Sets in Table Tennis Matches

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 1 week ago

Kenneth Tham

Kenneth Tham Asked 3 weeks ago

Dear Pingskills,

I noticed that doubles matches in high level competitions are usually best of 5 sets, whereas singles matches are best of 7. Is there any reason that doubles matches are played in less sets than singles?

Tables tennis competitive matches also tend to be shorter in duration than some racquet sports like tennis. Is there also a reason why the matches are capped to best of 7 sets resulting in the shorter durations to other racquet sports? Thanks.



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 week ago

Hi Kenneth,

I think the number of sets is really a reflection on the perceived importance of Singles as opposed to Doubles. Unlike a lot of other racket sports Doubles has never really had a high importance for the players.  I think this is changing slowly especially with the introduction of Mixed Doubles at the Olympics this time.  At the Olympics this year the Mixed Doubles is best of 7.

When Table Tennis changed from games up to 21 to games up to 11 they increased the number of sets.  At one stage they did trial Best of 9 sets but that hasn't really taken off.  We also tend to play more than one match in a day so having longer matches can be taxing at the highest level.

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