Help save the future of professional tennis
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The future of professional tennis is expected to go under a drastic change by 2019. Many players believe this could be the end of their dream.
Here are the main reasons why:
1. The professional rankings will be limited to no more than 750 players for men and women. Currently, there are almost 2000 men and 1250 women.
2. $15,000 professional tournaments will no longer be professional tournaments; they will not award professional points.
3. Many players continue to compete in $15,000's (even top 200 players!) because there are many that are held for consecutive weeks in the same place. This is not the case for $25,000's. This will mean that all players, whether they are inside the top 750 or not, will have to significantly increase their budget to travel to a different place on a weekly basis for $25,000's and other tournaments.
Yes, this means all players ranked outside the top 750 will not be considered professional. Their professional status will be taken away from them. Their chances of winning professional points in $15,000's will not exist anymore. All the best professional tennis players seen on TV today and all the tennis legends won some of their first professional points by competing in entry-level tournaments, the equivalent of $15,000's today. This 'first step' is so important for all professional players, and it's about to be taken away from them.
All tennis players who work hard every day to win their first professional point in a $15,000 tournament will be denied. The very essence of beginning a professional career, as well as continuing one, will be extinguished for many tennis players around the world. Many players have already said that if these changes happen, they will probably quit.
This is happening because the ITF (International Tennis Federation) is ordering a major restructuring of entry-level professional tennis. They want to implement their own ranking system that will award players "transition points" in $15,000's to redeem for a spot to play in 'real professional events', such as $25,000's. In fact, they have already said that by 2020, they plan to entirely remove $25,000's from the men's professional tournament category. This is due to a study (found here) that shows there are currently ~14,000 players competing in professional tournaments, of which almost half do not earn any prize money.
Tennis players may be alone on the court, but this is a calling for all of them to come together and say "no" to these changes. For all their team members, family, tennis fans, and all people around the world to stand up against this injustice. Our goal is to reach 2,000 unique signatures before sending our petition to the ITF.
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