ITF to restructure the lower levels of the sport to significantly reduce number of professional players
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will restructure the lower levels of the sport in a bid to significantly reduce the number of professional players.
London: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will restructure the lower levels of the sport in a bid to significantly reduce the number of professional players.
A three-year review by the governing body of professional and junior tennis found not enough players are making a living from the game and that the age of those players is increasing.
Around 14,000 players currently compete in professional events, almost half of whom do not earn any prize money.
The ITF would like to reduce this to no more than 750 men and 750 women and the reforms, which have been approved by the ITF board, is for the introduction of a new Transition Tour from 2019.
The new tour would replace the lowest level of professional tournaments on the ITF Pro Circuit, with players earning ITF entry points instead of ATP or WTA ranking points.
The two systems will be linked to ensure that the more successful players are able to use their entry points to gain acceptance into higher-level tournaments.
Transition Tour events will be held within a localised circuit structure in an effort to reduce costs for players and tournament organisers.
"Over 14,000 players competed at professional level last year, which is simply too many. Radical changes are needed to address the issues of transition between the junior and professional game, playing affordability and tournament cost," ITF president David Haggerty said.
"The next step is to ensure the structure of professional tennis is fit for purpose through a targeted job opportunities approach that will create a smaller group of true professional players.
India's Payas Jain claimed his second successive under-17 boys title after defeating Tom Closset of Belgium 3-1 in the WTT Youth Contender final in Tunis.
The 18-year-old Briton became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam when she defeated 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday.
Murray, who underwent right hip surgery in 2017 and again 2019, lost in five sets to third-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round in New York, where the Scot won the third of his major titles in 2012.