The ATP have announced that they will introduce a series of sweeping changes for November’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The proposals, which include shorter sets, shot clocks and on-court coaching, are designed to make the game more appealing to both younger tennis fans and television audiences alike.
The Next Gen Finals are a new event on the ATP calendar, bringing together the eight best players under the age of 21 on the ATP Tour. Alexander Zverev is expected the headline the competition, with the likes of Hyeon Chung and Borna Coric also likely to qualify.
Tennis has long been searching for a format to rival cricket’s T20. Officials have proposed a number of different ways of attracting a new demographic to a shorter, faster format.
“This event is not only about the next generation of players, but also about the next generation of fans,” ATP President Chris Kermode said yesterday.
The proposals would represent a large overhaul of some current tennis traditions. They include:
Novak Djokovic, who will not be playing in Milan, gave a lukewarm reception to the proposals, saying: “In terms of introducing new things and new rules to the tennis, I think everything is evolving in life and sport does, too. Tennis has to be open-minded for these kind of new potential changes.”
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