Thomas Sowell

Except in the big, grand slam tennis matches, men play the best two out of three sets, just like the women. Why should the level of skill in grand slam tournaments like Wimbledon or the U.S. Open be brought down by wearing the players out in marathon contests?

Players get worn out in another sense as well. One of the greatest tennis matches ever played anywhere was the Agassi-Sampras semi-final at the U.S. Open in 2000, where spectacular shots from both players thrilled the fans. Neither player lost his serve all day, and every one of the four sets ended in a tie-breaker. Yet after Sampras won a spectacular victory and went on to play Marat Safin in the finals, it was clear that Pete had little left of the great skills he had just demonstrated against Andre Agassi.

There have been complaints that tennis players have to play too many tournaments, in order to maintain their rankings. The men also have to play too many sets in grand slam tournaments. Both the players and the fans would be better off if the tennis powers that be lightened up on the schedule and the rules. The sponsors are entitled to make money but they are not entitled to blood.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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