The format and rules of the Next Gen ATP Finals are unique to any other event on the ATP Tour calendar. Brush up on how this year’s event in Milan will unfold and the exciting innovations that players can utilise during competition.
The tournament has a round-robin format, with eight players divided into two groups of four. The eight seeds are determined by the ATP Race To Milan standings on the Monday following the Rolex Paris Masters. All singles matches are the best-of-five sets, with each set the first to four games (not six games).
The top-seeded player is placed in Group A and the second-seeded player is placed in Group B. Players seeded 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, are then drawn in pairs with the first drawn placed in Group A. Each player plays the three other players in his group. The winner of each group (best overall record) is placed in separate semi-final brackets, with the top player in Group A playing the runner-up in Group B, and vice versa. If two or more players are tied after the round-robin matches, the ties are broken by a tie-break procedure.
Semi-final Qualifying Procedure
The final standings of each group is determined by the first of the following methods that apply:
a) Greatest number of wins;
b) Greatest number of matches played;
Comment: 2-1 won-loss record beats a 2-0 won-loss record; a 1-2 record beats a 1-0 record.
c) Head-to-head results if only two (2) players are tied.
The third edition of this event will see the following innovations:
For the first time on the ATP Tour, players will be permitted to use wearable technology in competition this year. The data collected will allow players and coaches to quantify the demands of the competition, better understand athlete loading and make key performance decisions that are supported with objective data.
Wearable Technology In-Competition To Debut At 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals
Shorter Format: First to Four games sets (Tie-Break at 3-All), Best-of-Five sets, with No-Ad scoring
Shorter set format designed to increase number of pivotal moments in a match, while the best-of-five set format does not alter the number of games required to win a match (12) from the traditional scoring format, and No-Ad scoring.
Matches begin precisely four minutes from the second player walk-on.
A shot clock is used in between points to ensure strict regulation of the 25-second rule, as well as during set breaks, Medical Time-Outs, and the four-minute countdown from the player walk-on to the first point of the match.
A limit of one medical time out per player per match.
Players and coaches can communicate at certain points in the match, providing additional content and entertainment value for broadcast. Coaches will not be allowed on-court.
Players are instructed to use a towel rack at the back of the court to remove the onus on ball kids to handle towels.
‘Free Movement’ Policy
A ‘free movement’ policy is applied to the crowd (except behind the baselines) throughout the tournament. The policy enables fans to move freely in and out of the stadium during matches, providing a relaxed fan-friendly atmosphere and ensuring fans are not restricted entry into the stadium at any time.
Video review is available to further analyse judgement calls from the chair umpire, including the following incidents: double bounces; foul shots, such as a double hit or a carry; touches – when the ball might skim a racquet or clothing; and invasion – when the player, or anything he’s wearing or carrying, makes contact with the opponent’s side of the court while the ball is in play. Players were able to challenge any such calls.