ATP Tour

ATP to trial new format in Milan

ATP Tour logo (File)
ATP Tour logo (File)

Paris - The ATP is to trial radical rule changes including shorter sets at the inaugural end of season tennis finals for up and coming players in Milan, the sports' ruling body announced on Tuesday.

The tournament, featuring the world's best players aged 21 and under, will introduce first to four game sets, with a tie-break at 3-all.

The best of five set matches "does not alter the number of games required to win a match (12) from the traditional scoring format," the ATP said.

Shorter warm-ups, a shot clock to curb time wasting, a no-let rule for serves and a limit of one medical time out per player per match are other changes planned for Milan.

Players will be allowed to communicate with their coaches at certain times, and spectators will be granted "free movement" during matches, except behind the baselines, generating "a relaxed fan-friendly atmosphere".

The ATP said the aim of the changes was designed "at creating a high-tempo, cutting-edge, and TV-friendly product".

"(They) are geared towards attracting new and younger fans into the sport, while at the same time retaining the sport's traditional fan-base."

ATP president Chris Kermode added: "We're excited to be bringing something new to the table with this event.

"This event is not only about the next generation of players, but also about the next generation of fans."

He stressed that the ATP remains "acutely aware of the traditions in our sport".

"We will be sure to safeguard the integrity of our product when assessing if any changes should eventually be carried forward onto regular ATP World Tour events in the future," he said.

The Milan tournament with $1.275 million in prize money runs from November 7-11.

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