New Doubles Proposals - 2008 ranking change gone, super TB instead of 3rd set, etc. [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

New Doubles Proposals - 2008 ranking change gone, super TB instead of 3rd set, etc.

Deboogle!.
11-06-2005, 11:08 PM
ATP hopes to spice up doubles with golden tie-break
By Neil Harman, London Times

A bid to stop the men’s game becoming too singles-minded


ANDY RODDICK has a home-grown word for it: overtime. With overtime, doubles lives; without it, a sentimental tennis element that has fast become an expensively irrelevant sideshow has little chance of survival in a world governed by television executives, protectionist tournament directors and singles-minded schedules.

This weekend, the eight singles players who have qualified for the Masters Cup will be joined in Shanghai by eight doubles teams, many of whom feared that this might be the last time they would be afforded such a privilege anywhere other than the four grand-slam championships and the middle Saturday of Davis Cup ties. The belief was that the ATP, the men’s governing body, cast in the role of Big Bad Wolf, wanted to devour them whole.

Things had begun to look that way, with disruptive scoring changes and entry system squeezes, dressed up as spurious “enhancements”, brought in on the back of ill-judged surveys that appeared to show that the only way to get singles players to play doubles (the heart of the whole matter) was to reduce the length of sets and, by the start of 2008, controversially use “singles only” rankings as the sole means of qualifying to play doubles at ATP events.

The doubles players declared open warfare, 45 of them took out an anti-trust lawsuit against their employers and waited for the response. In the midst of this, Etienne de Villiers, who had not been party to the original plans, became ATP chairman and has spent the first period of his term of office seeking a resolution to the impasse. He believes that he has found it.

Determined to “improve doubles, make it more attractive to our fans as well as a more successful product”, De Villiers has offered a four-pronged plan to secure its place as a vibrant element of tennis, the most visible of which is the introduction of a “match tie-break” should a third set be required to complete a match — the first to ten points with a difference of two. Roddick, exactly the kind of star-quality player that tournament directors want to see play more doubles, was enthused when told of the plans in Paris last week. Hence overtime.

Rather than short sets that had produced such ghastly scorelines as 5-3, 5-2, the ATP insists on a return to two tie-break sets with no advantage scoring, the match tie-break and a rigidly enforced 25-second break between points. “This gives tournaments a more predictable match length, which should allow more show-court scheduling,” De Villiers said. “Also, singles players may be persuaded to play this format due to it being less demanding. We are also doing something more acceptable for traditionalists.”

Explicitly, the ATP will drop the “2008 singles only” entry condition — calling it a “major concession”. The reason? “We want more marquee singles players to play doubles and the player field to be more democratic and egalitarian,” the chairman said. “We will not be bound by quotas, but we would like a 50-50 (singles and doubles players) field by the end of 2006 and the proportion of singles players (playing doubles) to continue to grow during 2007. We reserve the right to tinker or change at the end of ’07, but this will be based on feedback from tournaments, players, fan reaction, media, research and statistics.”

De Villiers wants to see the appointment of a “doubles tsar” at the ATP and the creation of a doubles promotion fund financed by doubles players sacrificing 5 per cent of their prize-money over the next two years:eek:. The rationale is that the three parties (the ATP, tournaments and the players) “must be committed to promotion and marketing of doubles”. As a final gesture, any player who has invested in the players’ pension fund for four years by the end of 2007 and is prevented playing doubles as a result of the proposed changes will be eligible for full pension benefits.:scratch:

The chairman describes his proposals as “open, transparent and rigorous”. He has spent the past three weeks in negotiation with leading doubles spokesmen, notably Mark Knowles and Mahesh Bhupathi, as well as polling views from as many singles players as possible.:yeah:

He submitted his ideas to the four grand-slam tournament chairmen on Friday and has received a supportive response. He believes that there are enough grounds for the 45 doubles players to drop their lawsuit because its central basis, the exclusion of doubles players on ranking grounds, no longer exists. “But I have not let any prospective lawsuit affect what I think is right for the tour,” he said.

When he added that the ATP will, in future, proceed with any changes to the scoring or ranking systems on “what the data tells us, not what we would like the data to tell us”, it is a sideswipe at those who dragged the sport into this mess in the first place.

star
11-06-2005, 11:13 PM
I'd like to see the provision that requires all doubles partners to be able to qualify for the tournament as singles players.

I think that would make it a lot more fun for everyone.

ae wowww
11-06-2005, 11:14 PM
Hmmm, sounds intriguing. I'm not a fan though, of the central ideas.

star
11-06-2005, 11:16 PM
You mean two tiebreak sets?

Deboogle!.
11-06-2005, 11:16 PM
Hmmm, sounds intriguing. I'm not a fan though, of the central ideas.I think it's pretty much a given that things are gonna change and that both sides will have to give up something. I think the 2008 thing was the worst of all, so I'm happy to see that go. I'd rather see two normal sets with a super tiebreak instead of three sets to 5. It's not ideal, but it will shorten matches and make them much more predictable - so that concession is for the tournament directors.

All in all, I'd say it's at least an improvement. Not perfect, but better than it was before.

Fee
11-06-2005, 11:23 PM
So doubles players, unlike singles players, have to give up part of their already measly winnings to promote themselves, something the ATP is supposed to be doing anyway? That's utter horseshit. If the singles players had to do that, there would be a bloodless coup at the top of the ATP.

The 2008 rule was dropped because the prominent singles players were quietly admitting that NO WAY IN HELL were they going to fill doubles draws on a weekly basis. 50% is a much more reasonable number. Nothing worse than watching a doubles match marred by a singles player who doesn't want to be there. This is a good start, but I'm not thrilled about it.

cobalt60
11-06-2005, 11:39 PM
:ras: to the ATP. Better but not great. Too polite to post what I really want to say.

Scotso
11-06-2005, 11:44 PM
25-second breaks? Aren't there enough injuries in tennis?

And I could live with a third-set supertiebreak, but no-ad scoring is stupid. And if the ATP wants doubles players to give up 5% of their money, maybe they should stop paying them so little.

Deboogle!.
11-06-2005, 11:49 PM
Isn't 25 seconds the normal rule about time between points? That's what I thought...

I agree about the no-ad scoring. It's ridiculous.

Scotso
11-06-2005, 11:55 PM
Maybe it is in doubles?

I know in singles it's like 90 seconds, I figured it was the same in doubles.

Deboogle!.
11-07-2005, 12:01 AM
between points?!!?!?!?! I think it's 25 seconds across the board....

Fee
11-07-2005, 12:02 AM
That's changeovers. It's 25 seconds between points, but since doubles players always talk between points, perhaps they are really going to hold a stopwatch on them. That extra 2 seconds really screws up the show court schedule you know.

Scotso
11-07-2005, 12:06 AM
ooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. My bad. I was thinking changeovers. :o

Deboogle!.
11-07-2005, 12:09 AM
ooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. My bad. I was thinking changeovers. :oWe forgive you :p

And yea, fee, those extra 10 seconds or so will make a big difference for sure :o

cobalt60
11-07-2005, 12:10 AM
That's changeovers. It's 25 seconds between points, but since doubles players always talk between points, perhaps they are really going to hold a stopwatch on them. That extra 2 seconds really screws up the show court schedule you know.
:haha: Love that cynical humor Fee. How about a song for the ATP and doubles in your "Spent". I am planning to send an email to the ATP about this crapola. I can not believe that they want doubles players to spend 5% of their own earnings to PR themselves. Amazing.

Fee
11-07-2005, 12:13 AM
:haha: Love that cynical humor Fee. How about a song for the ATP and doubles in your "Spent".


I CAN'T TAKE THE PRESSURE YOU ARE PUTTING ON ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


How can I write with all this expectation...:banghead: I QUIT!






:lol:

R.Federer
11-07-2005, 12:16 AM
So doubles players, unlike singles players, have to give up part of their already measly winnings to promote themselves, something the ATP is supposed to be doing anyway? That's utter horseshit. If the singles players had to do that, there would be a bloodless coup at the top of the ATP.

Yes perhaps, but it would not happen to the singles players.

