There may not be ATP ranking points on offer but players competing in the soon-to-begin Asian Tennis Tour (ATT) actually stand to earn more than the USD 10,000 ITF Futures events.
In a bid to give Asian players more opportunities to make money out of sport at the initial phase of their careers, the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) had recently announced the launch of the ATT, which will begin with back-to-back events at DLTA in New Delhi starting April 18.
A comparative study of the ATT events with ITF Futures, the lowest-tier events on professional Tour, reveals that even the first round loser in ATT tournaments is set to earn more.
If a player in two USD 5000 events loses even in the first rounds, he will earn a minimum of USD 650 while a first round loser in USD 10,000 ITF Futures gets only USD 146.
“We want to help low-ranked players in all Asian nations. It has become so difficult to sustain in the highly competitive world of tennis. They can’t make money unless they move to big tournaments and our Tour will serve as a springboard for them,” Manpreet Kandhari, ATT Executive Director, told PTI.
“It’s a win-win situation for the Asian players, who can’t make money unless they move up in rankings,” Kandhari added.
The ATT has two events—USD 5000 and USD 7000 -- and in both, they have a separate USD 2000 allowance for the players, to be distributed equally to all 16 main draw players.
The title winner at USD 10000 ITF Future gets USD 1224 as prize purse and if a player wins two ATT events of USD 5000 each, he will earn USD 2050. He is earning USD 826 more.
It’s a huge incentive for a player.
The winner at the USD 7000 ATT event will be given USD 1200 as prize money and an allowance of USD 125 makes it a total of USD 1325, which is USD 101 more than the USD 1224 given to the winner of ITF Futures event.
There is no ranking for them but the players will earn decent money. This extra USD 125 allowance, apart from their prize money, can cover at least some of their stay and travel cost for tournaments on professional circuit.
The ATT will also offer wild cards to the winners for the ITF Futures and ATP Challenger events. Also, five players will be chosen to travel with elite players in each IPTL team.
“There will be a lot of exposure for them. Imagine a young gun like Adil Kalyanpur travelling with a Novak Djokovic or a Serena Williams. It will be hugely inspirational for our and other Asian players,” said another ATT official.
The ATT will involve white badge referees for the conduct of their tournaments as against expensive silver badge referees, who are required for officiating in the ITF Futures.
The ATT is set to organise close to 40 tournaments across Asian cities in the 2016 season and are bullish to take this number to 150 by 2020.
It has been learnt that many Asian tennis nations such as Nepal, Cambodia, Bhutan, Thailand and Vietnam have expressed interest and queried about ATT events.