ITF News Release: ITF WTA and ATP deliver optimized professional tennis structure
ITF PRESS RELEASE
Roehampton, UK – The ITF (International Tennis Federation) has today announced an agreement with the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) to optimise the structure of men’s and women’s professional tennis. This will provide additional competitive opportunities and a clear and fair pathway for talented players.
The agreement includes the allocation of ATP and WTA ranking points at $15,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournaments, additional ranking points at men’s $25,000 tournaments, as well as increased playing opportunities with 48-player qualifying singles draws. Players’ rankings will be updated with the new points allocations on 5 August 2019. These points will be applied retroactively to all tournaments played since August 2018.
Updated men’s and women’s ATP/WTA rankings will be used for acceptances into ITF World Tennis Tour events plus ATP Challengers and WTA 125K tournaments beginning the week of 26 August 2019.
ATP ranking points are to be awarded according to the following points table (singles and doubles):
Winner Finalist Semi-finalist Quarter-finalist Round of 16 M25 – Singles 20 12 6 3 1 M25 – Doubles 20 12 6 3 M15 – Singles 10 6 4 2 1 M15 – Doubles 10 6 4 2
WTA ranking points are to be awarded at $15,000 (W15) ITF World Tennis Tour events according to the following points table:
Winner Finalist Semi-finalist Quarter-finalist Round of 16 Singles 10 6 4 2 1 Doubles 10 6 4 1
For tournaments to increase from 32-player to 48-player Qualifying Singles Draw sizes, the integrity implications of moving from seven to eight-day events were fully discussed with the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). The TIU recognise the benefits of a balanced calendar that provides additional playing opportunities, which along with other measures, will contribute to an improved integrity environment for players.
To provide continuity to players, ITF ranking points will be awarded in $15,000 and $25,000 qualifying rounds and a player’s ITF ranking will continue to be valid for acceptance purposes after ATP or WTA ranked players. Three reserved places in $15,000 tournaments for ITF top 100-ranked juniors will continue to facilitate entry into professional tennis for the best-performing players at junior level.
The ITF’s agreement with the ATP and WTA has been reached to achieve the key objectives of a clearly defined group of professional players and a structure that allows for smooth mobility.
Steve Simon, WTA CEO and Chairman said, “The WTA is pleased to work with the ITF in the shared goal of developing a clear structure and pathway to provide for the competitive opportunities and rewards needed for a Player to transition through the ITF World Tennis Tour in their quest to compete on the WTA Tour.”
David Haggerty, ITF President said, “Collaborating further with the ATP and WTA, our goal is to ensure the professional pathway from juniors to professional tennis is fit for purpose. It is vital that players have the opportunity to play and progress and nations can afford to host events in their countries at both professional and transitional levels. These additional reforms to the pathway will further strengthen the new structure introduced in 2019, that in turn will create a true professional group of players, increase playing opportunities at all levels of the game, and help widen the number of nations hosting professional tournaments so that tennis can remain a truly global sport.”
Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the ITF which we believe will lead to significant enhancements to the player pathway and the way in which the ITF World Tennis Tour links to the ATP Challenger Tour. Structural reform has been necessary as we look to increase opportunities and achieve a balanced calendar for the sport. We will continue to closely monitor the latest changes to ensure that they are working as designed for the players, and for the benefit of the sport as a whole.”
- Allocation of ATP and WTA ranking points across the ITF World Tennis Tour will provide one ranking system for men’s and women’s professional tennis and a smoother transition for players who will move up the system due to their achievements on court
- There will be three reserved places in ITF $15,000 tournaments for ITF top 100-ranked juniors; no reserved places will be offered at any other level
- Doubles acceptance at $15,000 tournaments is amended, to be based on a player’s singles or doubles ranking, whichever is higher, with no requirement to have been accepted into the Singles competition, and therefore opening up opportunities to more players
Subject to consultation with National Associations and key stakeholders, a new more affordable level of development tournament is currently under review for introduction below the ITF World Tennis Tour, between $15,000 tournaments and the ITF Junior Circuit, to ensure players from as many countries as possible have the opportunity to join the player pathway. These tournaments will offer ITF ranking points and enable all players, including those from college tennis and other pathways, to progress to professional tournaments based on results.
The ITF World Tennis Tour is a long-term project to secure the future of professional tennis. The ITF, ATP and the WTA have worked closely to deliver a comparable model for both men and women and will continue to monitor and adjust to ensure the optimal structure is provided. The ITF Board has approved these measures following consultation with the ATP and WTA, Player Representatives, and acknowledging feedback from ITF National Associations, tournaments, coaches and players.