Tennis Planning To Streamline Its Own Game
ITF reported that there are more than 14,000 tennis players and only about 3,337 players are ranked by the tours, that are technically ¼ of the list.
These Tennis players have a name “Dreamers” given by Jim Courier the U.S. Davis Cup Captain. According to Captain they don’t even earn a dime in the tournament.
Everyone agrees to the main problem of too many players playing for too little prize money. As main titles hold the maximum amount of money. Because of this talented young players go unnoticed, who in fact need the most support to finance their daily resources to become a pro.
Roger Federer said he needs more information about the ITF plan. After winning Quarterfinal match at the Miami Open he also said “we want a good clean sport where players don’t’ have to live in fear” He welcomes the move but need more information to comment any further.
That information is evolving as the ITF works out the details of a proposal to restructure its $15,000 F1 Pro Circuit events, which are ATP and WTA feeders. Re-purposed, those events will no longer offer ATP and WTA rankings points. Instead, they will become a “Transition Tour” intended to make it easier for up-and-coming players to make the leap from the junior circuit to the tour level.
The Transition Tour will have its own entry and ranking system, ultimately linking with the ATP and WTA Tours in ways yet to be determined. But it will not offer main tour ranking points the way Futures events do now. The various events on the tour would be organized regionally, cutting down on travel and expenses.
The new model would not necessarily eliminate the threat of match-fixing, though. The only conceivable remedy for that, according to Courier, would be a digital blackout of events that have no spectator value. Gamblers in the UK, Europe and elsewhere can bet during matches on anything from individual points to whether or not a player will break or hold a given service game. “Just take the data away,” Courier said. “As long as there is live streaming of matches, there will be a market for gambling.”
The Transition Tour concept was spawned by a disturbing trend uncovered by the Pathway study. According to the data, the number of players entering the pro game has risen since 2001. But the numbers moving from junior tennis into the top 100 has remained static.
The reason: The glut of players and low prize money events that offer ATP and WTA ranking points have created a logjam — and formidable obstacles for young players. Also, the already meager resources below the main tour level are distributed over too wide a field.
“There’s over $300 million in prize money out there,” Kris Dent, senior executive director of pro tennis for the ITF, told ESPN.com. “But only about 500 pros are breaking even. Our system is broken.”
Dent added that data gathered by the ITF established that in order to break even on the tour, an ATP pro had to be ranked No. 336 or better. A WTA player had to be No. 253 or better. The calculation did not include coaching costs, as that was too difficult for the analysts to quantify with any accuracy.
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