ATP to trial coaching from the stands for rest of 2022, following WTA’s example

Coaches will be allowed to talk to their players and make hand signals during matches

AI / Reuters / Panoramic

The ATP announced on Tuesday it is to trial off-court coaching for the second half of 2022, starting with events played in the week beginning July 11.

The move is a break with tradition for the men’s game, which always said it was against the introduction of any form of coaching during matches.

The trial will run through to the end of the season, at the ATP Finals, and will include the US Open.

Many players, including Stefanos Tstisipas, have long called for coaching to be allowed, while former player Brad Gilbert was quick to offer his support.

Coaching to improve fan experience

In a release on its website, the ATP says the move is designed to improve the fan and viewing experience.

“In addition to ensuring consistency across the sport for the benefit of players and fans, the trial aims to create additional points of intrigue and insight to enhance the fan experience,” it said.

The trial will be subject to several rules, with coaches having to sit in designated seats.

“Various coaching rules have been trialled across the sport in recent years, including on-court coaching and coaching via headsets,” the ATP said in obvious reference to the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, that happened in 2020 and 2021. “Today’s announcement brings alignment for the second half of the season across the ATP Tour, US Open and Hologic WTA Tour, where an off-court coaching trial is already in place.”

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