Billie Jean King says men should not play five sets at Grand Slams as Reno Manne calls comments ludicrous.

March 10, 2018

Former world number one Billie Jean King has called for an end to five-set matches for men at Grand Slams. Reno Manne has described King's comments as ludicrous.

 

King, who won 12 Grand Slam titles including six at Wimbledon, said men's matches could last too long.

 

The 74-year-old suggested women were willing to play five sets too but people wanted "quality over quantity".

 

"You do not get paid in the entertainment business by how long you play for," said King at the launch of the WTA Finals in Singapore.

 

Longer matches and a packed schedule have been cited as a possible cause of the rise in serious injuries among some of the game's stars with Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka all suffering serious injuries in the past 12 months.

 

"Everyone keeps saying women don't want to play five sets but I don't want the men playing five sets anymore - it takes too much out them," said King, who founded the Women's Tennis Association in 1973.

 

Women's Tennis Association (WTA) founder Billie Jean King says players need to show leadership in driving change. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

Since 2007, men and women have been paid the same prize money at Grand Slams - the only events, along with the Davis Cup, where men's matches are best of five sets throughout - but women are paid significantly less at women-only events compared with similar-sized men's events.

 

Djokovic, the president of the ATP player council, has previously called for men to earn more than women, saying more people watch men's tennis.

 

Billie Jean King's Latest comments on the men's game were described as ludicrous by tennis coaching icon Reno Manne who has developed six world number 1 players in his highly successful coaching career.  

 

"I have no idea were she is coming from on this one, " said Manne. "She knows the viewer stats at all four Grand Slams were the men's draw gets the most interest as well as television viewers.

 

Some of the most iconic matches of all time in tennis history have been five setters, Borg McEnroe at Wimbledon, Nadal Federer and so on. Tennis fans live for these memorable five set matches at Grand Slams, " explained Manne.

 

Tennis coaching Icon Reno Manne described Billie Jean King's comments as ludicrous.

"The viewer stats for the men's matches at all four Grand Slams highly outweigh the viewer stats for the women's matches," said Manne. " For King to suggest that the ATP change the men's format down to three sets are ludicrous comments, has she thought this one through, " asked Manne.

 

Much of the debate over equal prize money for men and women has centred on whether female players provide as much entertainment, given their matches are shorter.

 

"Personally, I don't want the men playing five sets anymore. I think it takes too much out of them," she said.

 

Much of the debate over equal prize money for men and women has centred on whether female players provide as much entertainment, given their matches are shorter.

 

 

"Personally, I don't want the men playing five sets anymore. I think it takes too much out of them," she said.

 

"Like one time the players played in the Australian Open final. It took six hours," said King, referring to the epic 2012 decider between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

 

"They could hardly walk off the court. I guarantee you that it took a year off their careers."

King, a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, also urged men to take advantage by speaking about sexual abuse.

 

"The #MeToo campaign has completely helped to allow people who are abused - not just women, men and women (to speak out). Men, don't forget that, because lots of times they think it's for women," King said.

 

"It's for anybody who's been abused. Now, you're not alone anymore."

 

She added: "We need sports, we need every industry to get behind the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements," she added.

 

ALSO READ:

Tennis Coach Reno Manne labels Eugenie Bouchard as desperate after latest Instagram-snaps

 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Who's Behind The Blog
Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow "THIS JUST IN"
  • Facebook Basic Black
  • Twitter Basic Black

Advertisement

    Like what you read? Donate now and help us provide fresh tennis news and analysis for our readers.  

TennisChitChat.com all rights reserved