‘Women have the same prize money, so maybe they can also play best of 5 sets’ Stefanos Tsitsipas thinks Grand Slams need format change

No. 5 worldwide Stefanos Tsitsipas was one of the few “Next-Gen” players who managed to show that he had the skills and talents to compete for the highest honors in tennis.

The 23-year-old has been making regular Grand Slam runs for a while and was one set away from winning the French Open 2021 but failed to do so.

The French Open final was Stef’s first-ever Grand Slam final and he faced the world No. Novak Djokovic who had by then won 18 major tournaments and was seeking his second title at Roland-Garros.

Although Stef went 2 sets away, Djokovic won the last 3 sets to win his 19th major and second of the 2021 season.

Tennis is one of the few sports to have equal tournament prize money at least in Grand Slam events, as Tour events vary.

With the issue of equality being discussed throughout the day, the Greek was asked the question on Media Day during the Miami Masters 2022 if he would like to make a change to the Grand Slams format for which he had his own interesting theory.

“I don’t want to be controversial or anything. There’s also the subject of equal pay and all, women getting equal pay for playing best-of-three and then getting equal pay for playing best-of-five. I do not know. There are also a lot of scientists and statisticians, whatever, there. I have been told that women have better stamina than men. I do not know.

“Maybe they can also play best-of-five, I guess. For Grand Slams, best-of-five, I like that. On the other hand, on the other hand, we would have seen a lot more variety in terms of different Grand Slam winners if it was best of three, I believe. I strongly believe Grand Slam winners would be very different if the format was best of three for men,” said Stefanos.

Stefanos presented his case at the French Open and Alexander Zverev’s case at the US Open 2020 where the German playing against Dominic Thiem won the first two sets but Thiem staged an epic comeback to win all 3 next sets and win his first-ever Grand Slam title while Zverev continues to wait for his first major.

“Alexander Zverev, who made the US Open finals. He could have won the US Open if it was the best of the three. You have my case at Roland Garros too. You have many other cases. I am 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 but still ended up losing in the end.

“It’s a different psychology. I’m sure it allows the bigger players, those with more experience when it comes to winning Grand Slam titles, to fight back. This gives them more of a chance to get back into the game with a best-of-five format. Anyway, I like it. I like the best of five. I think it gets very physical. It makes a great show, like fine,” Stefanos added during the press conference.

While the theory is true from its own perspective, such a massive format change would certainly require proper research and thought process, as the most important tournament rule will change. Let’s move on to Grand Slams and other instances to ponder the Greek’s recommendation.

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