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Roger Federer not averse to subtle change as tennis considers its future

Few expect revolution as grand slam committees meet at All England Club, but world No2 accepts his sport must start considering theories of evolution if it is to survive beyond modern era

Tennis has been drifting inexorably towards a crossroads for at least five years, and rarely has that been more clearly underlined than in events 700 miles apart this weekend. In Milan, the conclusion of the inaugural Next Gen tournament, packed with innovations such as the shot clock and shortened points, celebrated the arrival of the best of the young prospects in the game, while in London those left standing among the established elite dragged their tired bones to the white line for their final showdown of the season.

There is a decent chance there will be a couple of memorable collisions in either of the two four-player groups at the O2 Arena, with the preferred climax a decider next Sunday between the world No1, Rafael Nadal, and his nemesis on this surface, the ageless Roger Federer. Certainly, there will be more actual court time in London than there has been in Milan – but is this what fans still want?

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