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ATP Launched Doubles Trial in Madrid

The ATP launched a doubles trial at the Mutua Madrid Open.

The ATP is entering a new age for doubles.

During the recent Mutua Madrid Open, the ATP Tour trialed a new doubles format in a bid to “enhance the product for fans, players and tournaments.”

The ATP says the trial aims to increase the exposure and marketing appeal of the doubles game by creating new narratives and storylines for fans, a better on-site experience at tournaments and enhanced product for broadcast.

Changes being trialed at the 2024 Mutua Madrid Open include:

• More Singles vs. Doubles action. The 32-team draw will feature up to 16 slots reserved for teams entering via their singles ranking, creating an unprecedented number of matchups between the world’s top doubles and singles players, and compelling new narratives for fans.

• Streamlined schedule over five days (Tuesday to Saturday) during Week Two of the tournament, providing a simpler and sharper schedule for fans and players.

• Reduced shot clock to accelerate the pace of play and minimize downtime during matches. Time between points will be reduced to 15 seconds following rallies shorter than four shots (four or more shots = 25 seconds).

• Quicker changeovers with fewer sit-downs to accelerate the pace of play.

• Free fan movement in the arena during play, adding convenience to the on-site experience.

Matthew Ebden, World No.2 doubles player and President of the ATP Player Advisory Council, said: “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 recognize 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.