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Tie Break Tens Heads To Dubai For First Standalone Licensed Event

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at October 21, 2021

In the six years since its launch, Tie Break Tens has showcased the talents of Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Serena Williams.

Previously held on the eve of some of the biggest tennis events, including the Australian Open, the fast-paced, first to 10 points scoring system boosted ticket sales and attracted a younger audience.

This week, Tie Break Tens is breaking new ground with Tie Break Tens Dubai, presented by Zone, which will be held on Oct 22 at City Walk’s Coca-Cola Arena.

France’s Gael Monfils, Britain’s 23rd-ranked Dan Evans and Germany’s Dustin Brown are among those signed up, and for the first time, Tie Break Tens will be operating as a stand-alone licensed event.

“For the Dubai tournament we have created a license model with a local promoter, Boqin Group, whereby TB10 are paid a fee and Boqin can bring in their own tournament sponsors, set ticket prices and sell them,” Rachel Woodward, marketing director of Tie Break Tens, told Forbes.

Boqin “are responsible for signing players and running the show using the TB10 format and brand.  TB10 retain the distribution rights for the tournament and this is the model we would like to move towards,” added Woodward.

‘Driving participation’

Woodward said Tie Break Tens have signed a similar deal with the South African federation to stage a similar event in February 2022 and hopes that more young people, especially teenage girls, will take up the game.

“With both those tournaments, the thing that I get particularly excited about is the fact we’re holding grassroots tournaments in the host city beforehand, so it’s driving participation in tennis amongst the young age group. Tie Break Tens lends itself to the youth demographic,” said Woodward.

“One of the areas that I find most rewarding is (that) you get the kids in to watch the pro event in Dubai; they’ve been holding these grassroots tournaments in the city every Friday night, and the eventual winners will play on the match court before the pro event.”

Tie Break Tens believe working with national tennis federations is an ideal way to boost grassroots tennis and increase participation. 

“We’re contacting them with the success stories, about how we see an uplift in participation through the other tournaments we’ve run,” Woodward said. “There’s been a ticket sales uplift for the actual tournament after we’ve hosted Tie Break Tens, so it generates interest in that tournament by holding these Tie Break Tens, because the price point tends to be lower, so you’re getting that youth market in.”

UK events

In the past few years, other formats have also emerged, including Fast 4, where players play shorter sets and Ultimate Tennis Showdown, the brainchild of French coach Patrick Mouratoglou, which is played in four 10-minute segments.

Woodward said there is room for all of them, adding that teenage girls, in particular, enjoy Tie Break Tens, from the format to the social side of things. “I love the scoring system in tennis,” she said. “It’s one of the best things about it. We’re not trying to get rid of traditional tennis, just trying to complement it.”

Tie Break Tens hope to add some events in the UK next summer.

“We’re having further discussions (with Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association) about how we integrate Tie Break Tens into their programmes,” said Woodward. 

The key to everything is fun.

“You’ve got a DJ on the court, you’ve got a lot of noise, you’ve got the players courtside,” said Woodward. “It’s a very different experience. It’s not “quiet please” tennis. Is it like T20 (Twenty 20 cricket)? Maybe it is a bit. You’ve got music, you’ve got the fireworks, you’ve got the pyrotechnics, it’s similar.”

‘Future of tennis’

Jimmy Poon, the tournament tirector for Tie Break Tens Dubai, said he believes the competition is “paving the way for the future of tennis”.

“Whether you are an avid tennis fan, a young tennis player or just seeking an entertaining evening watching sport of the highest quality, TB10s events energize fans of the sport at all levels,” he said.

“Launching this event in the current climate has its challenges, but nowhere is better equipped than Dubai to deliver. With the support of local institutions and government, we were determined to establish this exciting format for our community, our partners, and for tennis fans. It really is tennis like you have never seen before,” Poon added.


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