What did we learn at the NextGen Finals?
What can we say about the ATP NextGen Finals? For starters, if you did not follow this tournament, pause what you're doing and watch the highlights. You will not be disappointed. This tournament was the forefront of testing new ideas and formats to transform the game of tennis. This tournament was solely for the best 21 and under players on tour to see who is the best "NextGen Player". Here is a list of the players that participated. If you don't know them now, you will soon enough.
- Andrey Rublev
- Karen Khachanov
- Denis Shapovalov
- Jared Donaldson
- Borna Coric
- Hyeon Chung
- Danil Medvedev
- Gianluigi Quinzi
While some of these players have been making bigger headlines than others, such as Denis Shapovalov and his amazing summer leading up to the US Open, some of these kids are amazingly talented and will prove to be the futures Top 10 if they continue to grow. The tournament also decided to test a few of the following ideas: a shot clock in-between points, no linesman (live-hawkeye), the ability to talk to your coaches, and shorter sets/games.
The two features that I wanted to focus on was the shot-clock and shorter sets/games. I love tennis. Most of my friends love tennis (probably because they play tennis). Other people may not love the sport because they might say its slow. Well the shot clock not only made the game faster but also was a test for most of the players to play at a faster pace. It allows the players a more precise and structured way for the players to know when they need to be ready rather than guessing how much time they have left to serve.
For the shorter sets/games, it made each point count more when you got farther into the match. It makes the games more entertaining to watch but it would be harder to implement this idea into the game soon. Tennis is a very traditional sport so I feel like most people will not like the idea of shorting the sets. It also will make losing a game that much harder to come back from since every game will count for more. If you break your opponents serve to make it 2-0, it makes the deficit a lot harder to come back from.
Overall, the tournament was a success in bringing out the best talent and testing out ideas that the Tour may or may not use. Automatic line calls and the shot clock are the only two new formats that can be implemented into the game soon in my opinion and hopefully, these will be able to give the game a new outlook on the game as well as make the game move forward.