Innovative New Rules At ATP Next Gen Finals Draws Optimism From Players - UBITENNIS
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Innovative New Rules At ATP Next Gen Finals Draws Optimism From Players




The decision to introduce an array of new rules at the inaugural Next Gen Finals by the ATP has been met with positive feedback from players.

Hosted in Milan, the end-of-season finale for players under the age of 21 is a stark contrast to tournaments that they normally play in. At the end of sets, players are allowed to speak with their coach via headset (although the rules stipulate that they must speak in English). There are sudden death deuces, no service lets and sets are the first to four games, instead of six. Meanwhile, the linespeople has been replaced by a special Hawk-eye system.

“I think this innovation is a good idea. All the players are really motivated with this tournament,” Russia’s Andrey Rublev said earlier in the week. “You watch the big stars trying to qualify for London and us young players have a similar feeling here. Competing with that feeling inside you is interesting. In some ways, this is a preparation for the future”.

20-year-old Alexander Zverev is the highest ranked player eligible to compete in Milan. He has chosen to skip the event in order to prepare for next week’s Tour Finals in London, where he will make his debut. On Tuesday he graced his presence at the event to play an exhibition match. Giving him a taste of what it is like to play with the new rules in force.

“When you try to play seriously and when you will be at a tournament playing semi-finals or finals, most of the rules will be tough to handle.” Sport360 quoted Zverev saying.

Two days into the tournament and some players are calling for certain rules to be implemented in other tournaments. Borna Coric has spoken out about his support for the net cord rule. When the ball touches the top of the net before landing on the other side of the court. In Milan all players are required to play let cords on serves.

“I liked the let rule, because it did help me a lot on the match point. It was really lucky,” Coric told after his match on Tuesday. “I think it should also be in the other tournaments, because I think we are having many arguments about what is it a let.”

The purpose of these new initiatives is to make the sport appeal to a broader market. ATP CEO Chris Kermode recently explained that the idea is to meet the changing demographics of tennis fans that will be watching the sport in the future. Kermode’s vision isn’t one that has been welcomed by all. Recently saying that some have accused him of ‘ruining tennis.’

“The reason we are trying these things out, is exactly that. We are trying to do things for the future of the sport.”

Some good, some not so good

As part of the testing, some rules will be praised and some will be criticised. Zverev’s own assessment of the tournament highlighted two areas that have impressed him the most. The introduction of a clock on the court to monitor the time between points and the Hawk-eye system. As for the other new initiatives, the German played down their significance. Stating that he wasn’t sure if the others would be implemented elsewhere.

“I think the shot clock is a good thing. The Hawk-Eye calling all the lines, I like that, but a lot of the other things I’m not sure are going to happen.” The world No.4 told reporters.

On the other hand, Coric remains an opponent of the clock. Arguing that it placed him under pressure in the match and made him feel more tired than usual.

“I didn’t want to get the warning,” Coric said. “Also my coach told me that sometimes I would serve and I had still 15 seconds left. So I just don’t like that pressure. I mean, it’s also good in some ways, because it does speed up the game. But I just need to get used to that so that maybe I can start my whole motion with seven or eight seconds left, not on maybe 15.”

Regardless of the argument, there is a growing consensus among players that the trial has been easy for them to adapt to. Relieving anxiety for both them and the governing body of the sport.

“The court looks different, no lets, roaming in the stands. It’s not easy, but I think it’s cool to try new things out. I don’t think any rule change is easy or hard.” Concluded Canada’s Denis Shapovalov.


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Jannik Sinner beats Danil Medvedev in the China Open final to clinch the ninth title of his career



Jannik Sinner beat Danil Medvedev 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-2) after 2 hours and 1 minute earning the first match win of his career against his Russian rival in his seventh attempt. 


Sinner has won the ninth title of his career and the third of the 2023 season following his triumphs Montpellier and his first ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Toronto. The Italian player claimed the second ATP 500 title after Washington following his two wins over top 3 players Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinal and Danil Medvedev in the final. 

