th, 2004, 04:24 AM
I think they should still play 5 setters at the finals of the YEC.

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 20th, 2004, 05:45 AM
How about 15 sets of exactly one hour each? If a game is not complete at the end of the hour, it does not count. Whoever wins the most games in the 15 hours played wins the match, so all 15 sets must be played unless someone gives up (in such cases the player left standing on the court wins by a knockout).

A typical scoreline would be something like:

S. Williams d. A. Pushova 9-0 6-4 10-1 9-0 8-1 9-0 9-0 9-0 10-0 11-0 12-0 1-0 (ret.)

Just a li'l thought. :)

Junex
Nov 20th, 2004, 05:48 AM
I think the men should play two out of three too.


They do play two out of three.

5 setters only for the GS (& couple of TMS i think) & some finals matches in ATP events.

Junex
Nov 20th, 2004, 05:57 AM
I'm sorry. This is nonsense. Women are often BETTER at endurance events like long-distance swimming. If it was true, women wouldn't be able to run Marathons ard compete in triathlons, often far better than many men. And a marathon or triathlon is at least as stressful to the body as a tennis match.


I would have to agree with Honey here.

yeah with endurance alone men and women would be equal.If you can just imagine the longest tennis match in women lasted for 6++ hours playing moonballs and lobs the entire match, just imagine if these women played for the same length of time with the power play of Serena and Masha.

A man's body is designed anatomically to handle more power, strenght and speed.

swiss
Nov 20th, 2004, 08:53 AM
men play 5 sets only in GS and in final of masters series :rolleyes:
and that's enough :devil:
tennis is sometimes too long for TV and crowd ;)

ttaM
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:26 AM
As much as I prefer the WTA over the ATP, I think we need to ask the ladies to play better quality 3 set matches before requiring them to play 5 set matches. I've seen some men players have less errors in a full 5 set match than some top women in one set alone. I can only imagine how error ridden a 4th and 5th set could be for some of the top women players.

Doraemon
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:30 AM
I think Serena Williams will definitely be tough and muscular enough to last for five sets.

matthias
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:38 AM
because it would show the bad shape of many players on WTA-Tour

Dementinator
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:48 AM
I'm sorry. This is nonsense. Women are often BETTER at endurance events like long-distance swimming. If it was true, women wouldn't be able to run Marathons ard compete in triathlons, often far better than many men. And a marathon or triathlon is at least as stressful to the body as a tennis match.

I totally Agree! :worship:
Womnen today are different!
Some one like Dementieva or Serena are stronger than an average male IMO ,heck I am a guy ,reasonably strong, but no way could i compete with Lena in strength or endurance , ok i except that some male players are even bigger and stronger too ,but Tim Henman anyone? Serena or LEna could pulverise him ,so i think that the better fitter girls could easily play five sets ,the only problem is from my experiance some womens games can go on a long time ,remember the 49 shot rally in Lena /Cappy semi uso? so 5 sets would go on for ever ,they are too boring anyway but they do have an advantage of letting u back into a match ,Pete Sampras would often lose the first 2 sets of a match at wimb but roar back and take the next 3 in minutes! if he played 3 there ,,game over!
But no lets stick with 3 for both Men and Women ,I hate 5 set boreathons better 3 good sets !!

deep bass
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:53 AM
lets stick with 3 for both Men and Women ,I hate 5 set boreathons better 3 good sets !!

I agree. Thanks for all the opinions folks, I was just curious as to why women only played 3.

V.Melb
Nov 20th, 2004, 10:13 AM
Dont tell me Some of the more recognised WTA players could handle 5 set matches... one after the other...
lets not discuss every question in terms of Serena Williams and the rest of the top 10... realisticly... it is the rest of the top 100 which will also be playing the 5 setters ... and quite frankly... they couldn't handle it.
Tamarine Tanasugarn (displays poor fitness in 3 sets let alone 5!)
Petra Mandula (seen her spray balls everywhere in 3rd set of her matches... footwork completely deteriorated)
Anna Smashnova (her game style would see her have a cardiac arrest if she played 5 sets)
... females... in general have error littered matches compared to men... they play with less spin and typically, they would not improve the level of their play throughout a 5 set match. I could imagine an average outside courts womens match... say Cervanova vs. Kapros... 3-3 in the 5th set... balls being sprayed everywhere.. shocking footwork.... poor tennis.

Women should stick to 3 sets.

