Bartoli: Best-of-five-set women's matches? Only major finals

by: Matt Cronin | February 06, 2014

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Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli doesn't favor women playing best-of-five-set matches in every round at Grand Slams, but she does not oppose the idea of best-of-five-set finals.

“We already for all the years had so many matches, it’s always a struggle, please don't give us five sets,” Bartoli, who retired last summer, told the BBC. “A woman just can't have the same physical abilities as a man. It's just not humanly possible. You can't ask a woman to play for six hours.

"I am starting to commentate now and at the Grand Slams I saw some men’s matches that were an hour and 20 minutes and hour and 30 minutes, so don't say to me that some women matches last 45 minutes and we are so lazy. There are some matches that go for two-and-a-half or three hours and it’s a lot for a woman. And we are playing all over the world all the time and putting our bodies to the limit and asking to do even more and to add two sets to that doesn't make sense."

Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber both said they would be willing to play best-of-five set matches at the Grand Slams, while Petra Kvitova opposed the idea. Bartoli said best-of-five-set play should be limited to Grand Slam finals.

"If you want five sets you can do it for one match, the final, I agree a woman can do it for one match. You can last for four hours or four and half on court, but is the quality of the tennis going to be good from the three and half hours to four and half hours? I highly doubt it, but if you want to put some drama into it and make it something special I agree we can do it for the final of a Grand Slam match, but to do it for seven matches, no.”

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