Ambience - Miami Open 2024

ATP Tour announce new doubles format in a bid to unlock ‘untapped potential’

The ATP Tour have announced some changes that are set to come into play at doubles tournaments in the future, that will first being trialled at the upcoming Madrid Masters.

It was confirmed that there would be some changes made in an announcement made yesterday, in a bid to innovate the doubles circuit and ‘add entertainment value’.

These changes include reserving 16 slots in a 32-team draw for pairs using their singles rankings, providing an incentive for top singles players to participate in both draws.

On top of that, the doubles tournament in Madrid will be reduced to only five days, with it beginning on the second Tuesday to allow more singles players to enter.

Some of the more innovative adaptations include reducing the serve clock from 25 seconds to 15 seconds after rallies of less than four shots, and also allowing unrestricted fan movement during play.

ATP Chief Tour Officer Ross Hutchins released a statement upon this announcement, detailing the reasons behind it, “As a tour we believe there’s untapped potential in today’s doubles game. We know it can add huge entertainment value, but it requires fresh storytelling to connect with fans. The trialing of new formats and rules allows us to stay agile and explore ways to enhance the product.”

Doubles world No.2 Matthew Ebden also appeared encouraged by these changes, “Doubles has so much to offer fans and the atmosphere it can create when presented in the right way is phenomenal. That said, we as players recognise that more needs to be done to put our best foot forward. I’d like to commend my colleagues from across the ATP for taking this on and adding great new concepts into the mix. A lot of time, thought and care has gone into this process, and it’s been a privilege to play my part.”

These changes will first come into play at the Madrid Open, with the doubles tournament beginning on Tuesday 28th April, and will be used at selected events throughout the season.

Inside the baseline…

It is nice to see that the ATP are trying to bring some attention back to the doubles circuit, however these rule changes do seem to be taking some of the shine away from the specialist doubles players and instead incentivising singles players to join. Having half of the draw at the Madrid Masters entering the draw based off their singles ranking seems quite extreme, with it perhaps being better to have something like eight teams using it rather than 16.

READ NEXT – Nick Kyrgios: I definitely will be coming back

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.