More and more college teams include Futures and Challengers on their season schedules

Not that it matters at all; just noting something that I never really saw until recently. They're not NCAA or ITA affiliated tournaments, but I guess if the plan is for the players to participate, why not include it on the schedule? The University of Illinois, for example, lists 13 Futures and Challengers on their schedule. I assume they have at least a couple of players going to each.
 

andfor

Legend
Many D1 programs schedule ITF's in the fall. Most schools you'll see listing the events on their schedule are typically ranked. Programs that offer this provide the option for their players that want the pro experience or even have desires of trying to make it on the tour. I know a coach that offers his players a two track option. 1. Standard student athlete track, play the tennis schedule no pro events. 2. Professional tennis tract allowing for the player to go to the ITF events in the fall. This phenomenon has been going on for some time now. I don't follow the tennis programs fall schedules as widely as I used to, so recent programs adding ITF to their schedules is unknown to me.

Side note: I do know that its not uncommon for a coach when recruiting a very top level junior to negotiate how many pro events they will play versus varsity events. When we see players in ITF's in the spring possibly up against or conflicting with a dual match, it was not a scheduling mistake. Chances are that had been agreed to possibly even before the spring schedule was released.
 
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jcgatennismom

Professional
Not that it matters at all; just noting something that I never really saw until recently. They're not NCAA or ITA affiliated tournaments, but I guess if the plan is for the players to participate, why not include it on the schedule? The University of Illinois, for example, lists 13 Futures and Challengers on their schedule. I assume they have at least a couple of players going to each.
The schools may list multiple Challengers as they dont know which their players will get in. Now players with ATP points will definitely get in and probably those with ITF world points. However talented players who have not earned a point yet (or who had points that have expired) may end up at the bottom of alternate lists. The alternate list is randomly generated so an unranked UTR 13+ collegian could be 50 spots below a UTR 8 USTA 4.5. Players dont pay at registration and can sign up for 6 tournaments the same week. The alternate list can be 200+ names and even after the withdrawal deadline, the summer Quali alternate lists were 80+ and the recent fall lists have had 45-50+ alternate 4 days before Qualis start. Last fall, some ITFs had Qualis of 128-this fall Qualis are 48 draws-up from 24 in spring and 32 in summer.

The sad fact is there are a lot of late withdrawals, alternates wont drive for an uncertain spot, and then some tourneys have 5 byes at the Qualis. If not enough registered alternates sign in, the TD can accept unregistered locals who sign in. There is one 39 year old lawyer UTR 8 who beat a UTR 6 at a Future last fall (obviously the better alternates did not show up to sign in). Now that UTR 8 with 1 ITF world point (he played 32 draw Quali so winning 1 match got him in final rd of Qualis) gets in Future Qualis before unranked uTR 13 college players. Since his lucky draw, he has played 6 more Future Qualis, losing in the 1st rd every time, never winning more than 2 games while players like Lukas Greif (UTR 13.36) end up at the bottom of the alternate list unless they get WCs. Go figure... At least the ITF is coming up with a WTN number (its answer to UTR) so in a couple years those alternates will be ordered by level. Think the WTN is supposed to include college results-not sure if all or just the major ITA tourneys.

While there can be some lopsided matches in the Qualis, even most of the Quali matches are good as usually the Quali seeds have ATP points. Players earn one ITF world point if they reach the final rd of Qualis-in a 48 draw, that means nonseeds who win 2 matches earn a point and hopefully wont be at the bottom of alternates anymore.

Just looked at 1st round at Houston-40 alternates at freeze on Thursday, 2 byes in 1st rd. Greif did get WC (he was #38 alt) and won his 1st rd Quali. 4 byes at Fayetteville AR but there were 55 alternates at freeze on Thurs. Freeze is last day lists are updated online.
 
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