Victoria Azarenka thinks men should play best-of-three matches in Grand Slams

Shane Bacon
Busted Racquet

One of the strangest changes in the rules of a sport is the men's Grand Slam format. All season the best men in the world are playing best-of-three matches, but when the Grand Slams roll around they have to completely change their mentality with a best-of-five format at the Wimbledon and the French, Australian and U.S. Opens.

Golf doesn't make majors 90 holes, football doesn't make the Super Bowl five quarters, and the NBA doesn't push their finals to a best-of-nine series, but for men's tennis, the rules do change.

Victoria Azarenka wishes this wasn't the case. The No. 2 player in the world was asked about the push for women to play a best-of-five format starting at the majors, but went another way with her thoughts. While she said she would roll with whatever punches the WTA and others decided, she thinks it is the men that should come down to their level.

Via Beyond the Baseline ...

"I think there has been a lot of talk about (women playing best-of-five)," Azarenka said after her first match at the WTA Championships. "I think we can stand by one opinion that all the women have: We’re ready to play whatever it is. … I just think that playing five sets can be very challenging for the scheduling. I actually think men should play three sets. It would be more interesting."

The tennis reporter battles with the tennis fan inside of me on this issue, mostly because I love seeing the matches go long and the guys struggle to keep all their emotions and mental anguish under wraps. These matches can last hours upon hours, go over two days and bring guys to pull out because they can't handle it physically, and to me that is a lot of what the five set idea is about at the Grand Slams.

In that same sense, the idea of it being "more interesting" is definitely true.

One of the crazy things about men's tennis is how often the names you expect to make the finals actually make the finals (or at least two of the four you have on your short list). In five sets, the cream simply rises to the top and upsets late in the second week of a Grand Slam are few and far between.

If the format went to a best-of-three for the men, it would bring a lot more names in the game that have the ability to win a couple of sets off someone like Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray.

Roger Federer and Andy Roddick have both said they think a move wouldn't be a terrible thing for men's tennis, but I expect this doesn't change.

Still, a cool idea to speed up the game, speed up the matches and give fans and viewers a better idea of when certain matches are actually being played at an accurate time.

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