This week we are delighted to have an exciting, innovative new tournament in the form of the Next Gen Tour Finals in Milan. As part of the event, the ATP have decided to trial a number of interesting rules (as detailed below) with the aim of speeding up the matches while increasing the number of pivotal moments in a match, making it a more exciting and tense spectacle for fans. (Anyone who has sat through a John Isner vs Ivo Karlovic snooze-fest will know the feeling of waiting 12 games per set for anything note-worthy to happen).
— Next Gen ATP Finals (@nextgenfinals) November 7, 2017
The top seven qualified 21-and-under players of the season (with the exception of Alexander Zverev who pulled out to rest up for ATP Tour Finals in London next week), plus one Italian wild card, Gianluigi Quinzi, who came through the weekend qualifying, will battle it out for a total prize pot of US$ 1.275 million. Played on a singles-only court over five days, the format for the competition will be two round robin groups, followed by the semi-finals and final.
In short, we have the future stars of the male tennis world testing out ground-breaking new ideas, some of which may be implemented, if successful, on the main tour in the future. How can you not be excited?
The trial rules include:
- Shorter Format – Best of five sets, but first to four games in each set (Tie-Break at 3-All).
- Sudden-death deuce points (i.e no advantages) – On the sudden death point, the returner chooses which side the the server serves from.
- No service lets – i.e play continues as it would if there was a mid-point let
- Shorter Warm-Up – Each match starts five minutes from entry of second player onto court
- Shot Clock – A visible shot clock between points to ensure strict regulation of the 25-second rule, as well as during pre-match warm up, set breaks and medical time-outs.
- No line judges – The chair umpire will be the only match official on court, and instead of a lines person calling and signalling that the ball is in or out, an automated voice will call balls “out”. For serves, the same voice will shout “fault”.
- Medical Time-Outs – A maximum of one medical timeout per player per match.
- Player Coaching – Players and coaches will be able to communicate with their coaches via headsets at the end of each set. Coaches will not be allowed on-court
- Free Fan Movement – Fans will be allowed to move around during a match (except at baselines).
Next Gen also brings the first look at the Next Gen experience of betting with Paddy Power, with extended cashout offered, as well as increased betting opportunities and an overall enhanced experience. With more than 10 in-running markets offered per match, we hope you enjoy the tournament.
A Rublev v G Quinzi: Set Betting A Rublev 3-0 – 13/8
Let’s call a spade a spade here: Quinzi would not be next or near this tournament had it not been for the wildcard he received last week. The likes of Tiafoe et al must feel slightly aggrieved about this, but such is life. The Italian has done nothing over the past few months and, added to the fact that he has stated he is nursing back and elbow injuries, all signs point at Rublev doing a clean sweep here and winning in straight sets. 13/8 to win 3-0 looks cracking value.
B Coric to beat J Donaldson – 4/7
Coric showed some great form last week progressing from qualifiers, taking down Donskoy and Struff before falling to Cilic in a match where he had a few early break point chances.
The very talented Jared Donaldson has had a great year but looks to have run out of steam at the year end. He’s lost his last four games, which includes winning only one game against Marton Fucsovcs a few weeks back, and we’re backing Coric in this one.
All prices correct at time of posting.