Novak Djokovic makes ‘tennis is endangered’ claim as he changes tune about key Grand Slam feature

The question was posed to Djokovic at the 2021 French Open and replied: “I am more of a proponent of best-of-three sets everywhere. You asked me why. I just feel that we have enough tournaments, enough matches during the year.

“We have the longest season of all sports, any sport in the world. Tennis has the longest season from January 1 to end of November. Literally every single week you have tournament somewhere.”

Fast forward to Wimbledon 2024 and Djokovic was again asked about five-set matches at Grand Slams and whether or not they are important to the sport in this day and age.

The tennis great now believes it is an essential part of the sport.

“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 of the people love to see it. We as players like to play it. Maybe not that often,” he said.

“I think at times, to see an exciting five-set match, like, for example, the one that I can highlight, it was one of the most exciting matches I’ve ever played in my life, the five-setter against Federer here in finals of Wimbledon 2019. I think that was the first year they introduced a 12-all tiebreak. We used it right away the first year in the final. So it was an incredible match with some match points saved.

“If that match was best-of-three, yes, I was two sets to one up, I think it would be quite different, because he was the better player. When you know, even if you’re two sets to love or one down, like [Holger] Rune was here today, who is my next opponent, he was two sets to love down, still he’s not out, he can still win.

“I think if you’re physically fitter I guess than your opponent or have more experience than your opponent in best-of-five, it still gives you a sense of confidence and tranquility, even though you’re two sets to love down. Of course, there is a sense of urgency. You still feel like there’s still quite a lot of time for me to kind of bounce back.

“Throughout my career, I’ve had quite a few matches where I was coming back from two sets to love or two sets to one down. Winning record mostly, positive score in a fifth setter.

“I enjoyed those throughout my career. I think they’re an important aspect of the history and of the future, as well, of the sport.

“I would support it, particularly in the latter stages of the Grand Slam. I’ve seen there’s been quite a lot of debate on that. You guys have been asking a lot of players whether the best-of-five should be turned into best-of-three in the Slams. I don’t think so. I think they should stay best-of-five

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *