2019 is coming closer and closer. If you already don’t know there are going to be a lot of changes on ATP/WTA Tour. ITF decided to implement “ITF Transition Tour” from the beginning of the next year. What is the reason? Actually there are few.
“The creation of the transition tour is based on ITF research that shows that while over 14,000 players compete each year in professional tournaments, only around 350 men and 250 women break even financially without consideration of coaching costs. A large number of junior players are competing on the professional circuit but the transition to the Top 100 is taking longer.
The transition tour will be staged within a more localised circuit structure that reduces costs for players and tournament organisers. This will also increase opportunities for players from more countries to join the pathway and be supported in their transition to professional tennis.”
As you can see ITF wants to make tennis more affordable for tennis players as also want to make the transition from juniors to pros much easier than before. There are few things that you should know about “ITF Transition Tour” to be up to date with what is ahead. Here they are:
“In women’s tennis in 2019, tournaments offering a minimum of $25,000 in prize money will continue to offer WTA ranking points. In men’s tennis in 2019, $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit events will offer both ATP ranking points (later rounds) and ITF Entry Points (all rounds); while the qualifying rounds of ATP Challenger tournaments will also offer both ATP ranking points (all events) and ITF Entry Points (events up to $125,000 in prize money). From 2020, it is anticipated that $25,000 men’s tournaments will also form part of the transition tour and offer ITF Entry Points only.”
“Men: reserved places for top ITF Entry Point-ranked players in the qualifying draws of ATP Challenger tournaments (up to $125,000 prize money level). The number of reserved places will be determined later this year following further research and monitoring.
Women: 5 reserved places for top ITF Entry Point-ranked players in the main draw of $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit tournaments.
Juniors: 5 reserved places in the main draw of transition tour tournaments for players in the Top 100 of the ITF Junior Ranking.”
“The ITF, ATP and WTA will implement new ‘play-down’ rules to prevent higher-ranked players from competing in transition tour tournaments to maximise opportunities for other players. Currently anyone outside the Top 10 women or Top 150 men can play in $15,000 events. Under the new structure it is expected that most players with ATP and WTA rankings would choose to enter professional tournaments.”
“The implementation of the new ATP, WTA and ITF ranking systems will take place at the end of 2018.
Any ATP or WTA ranking points earned at $15,000 ITF Pro Circuit tournaments (as well ATP points earned in early rounds of $25,000 Pro Circuit events and Challenger qualifying draws) in 2018 will be converted into ITF Entry Points.
The ITF, ATP and WTA will run shadow rankings throughout 2018, so that all players can see what their professional ranking and ITF Entry Point standing would be under the new system.”
Read full info about ITF Transition Tour here
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach and founder of instructional website http://tennisisland.us. Marcin has been working with USTA, top 60 ITF and WTA/ATP players. He is a frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines and he was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA.