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ATP will test new doubles format in Madrid

ATP will test new doubles format in Madrid

ATP has announced a trial of a new doubles format across the 2024 ATP Tour season, in a bid to enhance the product for fans, players and tournaments. The process begins this month with format changes at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Madrid. 

The trial aims to increase the exposure and marketing appeal of the doubles game by creating new narratives and storylines for fans, a better on-site experience at tournaments and enhanced product for broadcast.

Ross Hutchins, ATP Chief Tour Officer, said: “As a Tour we believe there’s untapped potential in today’s doubles game. We know it can add huge entertainment value, but it requires fresh storytelling to connect with fans. The trialing of new formats and rules allows us to stay agile and explore ways to enhance the product. This has been a highly collaborative initiative already, and we would like to thank Madrid for stepping up to provide the first testing ground this season."

Source: ATP Tour

Changes being trialed at the 2024 Mutua Madrid Open include:

  • More Singles vs. Doubles action. The 32-team draw will feature up to 16 slots reserved for teams entering via their singles ranking, creating an unprecedented number of matchups between the world’s top doubles and singles players, and compelling new narratives for fans.
  • Streamlined schedule over five days (Tuesday to Saturday) during Week Two of the tournament, providing a simpler and sharper schedule for fans and players.
  • Reduced shot clock to accelerate the pace of play and minimise downtime during matches. Time between points will be reduced to 15 seconds following rallies shorter than four shots (four or more shots = 25 seconds).
  • Quicker changeovers with fewer sit-downs to accelerate the pace of play.
  • Free fan movement in the arena during play, adding convenience to the on-site experience.

Matthew Ebden, World No. 2 doubles player and President of the ATP Player Advisory Council, said: “Doubles has so much to offer fans and the atmosphere it can create when presented in the right way is phenomenal. That said, we as players recognise that more needs to be done to put our best foot forward. I’d like to commend my colleagues from across the ATP for taking this on and adding great new concepts into the mix. A lot of time, thought and care has gone into this process, and it’s been a privilege to play my part.”

The trial follows extensive review and consultation with fans, broadcasters and stakeholders within tennis. The process has been spearheaded by a dedicated doubles working group, established in 2023, featuring both player and tournament representatives and ATP staff.

Format changes will be tested at select events over the 2024 ATP Tour season —more details are forthcoming soon.


Source: ATP Tour. Top Photo: ATP Tour.

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