Play best-of-three in Grand Slams to keep top seeds fit, says Billie Jean King


Flushing Meadows

Billie Jean King believes that men should play best-of-three-sets in all competitions, including Grand Slam events and Davis Cup, in order to prevent the sort of injuries that forced Rafael Nadal to miss the current US Open. Janko Tipsarevic and Gilles Muller, nevertheless, yesterday joined a rapidly growing group of players here grateful to be playing the longer form of the game.

Tipsarevic, who beat France's Guillaume Rufin 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, and Muller, who beat Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 2-6, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6, became the seventh and eighth players this week to win from two sets down.

King's contention is that the modern game is putting increasing physical demands on players. "As a fan, I want to see today's players staying around longer," King wrote in The Huffington Post. "I am going to miss Nadal at this year's US Open and I think sports fans will as well. I still regret the fact that Pete Sampras quit playing at 31 and Stefanie Graf retired at 30. The sport is so much more dynamic today and it is so much harder on the players' bodies than it was when I played.'

In the 1970s only the later rounds of the men's singles at the US Open were played over five sets. There have been calls for a return to such a system, partly because of the number of mismatches early in the tournament. The introduction of 32 seeds at Grand Slam events means the top players are rarely stretched in the first two rounds.

That was the case as Novak Djokovic began the defence of his title here. The world No 2 needed only 73 minutes to beat Italy's Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 and earn a second-round meeting with Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva.

Lorenzi, who won the same number of games when he lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open in January, won only 35 of the 114 points in the match, including just six of the 29 on his second serve. After winning the opening game of the third set, having lost the previous 12 games in a row, he raised his hands in mock celebration.

Britain's Jonny Marray and Denmark's Freddie Nielsen won their first match together since their Wimbledon victory to reach the second round of the doubles. Marray and Nielsen lost first time out at both Cincinnati and Winston-Salem this summer, but were too good here for Italy's Fabio Fognini and Flavio Cipolla, winning 7-5, 6-3.


Get Adobe Flash player


Suggested Topics
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home