The ATP and WTA have teamed up to address the issue of matches concluding late at night on their respective tours. Additionally, there will be a focus on enhancing the consistency of balls utilized throughout the tours.
The frequency of late-night finishes especially matches finishing after midnight, has significantly increased in recent years. This problem which has arisen due to the increase in average match length has negatively impacted the fans and players.
Rublev: "[To get to sleep after a match like this] First of all I have dinner, treatment, arrive to the hotel, take a shower… I will go to sleep at 4, 5? Crazy. Amazing schedule, thank you! I am in the council of ATP and… ATP, we are together!" 😄👍pic.twitter.com/GLWLdWN1lt— Relevant Tennis (@RelevantTennis) November 4, 2023
The ATP and WTA have devised new rules and regulations to solve the issue with exceptions for special circumstances taking into account various factors. Commencing in January 2024, these rules will be implemented as a trial for one year.
- No more than five matches per day per court(with an 11 a.m. start) with three matches during the day session and two matches during the evening session.
- No matches to go on the court after 11 p.m., unless approved by the WTA/ATP supervisor in consultation with WTA/ATP management.
- Matches not on the court by 10:30 p.m. are to be moved to alternative court– by no later than 11 p.m.
- Night session to begin no later than 7:30 p.m., with a recommendation for 6:30 p.m.
In the past, individual tournaments had the authority to choose their ball supplier or sponsor, which led to inconsistencies in the type of balls used from one week to the next. The collaboration aims to achieve greater uniformity and establish tighter certification and specification for a better product.
Change of balls every week finally got to novaks wrist 😭 the atp really need to do something about this problem. Players suffer all the time 🙏🏽— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) January 3, 2024
The WTA and the ATP chairman shared their views on the importance of implementing these initiatives between the respective tours.
“We feel that these initiatives are fully aligned between the tours and will allow the athletes to perform at their highest levels, providing for an improved athlete and fan experience. The athlete’s direct feedback in cooperation with our event members has been terrific in allowing us to continue modernizing our sport.”-WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon
“Match scheduling and tennis balls are both priority topics on our agenda, together with the WTA. And it’s imperative that we evolve and adapt to the demands of the modern game, particularly where player health and fan experience are concerned. We’re optimistic about the impact we can make on both these fronts, now and in the long term.”-ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi
ATP unveils newly constituted Advisory Council
The ATP has announced the newly elected members of the Players Advisory Council(PAC) for the 2024 season. They have chosen Mackenzie McDonald, Alexander Zverev, Dusan Lajovic, Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela, and Matthew Ebden to serve the two-year terms(2024-2025).
With this, they will join existing members Grigor Dimitrov, Pedro Martinez, Wesley Koolhof, and Pedro Cachin as representatives.
The PAC serves as a governing body, to acknowledge players’ voices and their interests effectively.