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I like the best-of-five. I think it gets very physical. It makes for a great show, says Tsitsipas

World No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas weighed the pros and cons of using the best-of-three sets format on the men’s side at the Grand Slams

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) hits a shot in his third round match during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) hits a shot in his third round match during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas has said that he prefers the best-of-five sets format at the Grand Slams but believes that if a best-of-three sets format was adopted in the men’s events at the Majors, there would be more variety in the Grand Slam winners list.

Tsitsipas was making the comments to the media as part of the pre-tournament interactions at the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Tsitsipas said, “For Grand Slams, best-of-five, I like it. On the other side, on the other hand, we would have seen much more variety when it comes to different Grand Slam winners if it was best-of-three, I believe. I very much believe that, the winners of Grand Slams would be very different if the format was best-of-three in men.”

The Greek believes that players such as Alexander Zverev and himself would have been Grand Slam champions by now if the best-of-three sets format was used at the Grand Slams. Zverev lost the 2020 US Open final to Dominic Thiem after leading by two-sets-to-love as did Tsitsipas in the 2021 French Ooen final against Djokovic.

Tsitsipas added that the best-of-five sets format favours the experienced players because it gives them a chance to work themselves back into the match.

“Alexander Zverev, who did finals in US Open. He could have won the US Open if it was best-of-three. You have my case as well in Roland Garros. You have many other cases. I’m pretty sure you can find a lot of cases where the loser of a Grand Slam won the third set or won the first two sets, still somehow found yourself losing at the end.”

“It (best-of-five sets) is a different psychology. I’m sure it allows the greater players, the ones that have more experience when it comes to winning Grand Slam titles, on fighting back. It gives them more chances to get back into the match with a best-of-five format. I like it anyways. I like the best-of-five. I think it gets very physical. It makes for a great show, as well.”

As a child, I liked watching these crazy best-of-five matches that went all the way to 18-16: Tsitsipas

When asked about the new tie-break tule at 6-6 in the deciding set being implemented at all the four Slams, Tsitsipas said he was indifferent to the rule, adding that he loved wathcing the long marathon fifth-set battles as a kid but acknowledged how difficult it coudl be for the players involved, especially the winner.

The tiebreaker thing also, I have no opinion on that. I don’t know. As a child, I liked watching these crazy best-of-five matches that went all the way to 18-16. It’s just fun to watch and see who is going to break first.
On the other hand you can’t allow players to play until 6:00 in the morning with that format because it happens sometimes. It can get quite exhausting The case of Kevin Anderson a few years ago where he beat John Isner in the semifinals. It completely ruined the final two days after, so…”

Tsitsipas opens his Miami Open campaign later this week either against American qualifier J.J. Wolf or Germany’s Daniel Altmaier.

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