Today: March 04, 2024
Today: March 04, 2024

The pro tennis tours are trying to cut down on matches that stretch past midnight

Share This
The pro tennis tours are trying to cut down on matches that stretch past midnight
January 09, 2024

In their first coordinated efforts to cut back on late-night tennis, the women’s and men’s professional tours introduced new scheduling guidelines Tuesday that include preventing matches from starting after 11 p.m. except with approval and recommending a 6:30 p.m. start for night sessions at tournaments.

The WTA and ATP also announced that they are conducting what they called “a strategic review” to try to add more consistency to the kinds of tennis balls used starting in 2025, following complaints by players that the week-to-week changes in equipment are problematic and possibly causing more injuries.

It’s the latest example of the two tours working together.

“Match scheduling and tennis balls are both priority topics on our agenda, together with the WTA,” ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said. “It’s imperative that we evolve and adapt to the demands of the modern game, particularly where player health and fan experience are concerned.”

The tours said the number of matches finishing after midnight “has risen considerably in recent years,” prompting the rules about late sessions that go into effect this month at WTA and ATP events on a trial basis for this season.

Tennis, of course, is played without a clock, meaning matches can be shorter than an hour or stretch for hours on end. One recent example: Andy Murray’s second-round victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis at last year's Australian Open lasted more than 4 1/2 hours and concluded after 4 a.m.

Grand Slam tournaments — such as the Australian Open, which begins Sunday at Melbourne Park — are not governed by the tours. But Tennis Australia says it was hoping to add some breathing room to its event's schedule this year and reduce the late-night play by starting competition a day earlier than usual — Sunday instead of Monday — and making the tournament 15 days instead of 14.

The new scheduling guidance put forth by the tours on Tuesday includes allowing no more than five matches on any court each day after an 11 a.m. start, with three during a day session and two in the evening; no matches starting after 11 p.m., unless a supervisor from one of the tours and tour management give the OK; any matches that haven’t started by 10:30 p.m. must be moved to a different court, so long as it’s before 11 p.m.; night sessions can’t begin after 7:30 p.m., and it's preferable that they should start an hour earlier than that.

Tournaments can request that exceptions be granted “based on local cultural traditions, weather conditions, or other extenuating situations,” the tours said.

For years, each tournament has been allowed to choose a ball supplier or sponsor, “leading to potential inconsistencies of balls used week-on-week,” Tuesday’s news release said, adding that the aim is to “now move towards a more consistent and centralized approach by WTA and ATP.”


AP tennis:


Judge rejects Sen. Bob Menendez's claims that search warrants in bribery case were unconstitutional

A federal judge has rejected U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's claims that search warrants leading to corruption charges and the discovery of gold bars and cash at his New Jersey home were unconstitutional

Apple to pay C$14.4 million to settle iPhone throttling case in Canada, CBC reports

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has approved a proposed C$14.4 million ($10.6 million) settlement from Apple to eligible members of a class-action lawsuit that accused the

Houston holds tight grip on No. 1, Kansas drops out of top 10 for first time in 3 years

Houston still has a tight grip on No. 1 in the AP Top 25 while Kansas is out of the top 10 for the first time in three seasons

Brothers Travis and Jason Kelce honored with bobblehead giveaway at Cavs-Celtics game

Taylor Swift’s boyfriend has taken shaking it off to another level

Takeaways from Trump's Supreme Court win on procedural grounds: His legal peril is just starting

:Former President Donald Trump scored a clear win at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, which unanimously ruled that states don’t have the ability to bar him — or any other federal candidates — from the ballot under a rarely-used constitutional provision that prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office

Goldman, New York mayor make $50 million pledge on affordable housing

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs and the New York City Mayor's Office on Monday announced a $50 million initiative to support minority-owned affordable housing developers.


Top 10 shuffle in women's AP Top 25 as Stanford and Iowa move up behind No. 1 South Carolina

No. 2Stanford and No. 3 Iowa have jumped up behind top-ranked South Carolina in The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll

Rajah Caruth makes leap from computer racer to NASCAR national series winner

Rajah Caruth was like any other 4-year-old boy the first time he watched the movies “Cars” and vowed to become his own version of Lightning McQueen

Mike Evans agrees to a 2-year, $52 million contract to remain with the Buccaneers, AP source says

A person familiar with the deal says Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans has agreed to a two-year, $52 million contract to remain with the Buccaneers instead of testing his worth in free agency

Austin Eckroat gets his 1st PGA Tour win by prevailing at Cognizant Classic

Austin Eckroat waited a long time to become a winner on the PGA Tour

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer