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Tennis doubles face uncertain future after Australian Open chairman admits sport has ‘lost its way’ – Yahoo Sports


Australian Open spectators are sparse, tennis doubles faces uncertain future (Getty Images)

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley As concerns expressed about the future of professional doubles tennis.

The ATP is currently conducting a review of doubles, the results of which could impact the professional tour as well as the four Grand Slam tournaments as the sport tries to innovate and attract new audiences.

Historically, doubles has not been as attractive to fans as singles, even at home, with more viewers watching Australia’s Matt Ebden and Rohan Bopanna compete in the men’s doubles final than those watching the final Significantly reduced. The women’s singles final will be held at Rod Laver Arena.

The low attendance coincided with the event setting attendance records after opening to more than a million people in two weeks.

In recent years, the Australian Open has tried to attract a younger generation, offering more seats, outdoor entertainment and even courtside bars during the tournament.

“I think we’ve probably lost our way a little bit and we haven’t meant enough,” Tilley said, according to The Guardian.

“We have to get things done, we can’t just keep standing still on things and make some decisions.”

Tilley added: “My approach from a leadership standpoint is I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission because otherwise you’re not going to be able to move at the speed that you can move,” he said. “The global sport needs to look at it the same way and do things that really help it accelerate.”

Sunday afternoon’s women’s doubles final had a similar fate to Saturday night’s final.

Ebden, who has become a full-time doubles player over the past few years and is a member of the ATP Player Advisory Council, said doubles is sometimes “overlooked” by the governing body.

“Tennis doubles has enough space for fans to be involved, be closer to the court, maybe listen to some music, maybe not have to sit down after the match,” he said. “Just keep the game going and keep it interactive.”



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