UK Telegraph reporting plans to hold a new under 21 event the week before WTF aimed at raising the profile of the next gen stars (ie before Fed and retire!) and trialing possible 'rule changes' (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/te...sident-Chris-Kermode-ready-for-new-era.html):
Bit late in my view - by November 2016 a good chance that Kyrgios, Coric, Kokk and Zverev will be competing to be in WTF, not unknowns at all. And as for testing possible rule changes......Kermode – who is halfway through his three-year term as executive president of the ATP – is building a reputation as an innovator. His latest project is to launch an under-21s tournament in November 2016, the week before next year’s World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena. A venue and a sponsor are already being lined up, and Kermode is promising fat enough pay-packets to attract the current generation of young thrusters: Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Borna Coric et al.
The new venture will have a dual purpose. On one level, it should accelerate the exposure of tomorrow’s champions – and this at a time when it takes longer than ever before to break into the game’s senior elite. But the other key virtue of establishing a new event, with no rankings points at stake, is that it can serve as a testing ground for reforms.
“We can use the 21-and-under event to look at the length of games, the warm-up, the Code of Conduct and so on,” Kermode told Telegraph Sport this week. “It’s amazing when you talk about this kind of stuff, people fundamentally hate change, so the barriers come down. But like any business we have a responsibility to look at our product. Maybe at the end of it we go, 'You know what, it works really well as it is.’ I don’t want to make changes for changes’ sake, but you can’t be complacent. I just don’t want the sport to sleepwalk into obsolescence.” ...
...introduced a pair of advisory panels in November: one consisting of legendary players like John McEnroe and Boris Becker, the other of business big-shots from Tommy Hilfiger to Matthew Freud. With a team of heavyweights behind him, Kermode hopes he will find it easier to muster support in a sport that too often breaks up into a patchwork of interests.
The two groups have been brainstorming this year and Kermode says he has been amazed by their passion. “They both acknowledge that tennis is in the best place that it’s ever been, that we have amazing iconic superstars. But it’s being prepared for when that era changes, as eras always do. And working to get this next generation up there.
“When people support a football team it’s almost a tribal thing, you often find that their father and grandfather supported too, but in an individual sport it’s got to be personality-based. When you watch the X Factor, if you just heard those people singing one after the other you wouldn’t engage, but the fact is they do a great job of selling that back story so that by the time singer A goes on stage you’ve bought into him and you want him to win...