Andy Murray believes women should play best-of-five-set matches to justify equal prize money at the grand slams.
Although there seems no prospect of any of the slams taking a step back after the hard fight for equality, it is an issue that continues to rumble on. It hit the headlines last year at Wimbledon when French player Gilles Simon argued the women’s game was not as entertaining as the men’s.
Murray does not think it is about entertainment but about fairness, and for him that means women playing the same format as men. Talking to the New York Times, the Scot said: “It isn’t about it being inferior.
As I see them, they’re two different sports. It’s not like at the 100 metres at the Olympics, not because they’re not running the same speed as the men. It’s just because we play five sets.
“I’m not saying the men work harder than the women, but if you have to train to play five sets, it’s a longer distance. It’s like someone training to be a 400m runner and someone training to be a 600m runner.
“I think the women should play best-of-five sets. I don’t see why they couldn’t do it. It would mean the days in the slams are a little bit longer. And maybe it doesn’t have to be from the first rounds. I think either the men go three sets or the women go five sets. I think that’s more what the guys tend to complain about, rather than the equal prize money itself.”
The final of the end-of-season WTA Tour Championships was a best-of-five set match between 1984 and 1998 before reverting to best-of-three. Only three matches went the distance, with Monica Seles beating Gabriela Sabatini in 1990 and Graf winning five-setters in 1995 and 1996.
Murray in quarters
Meanwhile, Murray raced into the US Open quarter-finals beating Denis Istomin 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.