Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has partnered up with the Next Gen ATP Finals through a deal that is set to introduce further new elements to the annual event for the world’s top 21-and-under male tennis players.
Tag Heuer has signed the deal, terms of which were undisclosed, with event host the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) to become the official watch and timekeeper of the season-ending tournament that showcases the future stars of the ATP World Tour.
The deal commences with the second edition of the event which will be held at the Fiera Milano in Milan from November 6-10. As part of the agreement, Tag Heuer will integrate Hawkeye Live Technology to a Tag Heuer Connected watch that will be provided to all umpires officiating during the tournament. Tag Heuer will also provide the on-court clock and the 25-second Shot Clock.
Angelo Binaghi, president of the FIT, said: “Although only in its second year, this tournament has already garnered world-wide interest because of its ground-breaking approach to developments in the presentation of the sport.
“The Italian Tennis Federation is ready to set up a new edition of these Finals, with ATP and Coni Servizi, and the support of Fondazione Fiera Milano, Ente Fiera, Regione Lombardia and Milan municipality. We expect this event to be not only very exciting, but also capable of responding fully to the needs of producing a great stage for tomorrow’s world tennis dominators. We also trust that our Next Gen ATP Finals will confirm Milan as a strategic city for our national and international tennis movement.”
The 2018 Next Gen Finals will continue numerous other innovations successfully trialled at the inaugural event last year.
These will include the best-of-five set format, shorter sets to four with a tiebreak at three-all, no-lets and in-match player coaching via head-sets. The player warm-up will be reduced by a further minute, from five to four, from the second player walk-on, and players will be instructed to use a towel rack at the back of the court to remove the onus on ball kids to handle towels. Free crowd movement in the stadium and a limit of one medical time out per match will also remain.