Published at Monday, March 12th, 2018 - 08:58:23 AM. Tennis. By Juliya Tatyana.
Overall this would seem to be a great plan but it is not without its drawbacks. The biggest of those drawbacks is that with the event only being staged over one week at a single venue it eliminates the advantage and atmosphere of the home ties. Squads will no longer have the advantage of selecting a surface that favors them over their opponents. Furthermore the rowdy raucous and festive home atmosphere which is so hard to replicate throughout the rest of the season will likely be missing to some degree in this new format.
Both of those solutions boil down to money. Naturally for many in a 128-player draw that first round prize money is a big deal which is why they will show up to play even if they go in knowing they are unfit and may have to pull the plug mid-match. As a concession to that driving factor players will now be allowed to collect fifty percent if they withdraw after noon on site on Thursday but before the main draw begins. Coupled with this players who are knowingly unfit to play and still opt to compete could face a fine up to the total amount of their first-round prize money if they fail to finish the match or “perform below professional standards.” Together these two rules should encourage players to make the smart choice and subsequently improve the overall optics of the sport.
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