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to think women could play best of 5 sets too?

(32 Posts)
FuzzyFairy Sat 09-Jul-16 14:34:49

I'm an armchair tennis player. I've not played since school, but love watching it so I could be wrong about the physical capabilities.

However, I do wonder why female players are expected to only play best of 3 sets while men play best of 5?

I think it should be equal pay for equal play. It doesn't matter if the contest is finished in an hour or seven hours. It could still be equal sets to play.

Is the difference just an out-dated rule or is there a physical reason behind it?

WorraLiberty Sat 09-Jul-16 14:38:11

I'm not a tennis fan so I was just about to google your answer for you

Then I stopped and thought 'hang on, why doesn't the OP google for herself'? grin

Fomalhaut Sat 09-Jul-16 14:40:52

Sadly, even the very top women in the modern game would be beaten by much much lower ranking men (didn't serena hold a match with a guy at some point?)
I suppose it goes from that - although I imagine there's a lot of 'tradition' there too.

ApocalypseNowt Sat 09-Jul-16 14:47:13

Outdated rule I reckon.

Friolero Sat 09-Jul-16 14:47:28

I think it's a bit outdated, that in the past women weren't seen as physically capable of playing best of 5 sets, which I don't think is the case at all nowadays. The women fought for equal pay but it does seem unfair that their matches are shorter, and so they're more likely to compete in singles and doubles. Serena Williams is playing the singles final right now, and then has the ladies doubles final with Venus later on today. You never see that in the men's game because they've got much longer singles matches, so the top players don't tend to compete in the doubles as well.

treaclesoda Sat 09-Jul-16 14:50:13

I think that the organisers say that one reason why they don't change it is because they would have to change the entire structure of the tournament because they couldn't fit all the matches in to the allotted time frame if women's matches were suddenly made five sets instead of three.

Not saying its fair, but I can see their logic.

HootsMon Sat 09-Jul-16 14:56:42

Equal pay is about ensuring that women are given the opportunity to earn as much as men. You can't have the situation where women are not able to earn as much as other people in the same profession, simply because they are women.

Also, bear in mind that men only play best of 5 sets in the Grand Slams. Most of the time they play best of 3 as well.

Fomalhaut Sat 09-Jul-16 14:57:46

Interesting. I wonder if it'll change in the future? There doesn't seem to be any pressure from the players themselves to move to five sets (as far as I know) so presumably they are happy with the status quo

TiggyOBE Sat 09-Jul-16 15:03:17

It means that the women get to take part in the doubles competitions as well, meaning they're able to get more prize money than the men. I doubt the women players would want to play 5 sets.

twittwooery Sat 09-Jul-16 15:08:48

But should something stay the way it is because the it benefits women? This is one of those times where "certain" people spout the old chestnut, that women only want the parts of equality that benefit them. It could be argued that now the system is unfair to male players, because they get paid the same for playing 66% more of a game, and stops them from performing in the double somewhat.

FuzzyFairy Sat 09-Jul-16 15:56:08

Well if the argument about also playing doubles sands then it should definitely be 3 sets all round.

However, having just watched the women's final I think it would have been a more interesting match if it had been best of 5 as they only played 2 sets. Felt like they were only just getting going!

FuzzyFairy Sat 09-Jul-16 15:56:44


TiggyOBE Sat 09-Jul-16 16:15:28

I would like 5 sets each, but with Tiggy's rule.

Tiggy's Rule:
The player will win the match when they have won 3 sets, or 2 sets if they are 2 sets to nil with both sets being won by 6-2 or better.

In otter words, If it's an embarrassing mis-match just call it short.

Roussette Sat 09-Jul-16 16:18:25

I'm a huge tennis fan and find it ridiculous that they only play best of 3 sets. They campaigned for equal winnings yet for instance in the case of Serena won her semi final in 48 minutes.

I'd be pretty pissed off if I got tickets in the ballot and only got 48 minutes. And his is why at Wimbledon womens tennis doesn't do a lot for me. Give me a 5 setter anyday, it's just gripping.

I've just watched the Final, I fell asleep for about 10 minutes, woke up and it was all over!

Yes they should play 5 sets.

SpeakNoWords Sat 09-Jul-16 16:24:22

I would agree with playing the same number of sets as the men, in all competitions, just to knock this debate on the head. It comes up every year and is deeply dull. Perhaps all players could be paid a rate per minute, that would be absolutely fair wouldn't it?

twittwooery Sat 09-Jul-16 16:27:18

Paid per minute would be open to too much manipulation, imagine someone killing thinking may as well play another set

SpeakNoWords Sat 09-Jul-16 16:29:22

Sorry, that was not meant to be a serious suggestion.

twittwooery Sat 09-Jul-16 16:31:50

Haha sorry personality failure, very bad day. Perhaps should get off MN. I may be too crabby even for AIBU

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Sat 09-Jul-16 17:18:22

The fact that the player who lost to serena in the semifinal that lasted 48 minutes got half a million quid (a little more the £10,000 a minute) is pretty disgraceful!

Egosumquisum Sat 09-Jul-16 17:22:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CremeEggThief Sat 09-Jul-16 17:25:00

Remember that the vast majority of time men play best of threes sets too. Only in the grand slams (4 a year), are they expected to play best of 5.

CremeEggThief Sat 09-Jul-16 17:26:44

PanGalactic, she won and beat 5 matches to reach that semi-final and spent several hours on Court, so YABU with that comment. Still an awful lot of money, but that's not the point.

DoNotBlameMeIVotedRemain Sat 09-Jul-16 17:28:34

I think 5 sets is a slog. The men only play 3 in most competitions. I think it would be too exhausting for most female players. The problem in women's tennis is Serena has been so dominant for so long it doesn't feel like anyone else has a chance.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Sat 09-Jul-16 17:38:54

Creme, she would have spent way less time on court to get to that semi compared to the blokes. Last year Djokovic spent a total of 16 hours on court on his way to the championship, serena spent 10.5 hours on court winning the title! Not really fair.

Andrewofgg Sat 09-Jul-16 18:03:24

Please, please, nothing which makes Wimbledon or any other bloody tennis tournament longer than it already is. If you want equality cut the men down to three sets.

Or better still cut all matches down to one tie-break and let's get something more interesting on the box instead. Like paint drying.

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