What changes, if any, would you make to the ATP Finals (WTF/YEC)?

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Walkovers, retirements and withdrawals can also, and have, happened here. Just some stuff to think about...
In the RR, walkovers can't happen. Because alternates take the retired players's places.

Mathematically speaking, the WTF can only allow 3 walkovers. Slams can allow 7.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
In the RR, walkovers can't happen. Because alternates take the retired players's places.

Mathematically speaking, the WTF can only allow 3 walkovers. Slams can allow 7.
True, but I think we grasp each other's overall points and in the main agree. You like the group play more than I do.
 

tudwell

Legend
To answer one of my own questions, I would reduce the # points awarded.

If retaining the present RR system, I'd give 100 for each group win, 300 more to get to the final, and either 400 more for the final (or perhaps 500 if B of 5 final).
I was just thinking: the earliest you can play a top 8 player in a Masters is the quarterfinal, and winning a Masters quarterfinal nets you 180 points. So 200 here for the round robin is not that crazy. Though maybe 150 would be better, and as I said earlier 400 for winning the semis seems awfully high.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
True, but I think we grasp each other's overall points and in the main agree. You like the group play more than I do.
I like that the format is different than your regular tennis tournament and actually makes you think about possible scenarios.

And I also like that it gives you uncertainty because you can't always control your destiny, like in the very disputed case with Nadal depending on Medvedev. So, even if you can still lose a match, there is still a punishment of you relying on a player when you could have just won all your matches.

And since I don't follow team sports like football or basketball where this format is prevalent, I am at least glad that tennis allows me to have a taste of RR competition.
 
I like that the format is different than your regular tennis tournament and actually makes you think about possible scenarios.

And I also like that it gives you uncertainty because you can't always control your destiny, like in the very disputed case with Nadal depending on Medvedev. So, even if you can still lose a match, there is still a punishment of you relying on a player when you could have just won all your matches.

And since I don't follow team sports like football or basketball where this format is prevalent, I am at least glad that tennis allows me to have a taste of RR competition.
It's easy to say for Federer fans because Federer failed to get out of the group only once so far. (today will become 2). And even in 2008 he would have reached the semifinal had he beaten Murray, even though Simon also had 2 wins and won the match between them. I remember myself rooting for Murray in this match because I just thought Simon deserves the semifinal more than Federer.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
It's easy to say for Federer fans because Federer failed to get out of the group only once so far. (today will become 2). And even in 2008 he would have reached the semifinal had he beaten Murray, even though Simon also had 2 wins and won the match between them. I remember myself rooting for Murray in this match because I just thought Simon deserves the semifinal more than Federer.
Federer, then, would have qualified for the semis as the second player after Simon, in that case.

So, basically, with a bit of subtlety, you admit that you are mad that Nadal hasn't won and that's why this tournament sucks ;)
 
Federer, then, would have qualified for the semis as the second player after Simon, in that case.

So, basically, with a bit of subtlety, you admit that you are mad that Nadal hasn't won and that's why this tournament sucks ;)
No, Murray already had the first place. Federer beating Murray would give him the second place in the group. But he lost, so Simon got it. But Simon totally depended on Murray, even though he had a win over Federer.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
No, Murray already had the first place. Federer beating Murray would give him the second place in the group. But he lost, so Simon got it. But Simon totally depended on Murray, even though he had a win over Federer.
I'll get back to you to see if you're right. Because if Fed had beaten Murray, there would have been a 3 way tie, so sets win-loss records would have taken precedence.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
I've never been in love with this tourney for a variety of reasons.
What changes, if any, would you make?
Would you keep the RR (group) system, go to a standard knockout draw, or modify it otherwise?
Keep it to 8 players or expand the draw?
Change the surface or conditions, or keep it (at least roughly) as is?
the general main problem with a 16-player KO is that there would be few easy R1-opponents to get into the tournament.
that could lead to R1 upsets by BautistaAguts.

the traditional RR format somewhat protects the top players or at least keeps them on stage.
the YEC is designed as a showcase to an extent ...which might be matter of taste ...but a 16-player KO would definitely be worse and even a 32-player KO would still be risky.


a solid alternative (and something i might like) would be to completely cancel the Bercy week and have a 64-player indoor YEC (worth 1500 points) instead (of both).
but that would be yet another KO tournament then.
the traditional YEC, despite its issues with the RR, lightens up the calendar.

also, in a Grand Slam it time and time again happens that one finalist had a cakewalk inclusive a walkover, while the other got the draw from hell and is simply tired or even injured in the final (as Best-of-5 is so tough).

at the end of the season, the likelihood of injury tends to be higher, but in RR it's easier to enter a substitute.
Best-of-3 indoors is not so gruelling also.

as for the YEC RR rules, the task is basically: win your matches and you will advance, or if you lose, at least win a set.
so Nadal's current situation is not so crazy.
personally i still don't particularly prefer the RR ado to mentioned 64-player Indoor "Slam"(Bo3).



as for surface changes, erm, well, how should that be materialized in any sensible way?
indoor clay? Asia? that's a topic for a separate thread, i'd say.
 
I'll get back to you to see if you're right. Because if Fed had beaten Murray, there would have been a 3 way tie, so sets win-loss records would have taken precedence.
Oh, alright. So they make it complicated: once head to head decides it, once number of sets. In normal tournaments you don't have to deal with this kind of stuff.

It's not about the title, dude. It's about Djokovic getting the YE#1 as a gift. And trust me, Djokovic fans will NEVER stop laughing at Nadal for losing this battle.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
Bring back carpet courts and best of 5 finals
at the end of the season, the players are more injury prone, so bringing back Bo5 only in combination with a shorter season. and the ATP and tournaments don't seem to like that thought.

bringing back carpet is complete nonsense. you don't know what you're talking about.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Oh, alright. So they make it complicated: once head to head decides it, once number of sets. In normal tournaments you don't have to deal with this kind of stuff.

It's not about the title, dude. It's about Djokovic getting the YE#1 as a gift. And trust me, Djokovic fans will NEVER stop laughing at Nadal for losing this battle.
Ignore them. I know they can be an annoying bunch.

From what I gathered, H2H takes precedence first and if it can't decide, then they look at sets win-loss record. And if even that can't decide, then games win-loss record if I correctly recall.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
BO5 final is all like the good old days. I'd keep it indoors, maybe quicker but that's all.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
The only change I'd consider is switching the surface. The indoor season is pretty inconsequential so the YEC as the "major" of the indoor season doesn't really play. They either need to revamp the indoor season or open up to the idea of changing surfaces.

RR is crucial to this event. The point is these are the 8 best players for the season, let's sort out who the best of the best is. Single match elimination takes away from that imo, RR lets us see who is really in form prior to knockout rounds.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
The WTF is like playoffs in the NFL and the NBA. I love this. The last tourney of the year should be the most interesting. I also love the fact that the top 8 players in the world play this event. This means that you cannot win with a cupcake draw. You will have to beat high ranked players along the way. A slam title can be won by beating a bunch of scrubs. Also, the first week of a slam is almost like a walkover. Federer went 9 years straight without missing a slam QF. Federer during many of these tourneys wasn't in very good form. For 5 3/4 years, he didnt' miss a single slam semi.

With this being said, I'd like to see the following changes:
1. Make all of the matches best of 5.
2. The tourney should be 2 weeks long
3. The prize should be 5000 points. I.e, in the majority of cases, the winner should be #1. Like the NBA and NFL, I consider the champion to be the team that won the playoffs. I like that idea here.
4. The prize money should be the greatest as well.
5. Rather than having two groups, simply have #1 play #8, #2 play #7,etc. Also, single elimination would send a player home packing. You shouldn't get a 2nd chance.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
Expanding the draw might not be a bad idea, and despite debating with others here about it, I don’t think the round robin format is essential to the tournament. I like it, but I’d still watch and respect the tournament if it were a knockout event (and that would probably make it easier to bring in more players).
I think both of these ideas are problematic, together especially so.

If you expand the draw to 16 and lose RR, and assuming Bo5 isn't on the table, we just have a R16 setup at a masters event. Not befitting of a Year End Championship, imo.
If you keep the 8 player draw and lose RR, it's the same issue as above but an even smaller field, it would be a one weekend event.
If you expand the draw to 16 and keep RR, you have four watered down groups and aren't guaranteed a bunch of high ranked matchups right off the bat (top 4 all in different groups, 5-8 all separated, etc.)