Sinner has moved to number 4 in the ATP Live Ranking becoming the second Italian player to reach the top 5 after Adriano Panatta, who won the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome and Roland Garros in 1976 reaching a career high of world number 4. Sinner is aiming to qualify for the NITTO ATP Finals in Turin for the first time after playing as alternate in 2021.

Both players served well in the first four games of the opening set. Sinner saved a break point in the fifth game and held serve with a forehand. Medvedev fended off two break points in the eighth game. Sinner earned two mini-breaks to open up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break and hit two winners on serve to race out to 5-0. Medvedev pulled one of the mini-breaks back but Sinner closed out the first set 7-2 on his second set point. 

Medvedev saved three break points (the third with a forehand winner) in the third game of the second set to hold serve at deuce for 2-1. Sinner held serve to 30 at 3-4 and won the 10th game on serve at love to prolong the match. 

Sinner opened up a 3-0 lead with an early mini-break at the start of the second tie-break and forged to 5-2 with a service winner. Sinner earned four match points with a forehand and converted his first chance with a forehand winner to secure his 49th match of the season.  

“Danil, thanks for letting me at least one match. We have had some very tough battles, especially this year. Thanks for making me a much better player. I have been training a lot to beat you. My team are working a lot. Thank you very much and it is special this moment with you”, said Sinner during the award ceremony. 

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Iga Swiatek cruises past Magda Linette to reach the quarter final at the China Open in Beijing



Iga Swiatek cruised past this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Magda Linette 6-1 6-1 to reach the quarter final at the China Open in Beijing. Swiatek has won her 60th match in 2023. 


Swiatek set up a match against Caroline Garcia or Anhelina Kalinina. 

Swiatek did not face any break points and dropped just eight points on her serve and hit 16 winners to Linette’s three. She broke twice in the first set and three times in the second set. 

Swiatek has won her 18th match this year for the loss of three or fewer games. 

Swiatek has improved to 3-1 in her head-to-head matches against her compatriots. She lost her only match via retirement against Joanna Zawadswa in the first round of the Warsaw ITF W25 tournament in 2018. 

Swiatek has reached her 14th quarter final in 2023 and her ninth at WTA 1000 level. The Polish player has become the fourth player since 2009 to reach seven or more WTA 1000 quarter final in the same season after Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na and Serena Williams. 

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Dusan Lajovic beats Stan Wawrinka to reach the second round in Shanghai



Dusan Lajovic beat Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-6 (9-7) on Stadium  Court at the Masters 1000 tournment in Shanghai in their first head-to-head match since Roland Garros 2015. 


Lajovic, who won the ATP 250 title in Banja Luka last April completed the set of winning a main-draw match at each of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments. 

Lajovic broke Wawrinka’s serve in the first game of the opening set. The Serbian player earned a double break in the seventh game to open up a 5-2. Wawrinka pulled one break back in the eighth game for 3-5, but Lajovic served out the first set to love. 

Lajovic earned went up a break twice in the third and seventh games of the second set, but Wawrinka broke back both times. Lajovic saved a set point at 6-7 in the tie-break and won the final three points to close out the match in 1 hour and 53 minutes. 

Lajovic hit 16 winners to just 7 unforced errors. The Serbian player moved to 1-2 in his three head-to-head matches against his Swiss opponent. 

Lajovic set up a second round match against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor. 

Brandon Nakashima beat Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-1 7-6 (7-3) to set up a second round match against Holger Rune. Nakashima won his first Masters 1000 match since last March in Miami. Nakashima broke twice in the second and fourth games and held his final service game at love to seal the first set 6-1. Both players went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Zapata Miralles earned an early mini-break at the start of the tie-break to take a 2-0 lead. Nakashima won seven of the next eight points including three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Thanasi Kokkinakis beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Kokkinakis earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Fognini did not convert two break-back points in the second game. Fognini saved a break point in the fifth game, but Kokkinakis broke for the second time in the seventh game and held his serve in the next game to seal the first set 6-2. Fognini made three unforced errors at 4-4 in the second set and Kokkinakis earned the break after Fognini made his third double fault of the match. 

Kokkinakis leads 4-0 in his head-to-head matches against Fognini. The Australian player will face Hubert Hurkacz in the second round. 

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