Tennis

Wimbledon Doubles Rules – How Many Sets for Doubles in London?

The new edition of Wimbledon will have a significant change in the doubles format that will take effect on July 3rd.

wimbledon doubles rules
Men’s Doubles Final match on day thirteen of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Saturday July 9, 2022. – Photo by Icon sport

The Wimbledon men’s doubles will now be played as a best of three sets instead of a best of five sets after the change was approved by the All England Club.

The five-set format of the Wimbledon men’s doubles tournament has generated criticism in the past; the change, which will result in less time on court, may encourage more players to participate in the competition.

Benefits of new Wimbledon Doubles Rules

The tennis community has always had conflicting views on the pros and cons of doubles. Among the most hotly debated points are:

Time on Court

It is the most debatable issue and the main reason why the change to best-of-three sets instead of best-of-five was made. This is perhaps the main reason why the change was made as it is the reason for the other drawbacks.

A match that ends in straight sets usually exceeds 2 hours of time on court. But when the match is extended to 5 sets, the time on court can double. The last Wimbledon Doubles Final between Australians Ebden and Purcell against Croatians Mektic and Pavic lasted 4 hours and 11 minutes.

With the new changes, matches that end in 2 sets will barely exceed one hour. Those that extend to 3 sets will perhaps finish in around 2 hours.

Lack of Top Players

One of the reasons why we see uncommon faces in doubles is because of the complicated schedule that a player participating simultaneously in singles must adhere to. Inevitably, a player who participates in both will accumulate fatigue and if he advances to the final rounds this can have consequences in his performance.

Nick Kyrgios was one of the players to expose this situation at last year’s Wimbledon. Before playing the first round with Thanasis Kokkinakis, the pair withdrew from the competition. It should be noted that Kyrgios was a finalist in the Wimbledon Singles.

From this edition onwards, we will surely see more elite tennis players participating in the doubles at Wimbledon and the other Grand Slams.

Lower Audience

Tennis is one of the few sports where a women’s singles match generates as much expectation as a men’s match. When comparing doubles matches to singles, there is a big gap.

Fans are attracted to see the best players in the world in action, and since most of them do not participate in Wimbledon Doubles, these matches lose attraction. Not everyone likes to watch a 3+ hour duel between players who are usually not even in the top 50 in the rankings.

In different editions, we have seen interesting teams like the Williams sisters, and the Swiss duo of Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. Displays like these nowadays will undoubtedly capture the attention of more people.


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