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Scott: Women could play five sets

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:36

Since Scott oversaw the introduction of equal prize money at Wimbledon and Roland Garros two years ago, there has been a debate as to whether women should play the same format as men. The 44-year-old does not believe the length of matches should be changed, but insists the women would be happy to comply with any changes brought in.

Scott said: “It’s something I have discussed and have discussed with the players during the equal prize money debate. If it was determined the women should play five sets, or were asked to play five sets, players would support that.”

Scott, who is leaving his post at the end of this month after six years to take up a new position within American college sport, added: “I don’t personally believe that’s the direction that the sport is going in or that that’s the best format for television or for fans going forward.

“I think it would present all kinds of scheduling issues. But our position has been players are willing to do that.”

As well as equal prize money, during his tenure the American has overseen a 40% increase in prize money, negotiated the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of women’s sport – with Sony Ericsson – and helped set up the Tennis Integrity Unit to investigate the threat of irregular betting.

Despite claims women’s tennis is at a low point in its history because of a lack of star names, Scott feels he is leaving the tour in great shape.

“Certainly we’re going through a period, since Justine (Henin’s) retirement, of jockeying for position but there’s a depth in the women’s game that doesn’t come close to what it was six years ago,” he said.

“Six years ago no-one was talking about the depth of women’s tennis so, if history is any guide for the future, I’m sure a year from now there’ll be a completely different story and I believe we will have a player or players emerging at the top.

“I actually feel that’s one of the great strengths of the tour, the personalities off the court twinned with these great athletes on the court. I think it would be a mistake to write off women’s tennis.”

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