ITF Announces Pro Circuit System Restructure
The ITF announced on Thursday that they will be restructuring the entry level professional tour.
This idea comes from data from ITF Player Pathway that showed that there are too many professional players on the tour, most of them are losing money, and the age of pro players is increasing.
The details are still being worked out and the ITF plans to implement the new program in 2019 after reworking the system. Right now, we know that there will be a "Transitional Tour." This means that the new pro players will earn entry points at $15k tournaments instead of WTA/ATP points. The barrier for entry into the WTA/ATP will be higher and will decrease the number of professional players at the top. The ITF's restructure will also increase the affordability for the junior and pro players trying to make it on the tour so more players can break even or make money in the tennis profession.
We have already taken an important step forward by increasing prize money levels at ITF Pro Circuit tournaments. 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. At the same time it is imperative that we do not reduce the chance for players of any nation or background to start their journey towards the top 100. - ITF President David Haggerty
It will be interesting to see the final details that the ITF works out for this new system. We'll keep you updated. In the mean time, you can watch the Grade 1 ITF Junior tournament in Spain live here...
See the full ITF Press release.