Duramont
Nov 20th, 2004, 10:26 AM
5 matches are definitively too long. :o That's my opinion.

It is ridiculous than male players stand more than 5 hours on the court in a Grand Slam match (like Santoro and Clément).
And in some Grand Slams instead of tiebreak in the fifth set the winner have to be two games leading in Wimbledon for example. And this is one of the reasons that on rainy days they are forced to delay many matches. So some players have to finish their match the next day or play two matches in one day.

I'm against the fifth set matches at the ATP tour and please don't introduce it one day in the WTA matches! :rolleyes:
Than Wimbledon will be three weeks long! :lol: :lol:

houseoflords
Nov 20th, 2004, 10:31 AM
I'm glad they don't play best of 5 sets. 3 set Maria Kirilenko matches are ahr enough on my heart and voice. 5 setters would give me a heart attack

Brian Stewart
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:03 PM
The women used to play best of 5 in the early days. But, as already mentioned, men scheduled after a women's match would complain about having to wait, and the powers-that-be decided to cut the women back to best of 3, so as not to hold up the "important" matches.

Since then, the women have developed a more labor-intensive style, with more punishing rallies. Look at the Capriati/Hingis Oz final a couple of years ago. A 3 set match in brutal 120-degree heat, in which the points averaged 11 strokes. Nobody can play 5 sets of that, especially as it was the WTA-standard full court rally, and not what you see, for example, on clay where 2 guys retreat into opposite corners and proceed to hit a series of topspin crosscourt shots back and forth.

If you ever get a chance, check out some of the 5 set men's scores from the early 20th century, before big serves became more common. You see a lot of tanked sets in there. It was not unusual to see a 5 set match in which the eventual winner dropped the 2nd and 4th sets 6-0 or 6-1. Thus, even though the match went 5 sets, you only had both players putting forth a serious effort in 3 of them.

Little known detail even most tennis writers are unaware of: back in the "old days", players got to take a break after the 3rd set, where they could shower, get a massage, change clothes, and even grab a snack. Not either/or, but all of the above. Even in Davis Cup.

WorldWar24
Nov 20th, 2004, 01:37 PM
Some peope said that women couldn't take it if they had to play 5 sets. That's not true coz women have better endurance than men, they have 5-10% more body fat which they start burning after a while. That explains why women are better at marathons and beat men when swimming log distances.

But that is endurance, and we DO NOT want a tennis match to be about endurance. If we want to have a well played match, 3sets is enough. 5sets could give us some thrilling matches, but they would not be very well played

And like I said before int his thread, the wta players are already falling apart physically, how would they play 25-28 events like many still play, with 5 set matches?

Spunky83
Nov 20th, 2004, 01:45 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but wasn´t there a best of five tourney in the not long ago past? I am not talking about YEC, but I think there has been one?

cmon
Nov 20th, 2004, 02:27 PM
The 3 set format is one of the main reasons that I support the WTA ahead of the ATP. Tennis is a great sport but the mens matchs when they go to five drag on too long!

Serena+LenaDrule
Nov 20th, 2004, 02:54 PM
besides.....5 setters will mùean that the fittest win which isn't that fair.

fammmmedspin
Nov 20th, 2004, 03:16 PM
Little known detail even most tennis writers are unaware of: back in the "old days", players got to take a break after the 3rd set, where they could shower, get a massage, change clothes, and even grab a snack. Not either/or, but all of the above. Even in Davis Cup.

:eek: :eek: :confused: :confused: :lol:
You can just see Serena dashing off to design a new dress for the last 2 sets while Justine is whisked onto a drip. Meanwhile Nastya pounds her coach into pulp and Vera gets through 101 boxes of Kleenex. Jen might break the record for most consecutive swear words uttered as she sits there for hours waiting.

GoDominique
Nov 20th, 2004, 03:51 PM
Nobody can play 5 sets of that, especially as it was the WTA-standard full court rally, and not what you see, for example, on clay where 2 guys retreat into opposite corners and proceed to hit a series of topspin crosscourt shots back and forth.
This type of "guys" you are mentioning is rarely seen nowadays though.

I do know about the break during 5-set matches, although I only remember it happening in Davis-Cup.

One thing is true of course: The men are used to play best of 5, so they have adjusted their game to it.
The women are not, so it would be almost impossible to have them play best of 5 today.
Big serves are helpful for the men too of course, although much less on clay for example.
So fitness is definitely a factor too.