Plus, with the latter, you could conceivably have world no. 16 win. For the sake of argument, the win jumps them up to No. 9 to end the year. Again, to me that result reads like any other masters event with a semi-surprise winner, not a tournament designed to determine who the best of the best is.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
The WTF is like playoffs in the NFL and the NBA. I love this. The last tourney of the year should be the most interesting. I also love the fact that the top 8 players in the world play this event. This means that you cannot win with a cupcake draw. You will have to beat high ranked players along the way. A slam title can be won by beating a bunch of scrubs. Also, the first week of a slam is almost like a walkover. Federer went 9 years straight without missing a slam QF. Federer during many of these tourneys wasn't in very good form. For 5 3/4 years, he didnt' miss a single slam semi.

With this being said, I'd like to see the following changes:
1. Make all of the matches best of 5.
2. The tourney should be 2 weeks long
3. The prize should be 5000 points. I.e, in the majority of cases, the winner should be #1. Like the NBA and NFL, I consider the champion to be the team that won the playoffs. I like that idea here.
4. The prize money should be the greatest as well.
5. Rather than having two groups, simply have #1 play #8, #2 play #7,etc. Also, single elimination would send a player home packing. You shouldn't get a 2nd chance.
5000 points for winning three matches seems pretty extreme. And, how is a 3 round tournament going to last 2 weeks?
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
5000 points for winning three matches seems pretty extreme. And, how is a 3 round tournament going to last 2 weeks?
That's a great point about the two weeks. Otherwise, I like this. As I said, Federer was basically a walkover to the final three matches of a slam for 9 years straight. I'm sure there were times that he played some low-ranked players to win a slam during the last 3 matches(QF, semis, final). We saw Nadal win the 2017 USO without facing a single player ranked inside the top 25. The WTF basically forces you to beat 3 players ranked in the top 10. This tourney should be given more weight. It should be treated like the playoffs.

This to me makes the last tourney of the year far more interesting.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
the season final is considered by everyone to be below the 4 Majors,
so there's no urgent need to change the surface and make it more fair or so.
and since periodic surface changes at the end of the season would be very tough on both players and tournaments, the idea seems pretty bad in general.

putting only the top 8 players on a special surface is not really logical, but that's the lesser evil here.
personally i'd prefer a 64-player KO, but i guess it would not be more attractive or help the sport overall.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
That's a great point about the two weeks. Otherwise, I like this. As I said, Federer was basically a walkover to the final three matches of a slam for 9 years straight. I'm sure there were times that he played some low-ranked players to win a slam during the last 3 matches(QF, semis, final). We saw Nadal win the 2017 USO without facing a single player ranked inside the top 25. The WTF basically forces you to beat 3 players ranked in the top 10. This tourney should be given more weight. It should be treated like the playoffs.

This to me makes the last tourney of the year far more interesting.
I understand where you're coming from, but how is beating 3 top 10 players worth nearly three majors (that's more than a major finalist's points per win!)? Especially when that feat frequently occurs at majors, as well as masters. Like, you could legit have a world No. 1 with zero majors and a No. 2 with three. That seems really backwards to me.

I don't think rules should be based off all time records set by the great players ever.
 

Terenigma

G.O.A.T.
It's completely fine as it is, I don't think they should change anything other than the location every so often. (which they are now doing)
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
I understand where you're coming from, but how is beating 3 top 10 players worth nearly three majors (that's more than a major finalist's points per win!)? Especially when that feat frequently occurs at majors, as well as masters. Like, you could legit have a world No. 1 with zero majors and a No. 2 with three. That seems really backwards to me.

I don't think rules should be based off all time records set by the great players ever.
Your point is legit. I get it. But look at the NFL. In 2007, the Giants were 11-5 during the regular season and the Patriots were 16-0. However, the Giants did better against the superior teams at the very end. They ended up winning the championship. This was awesome. At the end of the day, a team that was 15-5 ended up getting more acolades than a team that finished 18-1. I love this. It's probably not fair. But I love it. It gives an underdog a huge chance to make a massive statemment at the very end of the season. This to me is extremely exciting.

