The first edition of the ATP Next Gen will be a special one. ATP has been thinking of introducing experimentally new rules for the tennis game.
Next Gen is a competition for players of 21 years and the first edition will be hosted by Milan. The tournament will be played on the ATP Finals London format, with two groups of four players, the semifinals and the final.
The new rules, adopted after extensive ATP research among fans, are made to increase the attractiveness of tennis as an experience for both spectators and TV viewers.
Here are the new rules for ATP Next Gen:
- Sets will be shorter – best out of four games. Tiebreaks will be played at 3-3.
- The winner will be the best out of five sets (like in a Grand Slam) but with shorter sets. However, the number of games required to win the match will remain the same.
- No Ad-Scoring.
- Five minutes warm-up then the match begins – shorter warm up.
- Shot clock on the serve. The players will have only 25 seconds for both serves.
- No Let rule on serves. This means that the umpire will no longer call lets serves, which will give a much entertaining game play (really?)
- One short medical timeout per match.
- Players and coaches will be able to communicate with each other at some point during the match, but the coaches will not be allowed on court (!)
- Live Hawk Eye – no more line umpires. The HawkEye will do the job.
- Free movements for the public during games. The public will be free to walk in and out of the arena, except for the baselines.
The Next Gen finals are just an experiment. After this tournament, the ATP will decide when and how to implement the new rules, some of which seem simply stupid.
The draw ceremony was also controversial and an apology was issued by the ATP, later in the day. So, it started badly.
Another premiere is that Amazon Prime has decided to broadcast the tournament live online, for its customers. It’s the first time Amazon ventures into sports live streaming and we hope we’ll see more from them in the following years.
Obviously, there are other possibilities to watch live the Next Gen ATP:
Overall, the Next Gen will be an interesting event.