Paris: One of the toughest competitors during her day, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario said it would be interesting if the WTA finals went back to playing the title round in best-of-five sets. The three-time French Open champion, who was announced as the ambassador for the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore, had competed in the final of the WTA Championships in 1993 in the best-of-five format against Steffi Graf and lost 1–6, 4–6, 6–3, 1–6. “I don’t know if it was the most tiring final because I have played a few tough three-hour matches at Roland Garros, but it was definitely the longest,” Sanchez-Vicario said here yesterday.
“For me it was not a problem, the longer the match the better it used to be for me. Even though I lost to Steffi in the final, it was a great match for me. “I don’t know how the current players feel about it, but I would like to see a best-of-five final. It will be interesting. But of course the WTA has to work out the details and if it will work if it happens in only one tournament during the year.”
The season-ending championships features the top eight players of the year, who compete in a round robin format before progressing to the semi-final. The debate around having five sets in women’s tennis has been around for some time now, especially since all the Grand Slams now have equal pay for men’s and women’s competitors. While the majors still adhere to the best-of-five format for men’s, all the ATP tour events, including the Masters, have reduced the work load on the players by converting to three sets. “The game of course has become a lot more physical now. All the girls are big, strong and powerful, so maybe they can do it,” she added.