Adjusted rules in place as Next Gen Finals open
(TSX / STATS) -- The first day of the Next Gen ATP Finals on indoor hardcourts in Milan, Italy, focused more on the unusual rules being used than the players who are competing.
Borna Coric, Hyeon Chung, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev won the four matches played Tuesday in the eight-man tournament for players age 21 and under, but the scores will look unusual.
Coric, of Croatia, won two tiebreakers while beating American Jared Donaldson, 4-3 (2), 4-1, 4-3 (5). It took Coric only 20 minutes to win the second set.
In the scoring used in this tournament, the first player to reach four games wins a set, with tiebreakers played if a set reaches 3-3.
"We're looking to create more meaningful moments throughout the course of a tennis match. Normally you'd say break points, game points, latter stages of sets, tiebreaks would be more meaningful moments," ATP chief player officer Ross Hutchins said. "So can we host more tiebreaks, more end of sets, more exciting moments, more clutch points?"
There are no lets, so a serve that hits the net and drops in the service box is in play. Also there are no ads, as the first player to win four points wins a game.
"Everything is totally different," said Medvedev, one of three Russians in the event. "You are used to playing 10, 15 years with the let and stopping the ball, and now you have to continue to play. Your mind doesn't get it at first so you have to get used to it."
Coric and Medvedev, who beat countryman Karen Khachanov 2-4, 4-3 (6), 4-3 (2), 4-2, are two of the four players in Group B.
In Group A, Chung defeated 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov of Canada 1-4, 4-3 (5), 4-3 (4), 4-1 in one hour, 36 minutes. Italian wild card Gianluigi Quinzi, who won the 2013 Wimbledon boys junior title, lost a five-setter to Rublev 1-4, 4-0, 4-3 (3), 0-4, 4-3 (3).
It took Rublev just 14 minutes to lose the first set and just 15 minutes to win the second.
The 20-year-old Rublev, already an ATP World Tour titlist, was shut out in the fourth set but won 11 of the final 14 points against the home favorite to avoid an upset loss.
Even though the match went five sets, it lasted only one hour, 49 minutes.
After round-robin play in the two groups is completed, the top two finishers in each group will advance to the semifinals in the inaugural event.
Updated November 7, 2017