Madrid Open 2024: Taylor Fritz & Ben Shelton team up, Daniil Medvedev & Tommy Paul make surprise pairing in experimental men's doubles draw

Taylor Fritz, Daniil Medvedev, Ben Shelton, Tommy Paul
Taylor Fritz, Daniil Medvedev, Ben Shelton, Tommy Paul

A revised format in the men's doubles draw is set to debut in the 2024 Madrid Open this week.

Taylor Fritz, Ben Shelton, Daniil Medvedev and more are expected to feature in the doubles draw of the Madrid Open. The Indo-Australian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden will be the top seeds at the event, followed by Marcell Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.

World No. 11 Alex De Minaur, Sebastian Korda and Alexander Bublik are also included in the entry list alongside Stefanos Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas was stunned by Thiago Monteiro in the second round of the singles competition and will enter the doubles draw alongside his brother Petros Tsitsipas.

Here is a detailed look at the teams participating in the men's doubles competition of the 2024 Madrid Open (via @DrawsTennis on X).

The experimental format will feature 32 teams in the doubles card, which earlier accepted only 16 teams based on their PIF ATP Doubles Ranking. This time around, 13 active players from the ATP singles circuit have also been permitted to feature at the event alongside a top 50 men's doubles player on tour.

With the idea of garnering more attention and making the competition more lively, players will follow a reduced shot clock system. This allows 15 seconds following points lasting upto three shots and 25 seconds for points above three shots.

The first changeover time or drinks break has also been elminated between sets. Players will be alloted a minimum of 60 seconds after the end of the game and 90 seconds post the completion of a set. Teams will be allowed to sit down only on set breaks.

Moreover, fans witnessing the doubles action live in Madrid will have the freedom to move around between rallies. However, the old rules are still applicable for spectators behind the baseline.

"It will be a bit more lively, nicer to watch, more entertaining" - ATP Player Advisory member Wesley Koolhof on doubles at the 2024 Madrid Open

Bopanna and Ebden at the Mutua Madrid Open - Day Thirteen
Bopanna and Ebden at the Mutua Madrid Open - Day Thirteen

Wesley Koolhof, part of the ATP Player Adivsory council, has laid down his expectations from the upcoming men's doubles competition in the Madrid Open.

Koolhof, who is a former World No. 1 in men's doubles said that it would be more entertaining to watch for the fans and could pull more audiences to the stadiums.

"It will be a bit more lively. It will be nicer to watch, more entertaining. That's what we're trying to produce, to entertain the crowd a bit more and to attract the crowd” Wesley Koolhof said in an interview with the ATP.

He also highlighted how singles players could affect the format in a postive way and had high hopes about the upcoming trial in Madrid.

"The [singles players] obviously are incredibly good tennis players, so they will find a way to try to rally with us and beat the net guy. If we are playing against singles guys the rallies will be a bit longer, more spectacular, more entertaining. So hopefully this trial will work,” he added.

Koolhof recently chalked up a title triumph at Indian Wells alongside Nikola Mektic. He is in the main draw of the Madrid Open, but has opted to partner compatriot Tallon Griekspoor at the clay court event.

The men's doubles competition in Madrid will begin on April 30. Top seeds Mathew Ebden and Rohan Bopanna will take on the Australian-American duo of Jordan Thompson and Sebastian Korda in the first round.

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