Next Gen ATP Finals 2019: Everything you need to know about the rules

ATP Next Gen Draw Party
ATP Next Gen Draw Party

The top eight young players from the men's tennis world are all set to face each other at the year-ending championships, the Next Gen ATP Finals 2019. The five-day event will showcase the best men's tennis players of 21 years and younger who impressed everyone with their play in 2019.

To make the tournament interesting and exciting for the players as well as the spectators, the ATP has brought in some changes in the rules and the format. The changes are unique and could be useful for the future of the sport.

Here we bring you the details of the format and rules for the Milan tournament.

Next Gen ATP Finals Format

The eight players have been divided in two groups of four players and will be playing in a round robin format. Each player will play three matches, with the top two players moving onto the semifinals. The final standings in each group will be decided by.

  1. Most number of wins
  2. Most number of matches played (A 2-1 win / loss record is above the 2-0 win / loss record. A 1-2 record beats the 1-0 record)
  3. If two players are tied, then head-to-head record will come into play.

Four-Game Sets and Best-of-5 Sets

The Next Gen ATP Finals will have a shorter format with each set going to four games and tie breaker at 3-all. It will be a best-of-five set with anyone winning three would be the winner. There will be no advantage scoring, while the traditional format, which requires 12 games to win a match, remains the same.

Shorter warm-up and shot clock

To make sure the matches are not delayed, the match will begin exactly in four minutes after the second player has walked in on the court.

A shot clock will be used to regulate the 25-second rule for serving, between the set breaks as well as the medical time-outs.

One medical time-out for each player during one match is allowed.

In-Match Coaching

Unlike other ATP or WTA tournaments, the Next Gen ATP Finals will have the in-match coaching for the players. The coaches and players will be allowed to communicate with each other during the matches via head sets. However, coaches are not allowed to come on the court.

Towel Racks

In order to reduce the responsibilities of the ball kids, towel racks will be placed at the back of the court for the players.

Free Movement for the fans

In what seems to be an exciting experience for the fans, the crowd can now move freely around the stadium during the matches, making it more user-friendly. However, the policy does not apply to the fans sitting behind the baseline.

ATP brought in this policy to make sure that the fans are allowed to enter and exit the stadium however they want, without any restrictions.

Video Reviews

Video reviews are available for analyzing the calls of the chair umpires. The players will be able to challenge calls like double bounces, double hit or when a ball skims a racquet or touches a clothing. Players can also challenge for invasions like if the opponent's racquet or clothing makes contact with the other side of the court.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology makes its debut on the ATP Tour in the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals. Through the wearable device, every player will be able to collect data and quantify the demands of the competition and use that to better understand the athlete and make key performance decisions on the court.

The device will measure the velocity, direction, acceleration, force and body orientation among other things. The data will be provided to the players and the coaches in post match and post practice reports and they will also be able to synchronize the data with the footage.

This will help the player in improving his own game as he reviews the individual shots and measures shots per minute and how much energy he spent. Not only that, it will also show his weaknesses and will help to strengthen his game.

With the monitoring of the heart, a player can also remain injury free by remaining aware of when he is over exerting himself and nearing his limits.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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