Djokovic Argues For Grand Slams To Keep Five-Set Matches: 'Excites Players And Crowd'

Djokovic Argues For Grand Slams To Keep Five-Set Matches: 'Excites Players And Crowd'

by Zachary Wimer

Novak Djokovic has endorsed the existing best-of-five format at Grand Slams, believing it's very exciting for both players and fans.

The Serbian grew up in an era when the best-of-five sets format was used in more events than it is now. These days, the format is only used at Grand Slams, and he'd like to keep it so.

There were conversations in the past about possibly using the best-of-three format in all ATP Tour-level tournaments, but quite a few players don't seem to be in favor of that.

Djokovic is not opposed to innovation in tennis, as he explained at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships after his most recent win. He thinks it's good to think about those things, but there is a certain charm about having the four most important tennis events as best-of-five matches.

"I don't think so. I think they should stay best-of-five. The only thing that I'm maybe thinking it could be good to consider is the opening rounds that could go best-of-three, then you move into the hybrid of best-of-fives from the fourth rounds or quarters. That's just me, my thinking."

The 24-time major winner proposed a hybrid solution, which already exists in Wimbledon qualifying. The first two rounds in the men's tournament are best-of-three matches, but then the final is played in the best-of-five format.

Whether something like that would work in the main draw remains to be seen, but ultimately, for Djokovic, having the best-of-five format is simply more exciting for everybody involved.

"Five-set matches, nowadays you can only see them in Grand Slams, right? That's what I guess excites both players and the crowd. Most people love to see it. We as players like to play it."

There is also a personal investment for Djokovic in having a best-of-five match. Beating him in that format is incredibly hard, much harder than in best-of-three.


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