ITF to restructure pro tennis in '19-will affect college players


Hall of Fame
Here is the announcement that came out today

The article states that 14,000 players played pro tournaments last year. The ITF's goal is to reduce the number of pro players to 750 men and women. Currently there are probably close to 2000 players with one or more ATP points. The 15K level Futures will be replaced with transition tournaments where players would earn entry points into pro tournaments that actually earn ATP points.

I wonder how this will affect college players-will more players gravitate to college as it will be harder to earn ATP points or will players stay away from college in '17 and '18 to earn ATP points in the Futures before they are eliminated? I assume the best college players will still get WCs into tourneys or the qualis of tourneys that earn ATP points. Whatever changes the ITF organization makes, it is supposed to ease transition from junior ITFs to pros. If the number of tourneys that actually earn points are reduced (fairly and proportionally across regions), then maybe the best of the juniors, collegians, and pros wont have to play so many rounds of qualis and tourneys before winning some MD matches and and moving up the ranks. Ranked college players go deep in several MDs and they are still stuck in Qualis at the next ones unless they get WCs. At some Future Qualis, the competitors currently range from UTR 8 to 15; reducing the Quali draws may be a good thing if the tourneys/qualis have a narrower UTR range, e.g 13-15. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The current ITF president is Haggerty who is an American. Hopefully these changes will be neutral or an improvement for American juniors, collegians, and pros. The current Futures structure favors Europeans because there are so many more Futures in Europe than the US.

Here is an excerpt " Transition Tour tournaments will be created through the repositioning of the existing $15,000 (Level I) tournaments on the ITF Pro Circuit that will no longer be held as part of the Pro Circuit in 2019. Transition Tour tournaments will offer ITF Entry Points instead of ATP/WTA ranking points, with the two systems linked to ensure that the more successful players are able to use their ITF Entry Points to gain acceptance into ITF Pro Circuit tournaments. The ITF’s proposed restructuring will radically reduce the number of professional players competing for ATP and WTA ranking points. The ITF’s extensive modelling work has led to a recommended professional player group of no more than 750 men and 750 women players."

Overall, I think this is a positive move, but it will probably be messy for a couple of years. Obviously there are a lot of college and post college players who are seeking competition who are not really pro material-maybe local UTR events or events similar to club tennis in Europe will rise up over time to meet their needs.
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Here they come [emoji450]
flying by the fleet[emoji449]
hey hey no more monkeying around[emoji448]
it's about to get busy, [emoji344][emoji443]
it's time to get down[emoji446]
and [emoji444]
your UTR better be[emoji445] sound.[emoji441]

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Hall of Fame
Some more info on changes-letters Emailed out to all players with junior or adult ITF memberships

The ITF intends for its Transition Tour and Level II tournaments to be a 32-player main draw and a 24-
player qualifying draw to enable tournaments to take place over seven days. This will ensure no
overlap in events from week to week and ensure there is no requirement or pressure on players to
depart a tournament early in order to sign-in at the following week’s tournament. In addition, new ‘play
up’ and ‘play down’ rules will be put in place to limit the numbers of Tour ranked and junior players
playing Transition Tour events

Currently most USTA pro circuit events have 128 Qualis that start on Friday, the main draw starts on Mon or Tues for Qualifiers, and the tournaments does not finish until Sat or Sunday of the following week. These changes will save $ for players who do have to come up through Qualifiers-plus the odds are a lot better to get in MD, e.g. 8/24 vs 8/128. The $25K tourneys which I think have 64 draw Quali will be reduced in number. With the $25K, probably 75% of the qualifiers had ATP points or national rankings. With the 128 Qualis, there were a lot of players without national ranking or ATP points.
My read is that college tennis is the big loser here. Draws are much smaller. An 18 year old with an ITF ranking of 200 will take precedence over a graduating college senior. With so few spaces available I expect ranked juniors will soak up any available spots in the qualifying draws.


Very interesting! No doubt will take a little time to understand the TRUE impacts.
My thought is.... what is ITF's true goal. Other than reducing of # of M/W pros to 750, they are not just coming up with 750 out of the blue. There is a reason and it not just one thing.

2 Thoughts:

1st - Too many professionals are watering down the sport and overall quality of tournaments. Thus reducing interest in the sport causing reduced interest in advertisers, etc.

2nd - The whole idea behind how you get ITF points to qualify or have collegiate opportunity. I think this might be the bigger issue. Right now the USA has set it self up in a weak position for juniors to acquire points. As most of the ITF tournaments are mostly in two regions, South CA & FL (Tx area has 1 woman's tournament, all else it 1 to 2 days drive). Hopefully, these Transition Tour Tournaments they discuss are spread around the country. If not, we'll continue to draw from only these two regions. Effectively writing off the rest of the country.
If not, tennis will continue its death spiral, which it truly is in.

But we don't need to worry.
I'm sure US(R)TA (R for recreation) is right there working with ITF giving excellent advice........ so what could go wrong?!?!
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