Murray credits ATP for trialling radical rule changes

LONDON • World No. 1 Andy Murray has voiced his support for changes designed to speed up tennis being tested at the inaugural Next Generation ATP Finals in Milan this November.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournament for the leading players aged 21 and under will feature a new scoring system, no lets, limited medical time-outs and shot clocks as the men's tennis governing body seeks ways to appeal to younger audiences.

The scoring system is the most radical change to the traditional format, with five-set matches decided through first-to-four-game sets, instead of the usual six, with tiebreaks played at 3-3.

"Tennis is doing very well right now but that doesn't necessarily mean that's going to be the case in the future.

"So I think it's important to try new formats, different scoring systems and see if it works," Murray told reporters.

"It is good to try new things... at least it's trying something different. You have to give credit for doing that, because tennis has often been accused of being too traditional."

The only new rule that Murray specifically opposed was the no-advantage scoring rule, with each game decided by a sudden-death point at deuce.

"I would prefer to try a shorter set with the same scoring, rather than the sudden-death deuce points," the 30-year-old added.

Murray, who reached the semi-finals of the French Open and is aiming for a third Wimbledon title next month, admitted that he may lose his top ranking even if he triumphs at the All England Club.

"It's most likely that I'll lose the No. 1 spot," he said.

"If you want to stay at No. 1 you can't have periods of three months of the year where you're not winning matches, not performing well in the big events, which was the case for me until the French Open.

"So more than likely that will happen and that's fine. I'm not trying to win Wimbledon for the ranking points - I want to win Wimbledon, that's my goal."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2017, with the headline 'Murray credits ATP for trialling radical rule changes'. Print Edition | Subscribe