With the destination of the Davis Cup determined, the professional tennis season has come to a close. Thus, we begin our look back at 2017, a memorable year on and off the court. Our Top 10 On-Court Moments, and our Top 10 Off-Court Moments, will remind you of everything that transpired.
The penchant for new events was accompanied by even more eagerness for new rules to go with them. An avowedly unconventional non-traditional Next Gen ATP Finals brought in several changes including sets to four games instead of six, no-ad scoring, mid-match coaching and Hawk-Eye making calls instead of linespeople. But even the US Open, a more traditional Grand Slam event, played around with no lets, shot clocks and coaching in qualifying. The ITF is also introducing a no-lets rule in some of its junior competition.
Some of these changes represent the mere tightening up or enforcement of current requirements like strict warm-up and start times, a shot clock, and limited bathroom breaks, and stirred little debate.
Electronic line-calling was an intriguing development that was integrated quite seamlessly during the Next Gen Finals, though cost and infrastructure issues mean it won't render linespeople obsolete just yet.
But more intrinsic changes like scoring adjustments and coaching got mixed reactions, including vehement opposition. There will be some more experiments at the Australian Open, but few big changes are planned at the game's highest levels.
In 2017, the ITF decided to experiment with a number of changes that could significantly improve the sport: