Tennis: WTA chief says women players 'ready, willing' for five sets at Grand Slams

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Women's tennis boss Stacey Allaster Tuesday insisted her players were "ready and willing" to play five sets at Grand Slams after Andy Murray became the latest to call for equal match lengths.

Allaster, chairman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association, said female competitors would be quite happy to play for as long as the men if asked by the Grand Slam tournaments.

"Ready, willing and able - all you have to do is ask us," she told AFP in an interview, adding that the major stumbling block was the length of time it would take at Grand Slams.

"It would take a lot longer to have our matches if it were five sets," Allaster said, when questioned about why women had not been asked to play longer matches.

"It's already challenging (scheduling) the Grand Slams with (men's) five-set matches. For us, we think three sets works well for our fans, and as we look at the consumption of sport it's being done in shorter form."

The debate over match length has increased with women now earning equal prize money to the men at the four Grand Slams.

Last year French player Gilles Simon claimed the men deserved more money than women because they provided greater entertainment.

And this month, Wimbledon champion Murray said men and women should play an equal number of sets, either best of three or best of five.

Allaster said "you would have to ask" the Grand Slam tournaments why they had not invited women to play longer matches.

She added: "Three sets works well for us but we've always said we're ready, willing and able to play five if that's what the Grand Slams want."

Allaster was visiting Singapore ahead of the next year's first end-of-season WTA Championships in the Asian city-state.

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