In what comes as a radical move in the game of tennis, Grand Slams from 2019 will have only 16 seeds in both the men’s and women’s draw. With this, the game reverts back to the format which was practiced before 2001. The move has long been supported by some of the biggest names in the game, including Roger Federer.
Federer earlier supporting the move to have only 16 seeds at the Slams, had said, “That’s how it used to be when I came up, way back when. There’s definitely something intriguing about having 16 seeds. I do see the problem of the 32 seeds, plus you have eight seeds who get byes at Masters 1000 [events].”
He added, “You have these stairs that can make you feel safe and I feel like there’s too many to get to the top. It’s hard to drop out and it’s hard to get into. Having 16 seeds? That might be interesting. The draw could be more volatile, [with] better matches in the first week. The top guys have made a habit of not cruising but getting through the first week quite comfortably for a long period of time.”
The decision was made by the Grand Slam board in a meeting and they released a press release making the announcement. Here is the announcement:
Delighted to hear that the Grand Slam tournaments intend to revert to 16 seeds in 2019. Will make 1st weeks of major all the more compelling. Other changes too, including a 25-second rule in 2018 pic.twitter.com/n1y37OMfNN
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) November 21, 2017
The statement read, “The 2018 Grand Slam tournaments will continue with 32 seeds in singles and intend to revert to 16 seeds in 2019.”