Andy Murray - Queen's 2023

Andy Murray voices his opinion on women playing ‘best of five set’ matches

Andy Murray has spoken about why he believes his female counterparts do not play best of five set matches at Grand Slam tournaments, as the former No.1 reflected on making a 15th appearance at the Wimbledon Championships this year.

Murray has often been positively outspoken when it comes to equality of the sexes, and he was no different when asked about men playing best of five compared to best of three for women at majors.

Throughout the tennis calendar, both the ATP and WTA tours play best of three sets and at a lot of tournaments women receive a disparity in pay.

However, prize money has been equal at all four Grand Slam tournaments since 2007 and Murray has voiced his opinion on whether women should play best of five sets to achieve it.

“If it was something that the women were completely against doing and they were being asked and the tournament were really pushing them to play best of five sets then maybe that’s a different discussion there but my understanding is that that’s not what it is,” claimed Murray.

“If the women were asked to play five set matches I’m sure they would be more than capable and more than willing to do that. But I don’t think it’s their decision … so that’s the end of the argument, for me.”

It has been 18 years since an ironically 18-year-old Murray played his first Wimbledon Championships, reaching the third round before suffering a five set defeat to David Nalbandian, and the British No.3 has reflected on how his life has changed since then.

“There’s nothing that really prepares you for that [overnight success] … I made my fair share of mistakes, obviously. It’s just this changing of your whole life. [One day] you can just go out to the supermarket, a restaurant, the movies, do what normal people are doing.”

He continued, “Then all of a sudden you do that and people are asking for your photograph and you’re getting followed by paparazzi and maybe your friends start seeing you a bit differently and you don’t necessarily know who to trust because lots of people then want a piece of you. Your family are trying to do the right thing for you but it’s new to them as well.”

“It definitely feels like a different stage of my career. Obviously I want to do as well as possible but there’s definitely less expectation than when I was in my mid-twenties.”

Murray will begin his 2023 Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday, when he plays his British compatriot Ryan Peniston.

Andy Murray at Wimbledon

Murray famously ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a home men’s singles champion in 2013, and went onto win the title again in 2016.

Despite his ambitions to challenge once again in 2023, Murray fell to his worst performance at The Championships last year when he lost in the second round to John Isner.

Here is Murray’s record at Wimbledon over the years:

Win-loss record: 60-12 (83%)

2005 – Third Round

2006 – Fourth Round

2008 – Quarter-final

2009 – Semi-final

2010 – Semi-final

2011 – Semi-final

2012 – Final

2013 – Champion

2014 – Quarter-final

2015 – Semi-final

2016 – Champion

2017 – Quarter-final

2021 – Third Round

2022 – Second Round

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.