In the world of transitioning tennis from a junior player to a professional career, there are many hurdles to overcome. Not only does the game have to improve, the budget has to grow.
There are different views and ways to master and build the path to professional tennis. Some experts say the World Pro Tour is only for highly talented players. Other experts suggest that professional tennis is a process and support several avenues to Grand Slam tennis.
The problem is not easy to solve. However, the truth is that the vision of the current tour is not equal. The purpose of different tournament categories (ATP/WTA vs ITF) is not well communicated. The rating system is a mess. If a player does not have massive financial support from the family, a federation, an academy or a sponsor, it is more or less impossible to develop as a professional player. In addition, the Grand Slam countries have huge advantages over other countries. It’s just unfair.
There is an urgent need to fill the big gap with short exciting national tournaments that award international points. The aim is to support young players with appropriate prize money and international competitions. All rankings on the ATP/WTA and the ITF tours as well as the UTR should be respected and brought into one platform.
What must we do?
The PTCA (Professional Tennis Coaches Association-www.ptcatennis.net) presents the WTP (World Tennis Professionals) Circuits, Tours & Series that started in 2019. WTP is considered to be the pioneer and the original of all-new complementary tennis tours. The idea for this innovative tennis platform came about when renowned ATP and WTA coaches considered improving the tournament tennis landscape for players and coaches. The vision was to internationalize regional tennis tournaments as a support for regular players. That means lower costs and optimizing the time for those players and coaches.
WTP offers all players a platform to extend or strengthen their career. The WTP aims to become the most exciting tennis platform in the world. This has never existed before. The cross-border WTP concept creates an interesting atmosphere in which coaches, players and regional fans can thrive. The “Young Guns” can compete with established players whose ATP/WTA careers are slowly coming to an end due to age and family (but still have a lot to offer). For example, Daniel Brands (ex. ATP 50) won the 1st WTP Masters 2019 in Seefeld against “young gun” Alexander Erler ATP 400. These matches are just as exciting and top-notch as the star clashes of the major tournaments.
WTP or WTP Reg® (World Tennis Professionals Ranking Evaluation Globally) created its own combined ranking, which automatically includes players from the ATP/WTA and ITF rankings, as well as players who participate in WTP tournaments. WTP is an interlink between the various global ranking systems (which are not yet compatible with each other). In addition, WTP creates conversion factors for the different systems in order to be able to compare and connect them across national borders. (Example: WTP states that a women’s LK 7 in Germany can be compared with a UTR value of x.) WTP does not see itself as a competitor to the ATP, WTA or ITF but as a complement to the tour and interlink across borders . WTP is doing something that no one else has done before.
Why is WTP necessary?
In the past, if players completed national ranking tournaments in different countries, this only served as a major source of income (prize money). The achieved ranking points were evaluated for the respective national ranking. If a German player plays a national prize money tournament abroad (if this is even possible according to their guidelines), he will only score points towards the ranking of that country in question. If he/she decides to play a tournament in Germany, the player will score points for the German ranking. Thus, the player is listed in different rankings in different countries. However, this is not relevant for the qualification for international tournaments of the ITF, ATP/WTA. The system is also interesting for recreational tournament players. Who doesn’t want to be on a leaderboard with Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal?!
Why does WTP serve as a pathway to a career on the ITF/ATP/WTA Tour?
With the introduction of WTP, participation in national prize money tournaments (which have an additional WTP status → WTP Open) or pure WTP tournaments (WTP Classics Challenges) has become important. From now on, participation is no longer solely used to finance a professional career. It is also relevant for an international ranking. A high WTP ranking is used to participate in the WTP Masters (over 5k) or the Champions Trophy (over 7k). These tournaments allow the award of wildcards for international tournaments of the ITF World Tennis Tour and the ATP/WTA Tour in addition to a high prize money payout according to the stated objective. The goal: 32 Masters tournaments and 32 Champion Trophies worldwide with expected streaming broadcast and hospitality.
Why is the WTP series interesting for tournament organizers?
Tournament organizers have the option to upgrade their national tournaments (e.g. national ranking or UTR tournaments) with WTP status. Consequently, the tournaments will become more interesting for players from other countries. The quality and quantity of the participant fields can be increased.
Finally, we strongly believe that there is a need for a complementary tennis tour. The gap needs to be filled and we invite all professional coaches to join the journey of PTCA and WTP.
Together we, the coaches and the players, can make a difference! Why wait until tomorrow? Let’s go and put the future in our own hands.
Are you interested in organizing a tournament? Let us know! For more information, we are at your disposal at any time: Tel: +436502628184
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