Luke Saville’s match point during his first round match with Gravilova and Kokkinakis cheering for him
Vanni won an epic first round 16-14 third set, here how he reacted after 1st match point failed.
As you can see by the pictures below, Alla Kudryavtseva was desperate during her match
Another epic match: Arnaboldi-Herbert 27-25 third set, this is the match point
Alexander Zverev tried to destroy his racquet after the loss against Sijsling
Ons Jabeur was very angry at the end of her match
Alexa Graham is surely one on the young players to watch on the ITF Pro circuit in 2015.
She made a great debut this year reaching the final at Fort-de-France 10k, beating top 500 (Guarachi) and top 300 (Ramialison) opponents.
I could never watch you so please describe yourself on tennis court: your best side and your weakness
I enjoy playing in a competive atmosphere and learning from the experience of playing players with high talent.
What is your favourite surface?
I train on Har Tru and Hard Courts, but Hard Courts are definitely my favorite.
I read that you are coached by Anna Bielen-Zarska, is this right? From how long time is she following you?
Yes, Anna has been coaching me for about three years now! We work really well together and I love training with her every day.
Did you travel to Martinique with her or with family?
I traveled to Martinique with one of my hitting coaches, Eric Bratt.
Do you have any sponsor?
I’m on Babolat’s national team and they provide me with equipment.
Do you have any pre-match rituals?
Before my matches I warm up all my strokes and sharpen anything that seems to be off.
Does cheering from the stands help to get you play better play or not ? Especially in foreign tournaments
I always enjoy playing in front of a crowd, no matter where it is.
What was the best match you’ve ever played?
When I was 14 years old playing a 10k in Pennsylvania I won my first wta point. We split sets and then I was down 5-2 and a match point in the third set and came back to win the match.
What is your favourite tennis player and why?
I like Maria Sharapova because she is very competitive on the court. She is always intense and aggressive. She also has the ability to come back from adversity and injury.
You are very young: how can you put together tennis and your education?
I’m an online high school student. It’s a big commitment and takes a lot of coordination and planning.
You played only one ITF junior tournament, why?
I’ve only played one junior ITF tournament because my coach and I thought it was better to invest the resources in playing pro circuit events.
Do you have any relation with other good US junior girls (Bellis, Neel, Kenin, Gordon etc..?)
I’ve made a lot of good friends through tennis including Ingrid Neel, Jessie Aney, and Alexis Nelson. Even though we dont live close to each other, we manage to stay in touch.
Describe the differences between ITF and USTA tournaments (organization, atmosphere, courts etc)
ITF tournaments are run more professionally and you are usually only playing one match a day.
Three things/rules you would change on Pro Circuit if you had the power
Each match should have a definite start time, there should be line judges on all the lines for every match, and to be given the oppurtunity to talk to your coach between split sets.
What is your schedule for beginning of 2015?
I’m going down to Florida next weekend for a national open. I also plan on playing the two 10ks in Florida in March.
What is your goal for 2015? Just stay healthy and improve your game or do you have a ranking goal?
This year I want to compete in as many pro events as possible and keep improving my ranking.
What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
The weekends that I’m home I always like going to the movies and the mall with my friends.
Your favourite movie?
My favorite movie is The Internship. I laugh everytime I watch it!
I really like Taylor Swift’s new album.
Thanks for the interview and best of luck for your career!
I still miss Steve a lot, there are no words to describe how much he loved tennis and how good he was at writing about it.
This post is of course dedicated ho him.
Serena and Caroline serve fails at Slams
Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki showed their close friendship all year long…they showed also something else in common this year
NCAA doubles win back to back Challenger titles
Reese/Libietis (Vols seniors) won Knoxville Challenger.
“We know how to win,” Reese said. “We know what each other is good at. Our chemistry is so good on the court, we know where we’re going to be at all times. That’s so vital. We’ve been coached really well.”
“We’ve been playing on our serves extremely well,” Libietis said. “We were executing very well. Same as in college in the NCAAs and All-Americans. We’re holding serve and that gives us confidence for the breaks. We can go for it on the returns because we know we’re going to hold.”
Kopinski/Guignon (Illini seniors) won Champaign Challenger.
“It was a special atmosphere for us,” Tim Kopinski said. “Everyone was just getting behind us every point win or lose. It was a lot of fun for us, lifting us up the whole time.”
