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“Maybe that’s something we can think about” – Mauresmo on best-of-five sets women’s final

A former world No 1 and two-time Grand Slam winner, Mauresmo said she was sad to see the WTA Finals stop using the best-of-five sets format in the final before she came on to the tour

Amelie Mauresmo during Roland-Garros 2022 Image Credit: Aurelien Morissard / Panoramic Amelie Mauresmo during Roland-Garros 2022 Image Credit: Aurelien Morissard / Panoramic

The debate between equal prize money for men’s tennis and women’s tennis is often intertwined with the argument over the best-of-three sets vs. best-of-five sets format. Critics of women’s tennis have argued that the shorter format for women’s matches does not justify the equal prize money while others have pushed for the men to adapt to a best-of-three format given the dwindling attention spans of the current generation.

On the back of that debate, Roland-Garros Tournament Director, Amelie Mauresmo, a former world No 1 and two-time Grand Slam winner herself, says she thinks women’s tennis would benefit from using a best-of-five sets format for a Slam final.

Speaking to the media before Rafael Nadal picked up his record-extending 14th French Open title, Mauresmo said the best-of-five sets format gives matches a whole different flavour and gives players more time and chances to display their best tennis.

“If you are one set down (in the best-of-three), you are a bit stuck. There are so many things that have to be factored in. And then you can say, Okay, it’s a best-of-five. It will give me more time. That’s what I was thinking about as a player. At the time I was thinking it would give me more time to roll out my game, perhaps to manage tension and stress. It’s a different match altogether compared to the other ones,” Mauresmo said.

“That’s always something I was thinking about. It was never decided, neither for the Masters (WTA Finals) nor for the women’s Grand Slams. But why not? Why not think about doing this one day? I think that women’s tennis would perhaps benefit from that, if it was the best-of-five. This is what men do. We see them perhaps for longer hours, and maybe that’s how we look at them in a more endearing way. Maybe that’s something we can think about.”

“That’s what I would have loved” – Mauresmo says she was sad that WTA Finals stopped suing best-of-five sets format for the final

Mauresmo added that she was very disappointed that the season-ending WTA Finals had stopped using the best-of-five sets format for the final round before she came on to the tour and that she would have relished the chance to play the longer format.

“Well, when I was playing, I can tell you, I would have played five sets, the Masters (WTA Finals). When I arrived, I think they had stopped that perhaps a couple of years before. That is the Masters Finals (WTA Finals) in five sets. I was so sad. That’s what I would have loved. Now being the director of Roland Garros, I’m not even talking about of Roland Garros today, it was in my head 20 years ago when I was playing. I always thought that for many reasons that this could help us.”

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