US Open champion Dominic Thiem believes that Grand Slams should remain a best-of-5 sets affair, echoing the views of Rafael Nadal on the subject. World No. 7 Alexander Zverev has also thrown his weight behind the traditional format, as opposed to Novak Djokovic - who said earlier in the week he would like the Slams to switch to a shorter version of the game.
The debate over the best-of-3 versus best-of-5 sets at the Slams has become a major discussion point in London this week, where the top eight players are competing for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.
Dominic Thiem, who scored wins over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal in his first two matches this week, scoffed the notion of changing the format at Majors.
“For me it shouldn't be an argument. The format of the Grand Slams is good. It's perfect for me," Dominic Thiem said after beating Rafael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic had voiced his support for the best-of-3 sets format during his press conference earlier in the week, stating that the idea should be explored to attract younger audiences to the sport. But with so many top players expressing their opposition to the shortened format, it is unlikely that the officials will change the status quo any time soon.
Alexander Zverev joins Dominic Thiem in supporting Rafael Nadal 's stance on best-of-5 sets at Slams
Alexander Zverev also supports Rafael Nadal's stance on the issue. The US Open runner-up, who is a good friend of Dominic Thiem's, claimed that the best-of-5 sets format is integral to the history of the sport.
“Because it's about the history of tennis. You can't change the history of tennis in this way," Zverev said. "History has already changed with the Davis Cup and it's not working out great, is it? This is part of the history of tennis, the physical aspect of the game."
"There are rest days between Slam matches. We focus our work on these things, that's why we go to the gym. The best-of-5 sets in the Grand Slams should remain forever," he added.
Rafael Nadal, who is 1-1 at the ATP Finals this week and meets Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday with a spot in the semifinals on the line, was vehemently against the idea of moving to a shorter format at the Slams.
"I am totally against it in the Grand Slams," Rafael Nadal had said. "As we have a day off between games, we must keep that fundamental part of the history of our sport. Playing five sets in the Grand Slams makes the difference because it makes all tennis players more physically and mentally demanding. It is something different."Published 18 Nov 2020, 19:02 IST