I’m a contestant of the Next Gen Finals event because of its absurd rules.
The youngsters have to play short sets, winner is the first who wins 4 games. If the players go to 3-3, they play a normal tie-break. The organizers explained this short sets as a help for the players’ fatigue, at it will cause less tiredness and injuries. But the next genners have to win 3 out of 5 sets. So what ATP is saying doesn’t make sense. Would’ve helped the players if they had to win 2 out of 3 sets.
Another one is the let rule – even if they touch the net when serving, it’s permitted. That’s total nonsense. So amateur.
The players can beneficiate from on court coaching. If implemented in the men’s senior Tennis, will kill the competition and individuality. As we see in women’s tennis, that doesn’t help the sport as a whole, it just helps the players who can afford good coaches. Above all, the players don’t learn how to manage tense moments by themselves.
A good rule can be that the players are timed in between each point, so they can’t take advantage of that and rest when they’re too tired. Fitness is part of the game as well and the rules have to be the same for all.
Next Gen Finals only has one referee on the field. All the lines are called by live hawk eye. That can take a lot of human errors away, but it takes from the human feel. The sport is a lot about the human interaction as well, so this could be a buzz killer.
To be clear, I have nothing against the players. They played some great, spectacular Tennis, with a lot of heart. These kind of events indeed helps them a lot. They will get experience with big events and learn how to deal with pressure. Also, the competition with their peers will only make them better. Financially is good as well.
I also have nothing against the ATP, as most of their decisions are in the best interest of the phenomenon. I just believe that it needs to be voiced, as we don’t want for the sport that we love to be transformed in an unfriendly and robotic thing. It’s like they want to reinvent the wheel.
But the decision to promote the groups as they did, with women dressed provocative and moving as well, left a bad taste for the Tennis fans and not only. Hope this won’t be a recurring thing. ATP is known for having an eye for the details and keeping it decent, that’s why I was surprised that this mistake happened.