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Why don't we have no-ad scoring at the Next Gen ATP Finals—and better yet, in tennis at large?
Many innovations have reduced match time, but the sport hasn't taken the biggest step, Mark Knowles argued on "Second Serve."
Published Nov 03, 2022
This has been one of the busiest weeks of the season to be a tennis fan. There's no combined 1000 tournament or Grand Slam going on, but consider this smorgasbord of shotmaking: East coasters in the U.S. can wake up to the Rolex Paris Masters at 5 a.m., watch the entire day's play (almost—more on that in a minute), and then continue their tennis feast into the late evening with the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.
It's been made even busier by some of the extremely late-ending sessions in France. Last night's was an homage to this year's US Open, an event which had multiple matches end around 2 a.m. local time. Corentin Moutet and Cameron Norrie blew by that time, with the Frenchman finally finishing off his opponent at 3:03 a.m.
To me, at least, it's ridiculous: tennis for the sake of tennis, rather than the sake of the players, media or local viewers. There's a point at which a day's play needs to be cut off, with the winner being sensibility.
Mark Knowles, a former No. 1 in doubles, heard similar reaction from people in Paris over his WhatsApp. On today's edition of Second Serve (watch it on the Tennis Channel app, or Samsung TV Plus channel 1154), Knowles joined the show and gave his thoughts about it—and more to the point, something that could be done to help curtail match time.
"I would love to see no-ad in singles," Knowles said. "And I would change it up a little bit. I've spoken to Roger, I've spoken to Roddick, I've spoken to Isner, the best servers in our game about it. I would like to see the server get the choice on the no-ad.
"When I rationalized that, hey, you would have the choice on the 3-all [40-40] point, that made them feel a little bit better."
The topic is also relevant given next week's Next Gen ATP Finals, an event that regularly experiments with rules. Some of these rules, including the serve clock, have been brought onto the main tour. This year, the 21-and-under event in Milan will implement three time-saving measures:
- Quicker Shot Clock (The time in-between points will be shortened to 15 seconds, from the standard 25 seconds, if the server hits an ace, a double fault or if the returner misses the return through forced or unforced error.)
- One Sit-Down Per Set
- Three-Minute Warm-up
But using no-ad scoring in singles would surely save the most time of any rule change. It's been that way in doubles for a while, though the returner gets the choice of which court (ad or deuce) the pivotal point will be played.
Would you be in favor of no-ad in singles, if the server got the choice? Let us know in the Twitter poll below: