Someone, somewhere though tennis matches have becoming longer and more boring which led them to come up with the Fast4 format of the sport. Fast4 is perhaps tennis’s answer to the Twenty20 format in cricket. In other words, it is a faster version of the usual tennis matches that we are accustomed to.
This is initiated by Tennis Australia and has fewer sets and varies rules compared to the traditional tennis rules. This format has not been approved officially by the tennis federation and is restricted to exhibition matches as of now. The first ever major match in this format was held in Sydney when Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt played a match which was broadcasted live nationally in Australia.
Recently, Nadal also participated in an exhibition match at Melbourne Park promoting the Fast4 version of the sport as he prepares for the upcoming Australian Open. A crowd of 11,000 turned up on a Monday night to get a glimpse of the tennis icon in action. For Sydney it was a huge feat, which was considered as one of those cities to have lost interest in tennis. The major reason perhaps in the lack of quality tennis players and matches that are held in the country.
Tennis Australia is trying to promote this format of the game rather aggressively, planning a week long tournament in the upcoming years. The format which was initially developed to increase junior participation, has now seem to become more popular with the fans of Australia. They are luring the best players in the world to compete based on their nationalities. The format has not been finalised and is still in the formation stage.
There is definitely quite some time before this format of tennis is accepted globally and officially becomes a part of the Grand Slams, however, this shows how the sport is adapting to the changing times.