USTA PRO CIRCUIT KICKS OFF 39TH SEASON WITH “NET GENERATION”
YOUTH INITIATIVES SLATED FOR 2018 TO GROW THE GAME
Live streaming continues for all men’s Challengers and women’s events;
French Open, US Open, and Australian Open wild cards to be decided
Through Pro Circuit play
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., January 10, 2018 – The USTA today announced that the 39th season of the USTA Pro Circuit is underway. A $25,000 hard-court men’s Futures was hosted last week at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. This week, both men’s and women’s competition will be taking place with two men’s events (a $25,000 hard-court Futures in Long Beach, Calif., and a $15,000 clay-court Futures in Naples, Fla.) and a $25,000 clay-court women’s event in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The USTA Pro Circuit, the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, is scheduled to feature more than 90 events this year—including nine women’s events at $80,000-plus in prize money and six men’s Challengers at $100,000-plus in prize money. The USTA Pro Circuit will this year award more than $3 million in total prize money.
More than 30 events are also expected to take place on clay. In conjunction with USTA Player Development, the USTA Pro Circuit continues to emphasize the importance of increased training for younger players on clay.
New this year, each USTA Pro Circuit tournament will be activating the USTA’s “Net Generation” and offer kids’ activities that will give local children an opportunity to be involved with professional tennis and interact with tennis’ rising stars. Local children in each market will be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in coin tosses, be a player escort prior to matches, or play tennis during an on-court Net Generation demonstration. With more than 90 events hosted nationwide, children will now get closer to the game than ever before. Net Generation, launched during the 2017 US Open, is the USTA’s new approach to inspire the next generation of tennis players. With Net Generation, American tennis has, for the first time, one unified youth brand for kids and parents, which also ensures a kid-friendly and safe environment across all competitive levels.
Returning initiatives for 2018 include live streaming and USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenges.
- Live streaming will continue for all USTA Pro Circuit men’s Challengers and women’s events with prize money of $60,000 or more. Live streaming will begin the week of Jan. 29 at the $125,000 men’s Challenger in Dallas, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the $100,000 women’s event in Midland, Mich., which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018.
- USTA Player Development will again award wild cards into the main draws of the French Open, US Open, and Australian Open based on players’ results on the USTA Pro Circuit.
“The USTA Pro Circuit is still going strong after 39 years, developing hundreds of young players and bringing world-class tennis to local communities nationwide that might not otherwise see pro tennis,” said Megan Rose, USTA Pro Circuit Director. “We are excited to begin 2018 with strong playing fields, top-notch tennis, and some exciting new initiatives for our younger tennis fans to grow the game and help create the next generation of tennis players.”
The opening weeks of competition for the 2018 season feature numerous young up-and-coming Americans looking to develop their games into the spring. Those scheduled to compete in the coming weeks include 2017 Wimbledon junior champion and former world junior No. 1 Claire Liu, former Georgia Tech standout Christopher Eubanks, current world No. 1 junior and 2017 junior French Open champion Whitney Osuigwe, US Open qualifier and former University of Virginia standout JC Aragone, former Ohio State standout Francesca Di Lorenzo, 2016 Wimbledon junior semifinalist Ulises Blanch, 2017 junior Wimbledon finalist Ann Li, 2017 USTA Boys’ 18s champion Patrick Kypson, and former world No. 87 Victoria Duval, who is on the comeback trail after recovering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
To view the 2018 USTA Pro Circuit calendar or to find information about draws, entry lists, live streaming, and this year’s USTA Pro Circuit season, visit www.procircuit.usta.com. Fans can also follow and discuss the USTA Pro Circuit by utilizing the hashtag #USTAProCircuit on social media.