ATP ITF Sports Governance Tennis WTA

ITF announces major restructure of professional tennis with 2019 transition tour

By Community | February 1, 2018

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has today announced details of the new ITF transition tour that will be launched in 2019 as part of a major restructuring of professional tennis.

The tour aims to provide a more effective pathway linking the ITF Junior Circuit and the senior professional game, and also ensure that prize money at professional level tournaments is better targeted to enable more players to make a living.

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.

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.

The transition tour forms part of a new worldwide tournament structure that has been agreed between the ITF, ATP and WTA in order to address the current challenges at entry level.

This structure is expected to reduce the number of professional players with ATP and WTA rankings from 3,000 players to approximately 750 men and 750 women.

Women’s tour structure 2019:

Men’s tour structure 2019:

ITF President David Haggerty said: “The new worldwide tournament structure in which we have collaborated with the ATP and WTA will help address the issues of transition between the junior and senior game, and enable more professional players to make a living.

“The introduction of the transition tour will allow players to take the first steps towards becoming a future champion within a more targeted and affordable circuit structure.”

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, added: “The new points structure from 2019 will lead to significant enhancements to the player pathway through men’s professional tennis, providing a seamless link for players to progress upwards into ATP Challengers and beyond.

“We look forward to the successful implementation of the new structure through our continued extensive collaboration with the ITF.”

Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO, commetned: “It is the goal of many talented young tennis players to compete on the WTA Tour. We support the restructuring of the pathway to professional tennis that is being announced by the ITF which is designed to simplify the forward progress of talented young players through different tournament levels.

“These efforts will provide more targeted job opportunities for players, and ultimately establish a clear pathway structure for players to move up to the WTA professional level.”

ATP ITF Sports Governance Tennis WTA