During the ATP Finals, many tennis players were asked about the possibility of also playing the Grand Slam tournaments in the best of three sets. According to many experts, to win over more audiences and allow tennis to continue to be one of the most popular sports, it would be right to speed up match times and propose something different.
These opinions, however, clash with those who think that tennis should at least maintain its traditions in the Grand Slams. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, two of the biggest representatives of the Tour, have expressed conflicting thoughts.
“I am in favor of playing the best of three sets in any tournament despite the fact that Grand Slam tournaments have always been a best of five,” explained Djokovic. “Historically it has always been like this, but if there is a possibility of change why not consider it.
I think we already have many tournaments and competitions throughout the year, we have the longest season of any other sport." Nadal, for his part, prefers to leave things as they are. “I am totally opposed to shortening Grand Slam tournaments to best of three sets.
The current format, which allows you to win if you get three sets in one match, makes these tournaments special. This is the story of our sport. To win a slam tournament, you have to be stronger mentally and physically."
How many slams would have won the Big 3 fewer in the best of three sets?
To analyze this new proposal in detail, it is correct to also rely on the numbers and answer the question: how many Slams would the Big Three have won less with a different scoring system? Let's start with Roger Federer.
The Swiss champion has won 20 majors over the course of his career. With best-of-three matches, he would lose in the round of 16 at Roland Garros 2009 to Haas 7-6, 7-5 and in the third round of Wimbledon 2012 to Benneteau 6-4, 7-6.
Also Nadal would find himself with two slams less following this logic: Wimbledon 2010 and Roland Garros 2011. In the first case he would have left London in the second round losing against Haase 7-5, 2-6, 6-3; in the second Paris even in the first round against Isner with the score of 4-6, 7-6, 7-6.
The most penalized, despite the opinion expressed last week, would be Djokovic himself. The Serbian would end up with two Australian Open, three Wimbledon and one US Open less. In Australia he would have lost in 2012 in the semifinals with Murray and in 2020 in the final with Thiem.
On the grass of the All England Club in 2014 and 2015, respectively against Cilic in the quarter-finals and Anderson in the round of 16. Recall that in both editions he then beat Federer in the final, And finally he would have surrendered at the US Open 2011 in the semifinals against Federer.