Two is better than one: magic shots by Dreddy and Dimitrov in the same match
Infamous pics from ITF Pro Tour
Training court in Sousse ITF
Resident vs non resident benefit in Santa Margherita ITF
47 yo gains again ATP ranking
Oren Motevassel (best ranking 161 in 1997), self proclaimed “best player in the world for 40+” won his 1st round at ITF USA F8 (and in the second round he took 4 games from top 300 Michalicka)
Bernard Tomic records fastest ATP loss ever
In Miami 1st round the Aussie lost 06 16 (13 points won in the whole match) to Jarkko Nieminen in 28 minutes
he would have preferred to play mixed doubles
Around the post doubles winner shots
We had two this year
Alessio Di Mauro retires and we will miss him so much
Especially this match vs Meister in San Luis Potosi Challenger: the rally at 1:29:36 is a must watch.
Congratulations to Mahut after loss at French Open press conference
Photo says it all
Ernest Gulbis dropshot perfect game
Funny motivations for Alternates/Withdrawal on ATP/WTA tour
WTA Wuhan: Yuxuan Zhang didnt play quali because
Andria Challenger: maybe Jimmy Wang got flu?
Most incredible miss ever on Challenger Championship (!) Point
Volley missed on 6-4 2-6 9-8, then they lost 9-11
Garza confirms himself as king of retirements
With 8 retirements this year he touched 53 matches lost for retirement in the whole career: amazing record.
Matosevic (on his 13th try) & Lorenzi (on his 14th try) end their Grand Slam drought
Matosevic reaction after first Slam win
James McGee fulfills his Grand Slam dream
Such a great moment for a player that had to pass through the hell of ITF tournaments
Darian King defaulted in Charlottesville Challenger after a funny incident
Wil Spencer comes out from the blue and wins ITF Title
After a more-than two-year sabbatical, Wil Spencer wins Wildcard tournament for Bluewater Bay Pro Circuit Championship (ITF USA F31) and then wins the real ITF tournament.
Full story here.
Racquet throw award 2014: the winner is Mannarino
and the runner-up is Ryan Harrison
Racquet smash award 2014: the winner is Rhyne Williams
Racquet in two pieces award 2014: the winner is Bozoljac
Worst overrule of the year award 2014
Weirdest point of the year award 2014: the winner is Raonic
Best Smash of the year award 2014: the winner is Federer
DISCLAIMER : Every chart here below is based on data analysed by myself based on ATP and ITF websites. It may well contain errors. If anyone wants to cross check, please get in touch via Twitter @ – drinks will be yours!
First of all I considered the amount of ITF Tournaments scheduled on 2014 and related prize money.
|Tournaments Number||Prize Money||Total|
So the total prize money for ITF Men has been 9.500.000 $.
I did the same calculation for ATP Challenger tour
|Tournaments Number||Prize Money||Total|
|6||€ 125.000||€ 750.000|
|8||€ 106.500||€ 852.000|
|9||€ 100.000||€ 900.000|
|5||€ 85.000||€ 425.000|
|10||€ 64.000||€ 640.000|
|7||€ 75.000||€ 525.000|
|35||€ 50.000||€ 1.750.000|
|27||€ 42.500||€ 1.147.500|
|23||€ 40.000||€ 920.000|
|19||€ 35.000||€ 665.000|
So the total prize money for ATP Challenger has been 8.574.500 $.
Ian suggested as WTA solution that WTA tournaments should donate 4.75% of their prize money (total calculated on 107.5 million dollars) to ITF tournaments .
If we apply the same rule (asking “only” 3%) to ATP tournaments (total prize money 2014 about 135 million dollars) we have 4.05 million dollars available.
But what if we ask the same fee also to top 50 ATP singles players and top 20 doubles players? We will have extra 3.44 million dollars (total income for top 50 is above 100 million dollars). I dont think 20.000 dollars will be such a loss for Istomin or 40.000 dollars for Isner. Consider that top 50 players have a lot of incomes also from sponsors, exhibitions etc…so the income from tournaments prize money it’s just a part. Most of them have been ITF tournaments players and surely know how tough that environment is.
We should simplify the Challenger Tour splitting the actual 149 tournaments in:
- 100 Challengers with 50k prize money
- 49 Challengers with 100k prize money
This solution would cost 9.9 millions against the actual 8.6 millions.
At ITF level we should transform every tournament in a 18k one.
This solution would cost 15.1 million dollars against the actual 9.5.
To make this restructuring we would need in total 6.9 million dollars but we would have 7.5 from the 3% combined (tournaments+players) fee.
