Tennis: Sharapova Advocates Three-Setter Matches for Men, Wants More Women Coaches

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova says men’s Grand Slam matches should be reduced from five-setters to three, like the women.

The 26-year-old told BBC Sport the move would not only make the men’s game “more exciting” but could strengthen longevity.

Sharapova spoke in the build-up to this week’s WTA Tour event in Indian Wells saying: “It would be more exciting from the beginning of the match because you know that first set is extremely important,” said the four-time Grand Slam winner.

Maria Sharapova Wants Three-Set games in Men's Tennis.
Maria Sharapova Wants Three-Set games in Men’s Tennis.

“When you are watching a three-out-of-five-set match, the first set sometimes doesn’t mean too much.

“Five-setters are extremely tough on the body.

“Men have expressed a lot of concern, especially to the matches that last five hours, in terms of recovery.”

At present, none of the world’s top 20 is currently coached by a woman. Sharapova admits women’s tennis is doing “extremely well”, but recognises that very few females on tour become coaches after they have retired.

“I think that’s something to do with family and eventually wanting to have children, being there for your kids on a daily basis and being a supportive mother, especially from a very young age,” she said.

“We take family very seriously, so I think that’s one of the problems.”

Sharapova is one of the only ten women to have won each of the four Grand Slam titles.