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Is everything "5 set" over rated?

  • Yes, they're no more significant than 3 or 4 set matches

    Votes: 7 29.2%
  • No, in 5 set matches you seperate the men from the boys

    Votes: 17 70.8%

  • Total voters
    24
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Discussion Starter #1
People seem to fixate on everything 5 set, 5 set records, coming back from 2 sets to love down, and so on.

But within that dynamic they often make no differential between different situations.

For example, people cite "5 set match record" to indicate mental strength, yet winning from 2 sets to 0 down is a lot harder than coming back from 2 sets to 1 down, likewise even easier is leading 2 sets to 1, and winning the 5th. But people talk about the result as if it's all the same thing? For me, I'm only interested if someone comes back from 2 sets to love to win, otherwise it doesn't mean as much.

Similarly, no one goes on about a players 3 set record, but surely that is what you strive for, the ultimate indication of not taking your foot off the throttle. People talk of Rogers so called poor record in 5 set matches for example, but I would be more interested in how many straight sets and 4 set matches he won.

Having played and won many 5 set matches may not be something to necessarily be particularly proud of. After all, if you were taken to 5, it probably means you didn't play as well as you could have. A routine, clinical straight sets win surely takes as much mental strength? Coming back from 2 sets down is impressive, because it means you win 3 straight sets on paper, and had the pressure of knowing you couldn't afford one more slip up, but then what about winning the 5th set after winning the first two? I wouldn't be proud, after mild relief I'd be pissed off I almost blew it and jeopardised my recovery for future match(es) by not wrapping it up in straights.

Long story short, I think people make too much of positive or negative 5 set records, and trying to prove or disprove a kind of perceived mental toughness. You could argue a lot of the time Player X was playing poorly, and showed incredible grit to even make it to the 5th set, or equally the winning of the match was actually way back in the first set (as was probably the case in 2012 USO final for example). People tend to ignore all 4 previous sets in favour of what happened in the penultimate set, but they influenced the end result just as much.

In closing, I feel that whilst 5 set matches provide great theatre, they are often not a reflection of perceived quality.

They tell no more about someone's mental strength than a 3, or a 4 set win.

When people pick out their favourite matches ever, they always go the cliché 5 set ones. But I argue also that tight 4 set affairs can be just as good, especially for example Agassi Sampras US Open 4 tiebreak sets no breaks.

I certainly know anyone who plays any sport wants to win as well as they can, all of the time. Of course its never possible, but no one wants to go five sets, and whilst it provides great theatre, I think most athletes would be prouder of a 3 set drubbing than a 5 set slug out.
 

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One set wins are the pinnacle of the sport - nothing like tennis so scintillating that it forces your opponent to forfeit.
 

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People tend to ignore all 4 previous sets in favour of what happened in the penultimate set, but they influenced the end result just as much.
:confused: :lol:

penultimate [adjective] : last but one in a series of things; second last. "the penultimate chapter of the book"

As for the actual topic - nonsense on many levels.
 

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Certainly, too much emphasis is placed into a 5th set win, if you win 6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6 it is more mentally demanding than if you win the 5th set 6-2 after tanking set 4.
 

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It's not possible to overestimate Bo5. You can perhaps fluke a win in Bo3, but not in Bo5. 5th set itself, dunno, depends on circumstances.
 

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Federer was attacking and approaching the net off puffballs for the better part of 5 sets, yet people here labelled the match one of Wimbledon's best ever finals. I can't overlook the obvious decline in all areas of Federer's game, but the longer the match the less the quality matters it seems.
 

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5 set matches are just circumstance, there's no formula behind them and there are a variety of different reasons why they happen. Ability of players in terms of focus and stamina, to court type and surface speed and even what the weather is like. A player's level will drop, or an opponent's level will increase. Something in the match could turn things around in a player's favour, the crowd could give a player a lift and there is also plenty of luck involved.

I see Bo5 as marathons, there is a different approach to them, as even 2 sets down a player is still capable of winning, that's an entirely different dynamic.

All i do know is that i hope they never drop the best of 5 format in slams as was and still is being suggested by certain media and ex players. Just watching the farce that was the ladies final convinces me of that.
 

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There were even a few people who said the FO semi last year was good, despite Novak playing one of his worst ever matches.

So yeah, I think some people do confuse quality and quantity. But when there is a high quality match that comes down to that final set? It's very exciting stuff. The Wimbledon final was fantastic, the amount of winners they hit and how low they kept the UE count was mighty impressive.
 

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:confused: :lol:

penultimate [adjective] : last but one in a series of things; second last. "the penultimate chapter of the book"
Rules don't apply to 2003.
 

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Well, on BO5 have more combinations of winning Sets to happen than BO3.

BO3 has W-W, L-W-W, W-L-W (3)
BO5 has W-W-W, W-L-W-W, W-W-L-W, W-L-L-W-W, W-W-L-L-W, W-L-W-L-W, L-W-W-W, L-W-L-W-W, L-W-W-L-W, L-L-W-W-W (10?)

So I think the complexity of it is quite different.
 

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I read the op, and I entirely agree with it, so much so that I have nothing more to add, except maybe you could make your argument more concisely and eliminate the slightly misleading headline and poll options.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well, on BO5 have more combinations of winning Sets to happen than BO3.

BO3 has W-W, L-W-W, W-L-W (3)
BO5 has W-W-W, W-L-W-W, W-W-L-W, W-L-L-W-W, W-W-L-L-W, W-L-W-L-W, L-W-W-W, L-W-L-W-W, L-W-W-L-W, L-L-W-W-W (10?)

So I think the complexity of it is quite different.
Exactly, which is why, as I said, the only real 5 set record I am interested in is a player coming back from 2 sets to 0 down to win. That does require mental strength and luck.

But treating all 5 set victories and losses as the same like some people do is absurd. It's the perfect example of statistics only showing you so much.

Infact, coming back from a set down to win a 3 set match is probably almost as hard as coming back from 2 down. Because if it's taking you a while to find your game, you have an extra set to find that next gear in BO5. As they say, 5 set is a different beast. More upsets and ballbashers are prone to success for 2 sets but not 3. So you see more upsets in best of 3.

Think of how different things would be if slams were BO3 sets. Fed would have gone out early in many of the majors he went on to win, as would Nadal. Assuming the players that took 2 sets to 0 or 2 sets to 1 leads wouldn't have choked under the extra pressure of their SP's being match points.
 
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