OTHER TENNIS NEWS
Tennis news from around the world and around the corner. Have some news that may be of interest to other tennis players? Send it to us and we'll see about including it in this section.
ITF Announces Strategic Developments For Seniors Tennis In 2020 And 2021
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has today (August 22, 2019) announced a series of improvements to the ITF Seniors Circuit for 2020 and 2021 following the publication of the 2019-2021 ITF Seniors Strategic Development Plan in January this year.
The changes are motivated by the ITF’s mission to make seniors tennis the leading competitive sport for participants aged 35 and over and to increase the number of players, nations and tournaments on the ITF Seniors Circuit from 2020 onwards.
More than 25,000 players between the ages of 35 and 95 currently compete on the ITF Seniors Circuit on an annual basis, with more than 400 tournaments taking place around the world. The ITF Seniors World Team and Individual Championships (in Young Seniors, Seniors and Super-Seniors categories) remain a highlight in the season. Over 800 players representing 48 nations competed in the ITF Seniors World Team and Individual Championships (covering age categories from 50+ to 60+) in Portugal earlier this month.
Among the most important improvements to the circuit are revisions to entry-level tournaments (Grade 4) to provide a greater number of competitive opportunities and appropriate formats, designed both to cater for the huge number of players who already compete and to attract new players to the circuit.
Additionally, a new tier of tournaments will be introduced in 2021 to provide more frequent, high-quality events for elite players. The new level will sit just below the World Championships in terms of prestige and ranking points on offer.
Overall, the number of different grades of competition will reduce to six by 2021 providing a simplified structure for the circuit.
Other improvements from 2020 will include:
The ITF Seniors Committee, ITF Seniors Player Advisory Panel and ITF Seniors Tournament Director and Referee Panel were all consulted during the process and approved the improvements.
Matt Byford, Manager, ITF Seniors, said: “The ITF is excited for the future of Seniors Tennis and remains committed to our mission of making Seniors Tennis the leading competitive sport in terms of participation for those aged 35 and over. These changes are designed to enhance the sport and help achieve our objectives. We look forward to working with our players and member nations to grow the number of tournaments and to encourage more players to enjoy the many benefits of competing in ITF Seniors tournaments.”
Ross Duncan, ITF Seniors Player Advisory Panel Member, said: “I am beyond excited about the recent changes the ITF have made to re-structuring ITF Seniors Tennis from 2020 onwards. A lot of careful thought went into the changes with the players’ needs being at the forefront. I am confident that these changes will continue to grow the Seniors game that we all love so much.”
Carmen Perea, ITF Seniors Tournament Director & Referee Panel Member, said: “The changes the ITF is looking to make are very positive. To name just some of them: reinforce doubles events, ranking points for consolation events, IPIN fee changes and better control of tournament entry fees. All this will facilitate the greater participation of players and help the organization of ITF Seniors tournaments, especially at Grade 3 and 4.”
All details regarding today’s announcement for Seniors Tennis can be found on the ITF website.
U.S Players to Get More Points
Michael Hughes, USTA Adult Tournaments
The USTA, in collaboration with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), is excited to announce that, starting in 2019, American players will have access to considerably more ITF World Ranking points when competing in men's and women's 35s-85s events in the United States. In the past, the majority of ITF World Ranking points have been available exclusively in Europe. This change will also provide players the opportunity to climb the world rankings without the need for international travel.
Players, with an ITF IPIN, will now get more points as a result of upgrades to the ITF grade assigned to USTA Category I National Championships, also known as Gold Ball tournaments, and 10 Super Category II adult tournaments. Category I National Championships will be upgraded from ITF Grade 2 to ITF Grade A, while 10 Super Category II adult tournaments will now have ITF Grade 1 status.
"Starting in 2019, the ITF is pleased to upgrade key Category I National Championships and Super Category II adult tournaments in the United States to Grade A and Grade 1 status, respectively, in recognition of the proven success of American players on an international level, the volume of players competing in adult tournaments and the high standard of tournament organization and delivery at these events," said Matt Byford, ITF Seniors Tennis Manager.
We are excited to welcome these changes in 2019 as we get ready for another great year. To view the 2019 USTA Adult National Tournament schedules, please click here.
USTA Adult Tournaments