Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Andy Murray right about five set matches

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

Andy Murray

It's not often I'm in agreement with Andy Murray, but he's right to insist that England won't win the World Cup.

I'm only joking – proud Scot Andy loves the England football team.

But Murray did give his views on a very different subject yesterday and I'm behind him all the way.

The Wimbledon champion is totally against a suggestion made by Maria Sharapova that men's Grand Slam matches should echo the women's game and be played over three sets.

The Russian remarked: "It would be more exciting from the beginning of the match because you know that first set is extremely important. Five-setters are extremely tough on the body."

Tell me about it Maria – I struggle to get out of bed in the morning!

Murray disagrees, saying: "You spend more time in the gym putting your body through its paces to get ready for the Grand Slams, but they are the biggest events and should be the toughest test of a player physically and mentally."

Spot on Andy – why would we want to wave farewell to those five-set epics such as Goran Ivanisevic triumphing over Patrick Rafter in the 2001 Wimbledon final or the 2008 decider when Roger Federer's brave resistance was ended by Rafael Nadal.

They are sporting theatre at its finest – two tennis gladiators giving blood, sweat and tears to the cause.

No fluke results – the champion deserves his glory.

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