While I think the doubles players are getting a not-good deal, it is quite unrealistic to think that the doubles needs to be treated the same way as singles. The whole problem, to A.T.P (a "non profit" that cares about its bottomline), is the amount of interest the doubles is able to generate compare dto singles, and thereby amount of court time, court expense and what not that they should get, compared to the singles.

Given this, the A.T.P decides to cut back on their original demands, but at the same time, take someting away. They have lot of interest in singles because that is where their profits are coming in (which is what they ultimately care about). So your statement about "if they did this to singles" is probably not realistic because they would not do this to the singles players anyway.

cobalt60
11-07-2005, 12:19 AM
Aw Fee so sorry NOT! :topic: Hubby is a writer but he knows nothing about tennis :shrug: I edit for him though just ask :devil:

R.Federer
11-07-2005, 12:21 AM
Hi Cobalt60!
Thank you for your PM. I am sorry I did not respond :topic: but I got the first kick, last Thursday! It is so awesome :)

Deboogle!.
11-07-2005, 12:23 AM
There must be a way to work La Vie Boheme into something about Doubles.... I'm sure of it :lol:

cobalt60
11-07-2005, 12:23 AM
Hi Cobalt60!
Thank you for your PM. I am sorry I did not respond :topic: but I got the first kick, last Thursday! It is so awesome :)
:woohoo: Rfed that is for you and not for the ATP.... ;)

star
11-07-2005, 12:35 AM
So doubles players, unlike singles players, have to give up part of their already measly winnings to promote themselves, something the ATP is supposed to be doing anyway? That's utter horseshit. If the singles players had to do that, there would be a bloodless coup at the top of the ATP.

The 2008 rule was dropped because the prominent singles players were quietly admitting that NO WAY IN HELL were they going to fill doubles draws on a weekly basis. 50% is a much more reasonable number. Nothing worse than watching a doubles match marred by a singles player who doesn't want to be there. This is a good start, but I'm not thrilled about it.

Reading between the lines that sounds like a negotiated item. The doubles players are saying -- Doubles would be popular if they were promoted. The ATP says, you can't expect tournaments promote to put something into doubles when they don't percieve they get a return. Doubles players: the ATP should do something! ATP: look here, buddy, here's our expenditures. You're the ones bitching. Why don't you put your money where you mouth is? Doubles players: Why don't you? ATP: Ok -- Why don't we both put something toward promotion? We'll promote for a year or two, but if nothing comes from it, we're gonna propose the same restrictions. If you are right that promotion will make doubles popular, you should want to put some money in too. Doubles players. O.K. you cheap bastards.

Fee
11-07-2005, 12:45 AM
:lol:

I'd bet that's pretty much what happened. You know I don't think anyone ever noticed how much doubles 'cost' before that ATP worldwide sponsorship deal with ISL (was that their name?) went horribly wrong.

star
11-07-2005, 01:08 AM
In theory, I admire the gritty doubles specialists who aren't good enough for singles but put things together to still play professional tennis and make a living and get sponsorships and grind it out.

But, in practice, I never give up watching singles players to watch doubles unless there's one of my favorites playing doubles -- Like Jonas. :)

Lee
11-07-2005, 03:15 AM
So doubles players, unlike singles players, have to give up part of their already measly winnings to promote themselves, something the ATP is supposed to be doing anyway? That's utter horseshit. If the singles players had to do that, there would be a bloodless coup at the top of the ATP.

The 2008 rule was dropped because the prominent singles players were quietly admitting that NO WAY IN HELL were they going to fill doubles draws on a weekly basis. 50% is a much more reasonable number. Nothing worse than watching a doubles match marred by a singles player who doesn't want to be there. This is a good start, but I'm not thrilled about it.

:ras: to the ATP. Better but not great. Too polite to post what I really want to say.

:yeah: Pretty much covered what I want to say.

DhammaTiger
11-07-2005, 11:28 AM
I also thought the ATP was supposed to be the "players" tour, doubles and singles. But then I must be mistaken. The poor doubles players, their prize money is meager, compared to the singles specialists, and yet ATP want to ock 5% off it to promote them. I suppose the ATP doesn't know what fairness is even if it ran intothem. They all know how to suck up to the impresarios who own the tournament franchises and tv moguls.