In June 2004, the
ATP announced a trial of doubles enhancements would occur at six tournaments following the US Open. A philosophy behind these
short-term chances was that an 80-minute time limit would encourage more singles players to participate in doubles.
Changes made in
the initial trial included:
No ad scoring (first to four points)
A tiebreak at 4-4 instead of six 6-6
In the event of split sets, a super tiebreak played
With many people
expressing outrage at the chances (most notably, the players), the initial change of a tiebreak at 4-4 became tiebreak at
long-term plans are that by 2008, players will have to qualify for singles events to be eligible for doubles, apart from four
wildcard entrants. The doubles entry ranking would be based 50 percent on singles and 50 percent on doubles events.
Grand Slams and the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup will not be affected by the chances (as they
are governed by the ITF, not the ATP) but with players gaining many of the rankings points that allow them to compete at major
events at ATP tournaments, the future for players specialising in doubles looks grim.