Jannik Sinner conquered last week the Next Gen ATP Finals 2019, demonstrating that it is a new and attractive format. Andrea Gaudenzi, the next president of the ATP from 2020, has already dropped that he will be an open leader to evolution, which puts the need to adapt tennis to a shorter and more attractive format at the center of the debate For the hobby.
Tennis is living a revolution in recent years, not only with the entry of new tournament formats such as the ATP Next Gen Finals or the Laver Cup that faces Europe with the rest of the world. The landing of Kosmos, the company of Gerard Pique Organized since this year by the Davis Cup, it is also perceived as a notable turning point for the status quo of racket sport. In a recent interview with The world, Pique put the focus of the debate on millennials: "It is no longer just tennis, but it is hard for them to follow all sports more; then, everything that is long events penalizes. We have to make them more exciting, the young people ask for it, and that is why we believe that reducing them is the best, and in addition, the players will also spend less time on the track"
Russell Fuller, an analyst at the BBC, also places himself in this reformist line: “The tennis television audience is getting older. So the question asked in the ATP is if a young man who is now 20 or 30 years old is going to sit and watch (and pay to see) a match that can last for five hours"
It is not only businessmen and journalists who value the need for change. An emblem of the ATP as Andy Murray He also positioned himself using a personal experience: “When I saw Nadal-Del Potro (Wimbledon 2018) from the commentary booth, it was a great game, it was brilliant, but it was really long to see him as a spectator for the first time. That afternoon I had a meeting and I ran out of dinner. I don't think you can plan to sit all week to see everything. Many people will leave the games and will not see them complete"he said in an interview with The New York Times.
Other formats tested
The golden point, for which the game is awarded to the first to score after a 40-40; he match tie break, which turns the decisive set into a duel to the best of 10 points or the mini tie-breaker five points of the Hopman Cup have been other modifications to prevent the games from lengthening ad aeternum. For several years now, ATP tournaments – with the exception of the Grand Slams – play the best of three sets and not the best of five, which has also resulted in a shortening of the duration of the matches so as not to tire the spectator or take over all the television programming of the day.
In addition to the ATP Next Gen Finals, there have been other formats designed to bring the fan faster models of consuming tennis. Fast4 Tennis is a model that emerged from Tennis Australia in 2014 with several of the standards that have been used in the Youth Masters Cup in Italy. Nadal he checked it first hand with Fernando Verdasco in an exhibition in Melbourne prior to the Australian Open in 2015. Another model is that of Tiebreak Tens, a tournament that has been held in several cities in the days before Masters 1000 in which players faced each other in matches that did not consist more that of a tie-breaker, without games or sets.
Yes, the Next Gen ATP Finals are a success
Yes, as long as they don't add more sets
No, the best tennis matches are the longest
No, the changes have to be proposed by the players