ATP announces format of Next Gen Finals

The ATP will trial a new set of rules aimed at quickening the pace of tennis on TV.

ATP announces format of Next Gen Finals
Chris Kermode announces his plans for the 2017 Next Gen Finals alongside American teenager Frances Tiafoe (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)

The ATP have announced an innovative set of rule changes that will be implemented during the year-end Next Gen Finals in Milan.

The tournament will host the top 21-and-under players on the singles tour between 7-11 November.

The rule changes have been geared towards attracting younger fans to the sport with unique, high-octane product that is hoped to bring tennis into the 21st century.

The changes

Firstly, the finals will debut a first-to-four-games format – while retaining the best-of-five sets -- and will be without Ad scoring.

In an official statement, the ATP said: “The shorter set format is designed to increase the number of pivotal moments in a match, while the best-of-five set format does not alter the number of games required to win a match (12).”

Also among the new additions will be a shot clock, which will “be used in between points to ensure strict regulation of the 25-second rule, as well as during set breaks”.

Medical timeouts will also be limited to one per player per-match.

Matches will also begin five minutes from when the second player enters the court.

Additionally, there will be a unique no-let rule which is aimed at “bringing in an additional element of unpredictability to the start of points”.

On-court coaching, meanwhile, will be legal but coaches are prohibited from entering the court between games.

Spectators will also be granted additional freedom with the introduction of a ‘free movement’ policy allowing fans not seated behind the baselines to filter in and out of the stadium during matches.

ATP Next Gen star Alexander Zverev fist pumps after a recent victory in Madrid (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)

The race to Milan

The 19-year-old German Alexander Zverev currently tops the race to the year-end finals after titles in Montpellier and, more recently, Munich.

The Croat Borna Coric currently trails his German counterpart after a quarterfinal display at the Mutua Madrid Open last week.

Frances Tiafoe, Hyeon Chung, Ernesto Escobedo, Daniil Medvedev and Jared Donaldson are also hot in the mix.