‘It would be a mistake’ – Rafael Nadal urges officials to resist big Grand Slam change

Rafael Nadal press conference

Rafael Nadal believes it would be ‘a mistake’ to stop men’s Grand Slam matches being the best of five sets, adding that they add to the essential drama.

Grand Slams are the only tournaments on the regular tour that are best of five sets, but critics say it takes too much out of players too early in the competition, diluting the quality in the later stages.

Nadal, though, has surged officials to continue to resist the calls to reduce Grand Slam matches the best of three, saying: “The debate should not be here.

“You should look at it for what makes tennis more interesting from a fan’s point of view.

“I think the Sunday match [against Medvedev in the US Open final] was a very attractive one, and it was a long one. But we were playing for a Grand Slam.

“I am the first in testing things, but in a Grand Slam, it’s important that the tradition is still there. It makes the matches being remembered.

“In the end of the year, when you speak about the best matches, it’s the longest one, that was close and that had some drama.

“It’s a nice part of the game. It would be a mistake that it gets lost.”

Nadal’s win has seen him close the gap on Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings, and with the Serbian struggling with a shoulder injury there is a serious chance os usurping him before the year is out.

That, though, is not something that appears to be on Nadal’s mind.

“It’s not my priority,” Nadal said. “If I can be number one, amazing, but I will not necessarily do crazy things in order to be there again.”

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