ITF/ATP should assure players that ITF/Challenger hospitality will be free of charge.
In this way we could have the following prize money round by round
|Actual 10.000 $||18.000 $||50.000 $||100.000 $|
|W||1.440 $||2.592 $||7.200 $||14.400 $|
|F||848 $||1.526 $||4.240 $||8.480 $|
|SF||502 $||904 $||2.510 $||5.020 $|
|QF||292 $||526 $||1.460 $||2.920 $|
|2R||172 $||310 $||860 $||1.720 $|
|1R||104 $||187 $||520 $||1.040 $|
I tried to put these new numbers on 2014 tournaments of Nicolas Jarry, ranked 224 with “only” 21.207 $ won and he would have gained about 10.000 $ more (not even considering the expenses deduction for hospitality): in this way the survival on tour would pass to be a dream, from being a nightmare.
To avoid another issue of modern tennis that will be the object of a future post, good ranked players vulturing lower level tournaments, Challengers should be forbidden to top 100 and ITF tournaments to top 200.
I know it will be very diffucult to convince tournament organizers or top ranked tennis players to reduce their profits, but for example the ITF could just donate 5% of Grand Slams Prize Money to ITF tournaments: in this way they could exactly step up every 10k to 15k without involving players or organizers.
Comments are welcome, it is important to keep active the discussion about this big issue.
On this post I discussed about the difficulties of surviving on tour for players outside ATP Main Tour (especially those who can’t have the boost of a Grand Slam appearence).
I’m taking advantage of this message to express my disgust and displeasure with what is being done with the Futures and the ITF. In this tournament, we had to pay 40 USD only to enter the qualifications. It is, to be honest, a rip-off, a real joke. But thus are the majority of the Futures. They are not played in adequate conditions, don’t have enough balls to practice with, lack doctors/physios.
To tell the truth, as someone who loves this game, one feels very frustrated because an immense effort is made, not only on my part (player), but also on the part of a whole family who expects the most basic things in order to play in conditions which are acceptable for the sport and I have never seen the ITF take any action whatsoever in the matter, checking and monitoring or with any intention to improve the tournaments.
The prize money remains of 10,000 USD, which doesn’t even cover the costs of playing the tournaments, let alone making money if someone wishes to do things the proper way and travel with a coach. Even winning the tournament doesn’t cover the costs of playing it.
I showed that the situation is similarly bad even for players ranked inside top 250, the following pic took at Italian ITF (by Marco Caldara) explains perfectly how can be tough for players to survive: sometimes they are even under “extortion” by organizers.
You don’t have to be surprised when you read, as we all did yesterday, on the Tennis Integrity Unit website that even an official has been founded guilty of corruption offenses. Winning a 1st round ITF match gives you 104 $, losing that match on a fix arranged by another player, an official or just some criminal could give you some thousands with which you could pay maybe one month of tournaments abroad: temptation would be very big, wouldn’t it?
I also analysed WTA players ranked 101-250 and the situation is even worse than the ATP one.
We have similar discrepancies (every data is referred to singles matches 2014):
- Allertova ranked 110 with 53k prize money
- Domingues Lino ranked 111 with 200k prize money
- Kulichkova ranked 150 with 38k prize money
- Govortsova ranked 151 with 207k prize money
and also the strange case of Kichenok twin sisters:
- Nadiia ranked 196 with 107.474 $ prize money
- Lyudmyla ranked 198 with 46.934 $ prize money
Medium income of WTA Players ranked 101-250 is 87.000 $
Medium income of ATP Players ranked 101-250 is 119.000 $
But the most important indicator that I found out was: how many male players had incomes of at least 100k? How Many Female players?
ATP: 170 WTA: 154
And if you put limit of struggle for existence (as a pro player) to 50k?
ATP: 208 WTA: 191
As you can see the drop from 100k to 50k is very fast, too fast.
I think that ATP, WTA and ITF should do something to allow more players chasing their dream of becoming a pro player.
Here below the full list of prize money 2014 of 101-250 ATP/WTA Players.
DISCLAIMER : The chart here is based on hand made calculations done by myself based on ATP and WTA websites. It may well contain errors. If anyone wants to cross check, please get in touch via Twitter @ – drinks will be yours!
|Player||Prize Money (x 1.000$)||Real Ranking||Prize Money (x 1.000$)||Player|
|Wang||227||124||185||Larcher De Brito|
|Munoz-De La Nava||39||209||39||Golubic|