#1 is the easiest to quantify. Some quick Excel calculations show, *assuming i.i.d. sets*, that the biggest 5 vs. 3 premium is when the favorite is about 72% to win each set. He is then about 81% to win a 3-setter and 86% in 5 (actual max difference about 5.3%.) That’s actually a pretty big difference; when you magnify over a tournament, playing several matches where you are 86% instead of 81% could really make a difference in your winning chances. (Note that top players are much better than 72% favorites each set against average players; the LOLN effect only matters a lot for them in later rounds.)

#2 is much harder (needs data) to quantify, but in every sport where it’s been tested, playing big in big moments has been a myth, right? You never know, tennis could be different, but doubt would be an appropriate state. Also, it could even be the player who is generally inferior who has more capacity to raise his game.

#3 is the one that most non-mathematical tennis players would pick out as biggest, and they might be right. 5-setters are really, really taxing. Of course, if you’re good enough, that’s irrelevant; Sampras was not considered to have especially good stamina, but won 14 majors, very rarely playing 5-setters to my recollection.

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