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Worldventures.co.uk : the guardian article

World Ventures


The Guardian


By Stephen Bierley.
Saturday October 2, 2004.
The Guardian.

Superset is a knockout competition played over one set, with a winner-takes-all first prize of £250,000. The basic rules and scoring are unchanged with the winner the first to get to 10 games. If the set is level at 10-10 then the normal tie-break is played.

Superset launched a pilot tournament last November in Portland, Oregon, comprising eight US ATP Tour players, including Andre Agassi. The London event includes three former Wimbledon champions -Goran Ivanisevic, Boris Becker and John McEnroe - as well as Britain's latest hope, Andrew Murray, who has replaced the injured Tim Henman.

Crowd participation is positively encouraged and if a player queries a line-call Hawkeye and slow-motion replays can be called up by the umpire and will be shown on a large plasma screen. A player can question any amount of line calls provided it is not seen as a tactic to slow down the game or to disturb the opponent. If so, then the umpire can dock the player a penalty point.

Players' coaches are allowed on courtside at the change of ends for 30 seconds, and they will be wired up to loud speakers so spectators can hear what is happening. Players will also wear heart monitors and their pulse rate will also be displayed.

Unlike Twenty20 cricket, Superset does not appear to be a format immediately open to further development, although some may worry that its truncated form is the thin end of the wedge that could ultimately influence the organisers of the grand slams and the Davis Cup to shelve the men's five-set formula in favour of the best of three - something that television executives would love to see happen.

On the other hand, tournaments on the men's and women's tours, notably during the indoor season, could benefit from the technological and promotional innovations used at Superset.

Opening matches: Greg Rusedski (GB) v Boris Becker (Ger); Goran Ivanisevic (Cro) v Tommy Robredo (Spa); Robby Ginepri (US) v Mario Ancic (Cro); John McEnroe (US) v Andrew Murray (GB). Semi-finals: Winner match 1 v winner match 2; winner match 3 v winner match 4.

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