Best of Three Sets vs Best of Five Sets in Men’s Tennis

There have been a lot of discussions about whether it would be better if men’s grand slam tournaments were to use a best of three sets format rather than the best of five sets format that is currently used.

Best of Three Sets vs Best of Five Sets in Men’s Tennis

Pro of Switching to a Best of Three Sets Format

  • Players will be less likely to get injured as they aren’t pushing their bodies as hard
  • Shorter Matches may attract new fans to tennis

Cons of Switching to a Best of Three Sets Format

  • The physical and mental challenge that winning seven best of 5 set matches is diminished and grand slam tournaments become more like the other tournaments on the ATP calendar.
  • Best of three set matches can be very short if one player wins the first two sets. Just think how different the 2008 Wimbledon final would have been if Nadal had won the title after he went 2 sets to love up against Federer.

Men’s Grand Slam Winners Over the Past 20 Years If Best of three Sets Was Used in the Final

If these matches were the best of three set matches then the second and third sets may have turned out very different but for the sake of this article, I will assume the first three sets played out the same way as they did in the actual best of five set matches.

Before researching this, I expected there to be more differences, but it would only have changed the winner a total of six times (two times at the Australian Open, French Open, and US Open).

Australian Open (2002–2022)

French Open (2002–2022)

Wimbledon (2002–2022)

US Open (2002–2022)

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