Next Gen ATP Finals 2018: More rule changes and innovations ahead of 2018 Next Gen Finals

Leye Aduloju in ATP 5 Nov 2018
  • There will be more rule changes and innovations at the 2018 Next Gen Finals
  • The Next Gen ATP Finals is live from Milan from 6-10 November
Players will still be allowed to communicate with their coaches via head phones during matches. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

The Next Gen ATP Finals debuted in 2017 with several new rules and innovations, and the tournament returns this year with more tweaks to the already drastic changes made last season.

This 2018 innovations are not as dramatic as last year's changes, but they are additional steps in the ATP's quest to speed up the sport and cut down on the down time, apparently to retain the interest of the younger generation. Where better then to try out such new things that at a gathering of the sport's best young guns.

Most of last year's changes will be retained in 2018- the sets will be in a best of four games format, with no-ad scoring, no lets and a tie break at 3-3. Matches will be best of five sets. The players will also be allowed to interact with their coaches via head phones during changeovers, while electronic line calling, rather than line judges will be retained.

Electronic line calling, rather than human line judges will once again be employed again for the 2018 Next Gen Finals. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
The 25-seconds shot clock, which debuted with the tournament last year, and made its way to the main tour during the North American hard court swing in 2018, will also continue to be employed, while the players will be restricted to just one medical time out per player per match, again, just like year.

Spectators can continue to move around during matches, except behind the baselines.

The 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals also featured reduced warm-ups before the start of the matches, with the players allowed a five-minute warm-up, but that has now been trimmed to four minutes for the 2018 tournament. Warm-up begins once the second player walks on to the court.

Also, players will no longer hand and collect their towels from the ball kids, but will instead use towel racks stationed at the back of the court.

According to the Next Gen ATP Finals tournament director, Ross Hutchins, the towel racks were introduced while taking into account the hygiene of the ball kids, and to put more responsibility on the players between points.

Another new addition to the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals is the video review for judgement calls from the umpires, with players now able to use the technology to challenge subjective calls such as double bounces, foul shots, touches and invasions.

Whether these changes eventually make it on to the main tour remains to be seen, but the ATP certainly appear determined to push the limits of experimentation with the Next Gen Finals.

Next Gen ATP Finals is live from 6-10 November, 2018.

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Next Gen ATP Finals 2018: More rule changes and innovations ahead of 2018 Next Gen Finals

There will be more rule changes and innovations at the 2018 Next Gen Finals, live from Milan from 6-10 November, 2018.

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