Friday, August 30, 2013

Why are these matches so damn long?


Maybe I'm alone in this group, and feel free to speak up if I am, but I think men's Grand Slam tennis matches are entirely too damn long. Five sets? Ain't nobody got time for that. 

The best-of-five set format, though good for fans wanting to spend four to five hours with their tennis idols, is too much for the average spectator. We shouldn't have to waste an entire afternoon watching one match. Let's pick up the pace; get through one match in three and then bring out the next two competitors. Next group up, let's go.

I watched a match earlier in the week and considered changing my permanent address from Lexington, Kentucky to Court 11 had it gone any longer. Tennis is exciting to watch, Grand Slam tennis especially, so why am I having to take scheduled naps throughout so I can catch the end?

For perspective, instead of sitting through Ivo Karlovic vs. James Blake on Wednesday -- great match, though -- you could've walked from the US Open to the Empire State Building. And then down to the Statue of Liberty. You could've played 108 rounds of Ruzzle on your iPhone or caught up on all three episodes of Breaking Bad's final run. Better yet, you could've read every post in the history of The Outer Courts and told every one of your friends how awesome it is.

They say 5-setters are good for the elite players because it reduces the likelihood of an upset, I get it. But I'm not hearing it. Play three and if they lose, they lose. It's bad on their knees, anyway. Ask Rafael Nadal. Ask John Isner in a few years. Ask any tennis player with knees.

Again, maybe I'm alone here. Or maybe the people who agree with me are asleep in the stands somewhere while two unseeded players play a fifth set. Either way, the best-of-five format is too damn long in my eyes.

Ain't nobody got time for that.