The seasons where a player has year-end #1 locked up by mid-September are quite boring in many ways. 2006 Fed and 2015 Djoker come to mind here.

But I completely understand your point. Neither of us is necessarily wrong. I just stated what I would like.
 

timnz

Legend
I undertand your comment, but still a player with only 1 victory does not deserve more the classification than a player with 2 victories, as the player with 1 victory has made less merits.

Same merits = same benefits.

But the ATP finals reward the player with less merits.

P. S.: Nadal does not "suck" here, he has made 2 finals and has defeated Federer, Djokovic and Murray here, despite having participated only a few times. Nadal was just unlucky to be in the same era than the two best indoor players ever (Federer and Djokovic). Has Federer defeated Nadal at Roland-Garros? Does it mean Federer sucks at Roland-Garros for not defeating Nadal?
I agree with all of your PS comments here, except Nadal only playing the ATP finals a few times. 9 times isn’t a ‘few’. making 2 runner-ups with unbeaten round robins is a solid achievement. It means you can play very well there.
 

Robert F

Semi-Pro
I'd say if there is a dead match---let the loser play one of the alternates for points. What was the point of Berrentin/Thiem? Make it Berrentini/Monfils and the winner gets the points for the lower slow.
 

LETitBE

Hall of Fame
I am not advocating for or against any player(s) here. In truth, I am torn between the two - love both guys and respect the heck out of Fed as well. I just want fairness for all players and a great fan experience - I and think this tourney is too much of a points bonanza for being, essentially, another indoor fast HC "Masters".
which tournament is fast? coz this aint
 

TheAverageFedererFan

Professional
I would honestly like to extend the draw to 10. Having that might solve some really sad finishes where one player just barely qualified over another just as good one (like Agut, Monfils, and Berrettini this year). Also, Best of 5 Final for sure.
 

UnderratedSlam

Hall of Fame
1. Extend the draw to 16.
Pros: more variety, knockout style draw, more upsets, no champs with defeats, no dumb calculations.
Cons: none.

2. Eliminate RR forever. It is rubbish. We had a situation this year whereby the No 1 player failed to Q for semis despite two spectacular victories.
Cons: math nerds will be less thrilled.
Pros: math nerds will be less thrilled.

3. Reduce points by 33% or 50%.
Pros: will finally make clueless people realize that WTF isn't worth 3/4 of a slam.

4. Make surface more neutral rather than catering it to Rolex mafia i.e. one player i.e. England's favourite Swiss. However, it needs to remain HC, not clay.
Pros: avoids servebot advantage, less repeat champs, less boring dominations.

5. Introduce colours other than blue. Make spectator stands visible rather than shrouded in depressing darkness.
 

TheNatural

G.O.A.T.
Maybe they could consider using the Laver cup points system in the group stage so that the most in-form players by the end of the group stage proceed in the tournament. This system would award 1 point for a win on day 1 (match 1), 2 points for a win on day 2 (match 2), and 3 points for a win on day 3 (match 3). With this system, we would not see situations where the most-in form player of a group, or the only player in a group to have won his previous 2 matches, cannot qualify for the semis.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
Maybe they could consider using the Laver cup points system in the group stage so that the most in-form players by the end of the group stage proceed in the tournament. This system would award 1 point for a win on day 1 (match 1), 2 points for a win on day 2 (match 2), and 3 points for a win on day 3 (match 3). With this system, we would not see situations where the most-in form player of a group, or the only player in a group to have won his previous 2 matches, cannot qualify for the semis.
The dynamics are different, though. One can debate the value of Laver Cup, but for what it is, the escalating point system more or less guarantees that one team won't wrap it up before the last day, and probably not before the final match or two.

There simply isn't that consideration for the ATP Finals.
 

40L0VE

Rookie
But the two players are in different groups. They’re not competing across groups to qualify, they’re competing against the three other men in their own group. What happens in the other group is irrelevant. Yes, that can lead to imbalances, but not really more so than any other tournament. In reaching the 2016 US Open final, Djokovic had a walkover and two mid-match retirements, while Wawrinka battled through six full matches. Yet they got the same number of points. How’s that any more fair than what can happen here?
An excellent counter-point.

To improve the format I'd make the final BO5 and possibly change the surface back to carpet to encourage shot makers and not hustlers.
 
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