Association of Tennis Professionals

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Association of Tennis Professionals
ATP
ATP World Tour.png
Sport Professional Tennis
Founded September 1972
Location London
Monaco
Ponte Vedra Beach
Sydney
Chairman Chris Kermode
Official website
www.atpworldtour.com
Previous logo

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was formed in September 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Drysdale became the first President. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the organization's name. In 1990 the organization was called the ATP Tour, which was renamed in 2001 as just ATP and the tour being called ATP Tour. In 2009 the name was changed again and is now known as the ATP World Tour.[1] It is an evolution of the tour competitions previously known as Grand Prix tennis tournaments and World Championship Tennis (WCT).

The ATP's Executive Offices are in London, United Kingdom. ATP Americas is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, United States; ATP Europe is headquartered in Monaco; and ATP International, which covers Africa, Asia and Australasia, is based in Sydney, Australia.

The counterpart organization in the women's professional game is the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

History[edit]

Started in 1972 by Jack Kramer, Donald Dell, and Cliff Drysdale, it was first managed by Jack Kramer, as Executive Director, and Cliff Drysdale, as President.[2] Jack Kramer created the professional players' rankings system, which started the following year and continues to this day. From 1974 to 1989, the men's circuit was administered by a sub-committee called the Men's International Professional Tennis Council (MIPTC). It was made up of representatives of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the ATP, and tournament directors from around the world.

The ATP requested and got the MIPTC to introduce a drug testing rule, making tennis the first professional sport to institute a drug-testing program.

But the tour was still run by the tournament directors and the ITF. The lack of player representation and influence within the MIPTC as well as dissatisfaction with the way the sport was managed and marketed culminated in a player mutiny in 1988 that changed the entire structure of the tour. CEO Hamilton Jordan is credited with the Parking Lot Press Conference on 30 August 1988 during which the ATP announced their withdrawal from the MIPTC (then called the MTC) and the creation of their own ATP Tour from 1990 onwards.[3][2][4][5] This re-organisation also ended a lawsuit with Volvo and Donald Dell.[6] On 19 January 1989 the ATP published the Tour calendar for the inaugural 1990 season.[7]

By 1991, the men had their first television package to broadcast 19 tournaments to the world.[2] Coming on-line with their first website in 1995, was quickly followed by a multi-year agreement with Mercedes-Benz.

Lawsuits in 2008, around virtually the same issues, resulted in a restructured tour.[8]

ATP World Tour[edit]

The ATP World Tour comprises ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 series, ATP World Tour 250 series and ATP Challenger Tour. The ATP tour also oversees the ATP Champions Tour for seniors. Grand Slams (as well as the Olympic Tennis Tournament) do not fall under the auspices of the ATP. In these events, however, ranking points are awarded.

Players and doubles teams with most ranking points (collected during the calendar year) play in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, which, from 2000-2008, was run jointly with the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The week-long introductory level Futures tournaments are ITF events and they count towards ATP Entry Ranking. The four-week ITF Satellite tournaments were discontinued in 2007. Grand Slam tournaments are overseen by the ITF and they count towards the players' ATP rankings. The details of the professional tennis tour are:

Event category Number Total prize money (USD) Winner's ranking points Governing body
Grand Slam 4 See individual articles 2,000 ITF
ATP World Tour Finals 1 4,450,000 1100–1500 ATP (2009–present)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 9 2,450,000 to 3,645,000 1000 ATP
ATP World Tour 500 series 11 755,000 to 2,100,000 500 ATP
ATP World Tour 250 series 40 416,000 to 1,024,000 250 ATP
ATP Challenger Tour 178 35,000 to 220,000 80 to 125 ATP
ITF Men's Circuit 534 10,000 and 15,000 18 to 35 ITF

2009 changes[edit]

In 2009, ATP introduced a new tour structure called ATP World Tour consisting of ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500, and ATP World Tour 250 tier tournaments.[9][10] Broadly speaking the Tennis Masters Series tournaments became the new Masters 1000 level and ATP International Series Gold and ATP International Series events became ATP 500 level and 250 level events respectively.

The Masters 1000 tournaments are Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Toronto/Montreal, Cincinnati, Shanghai and Paris. The end-of-year event, the World Tour Finals, moved from Shanghai to London. Hamburg has been displaced by the new clay court event at Madrid, which is a new combined men's and women's tournament. From 2011, Rome and Cincinnati will also be combined tournaments. Severe sanctions will be placed on top players skipping the Masters 1000 series events, unless medical proof is presented. Plans to eliminate Monte Carlo and Hamburg as Masters Series events led to controversy and protests from players as well as organisers. Hamburg and Monte Carlo filed lawsuits against the ATP,[11] and as a concession it was decided that Monte Carlo remains a Masters 1000 level event, with more prize money and 1000 ranking points, but it would no longer be a compulsory tournament for top-ranked players. Monte Carlo later dropped its suit. Hamburg was "reserved" to become a 500 level event in the summer.[12] Hamburg did not accept this concession, but later lost its suit.[13]

The 500 level includes tournaments at Rotterdam, Dubai, Acapulco, Memphis, Barcelona, Hamburg, Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, Basel and Valencia.

The ATP & ITF have declared that 2009 Davis Cup World Group and World Group Playoffs award a total of up to 500 points. Players accumulate points over the 4 rounds and the playoffs and these are counted as one of a player's four best results from the 500 level events. An additional 125 points are given to a player who wins all 8 live rubbers and wins the Davis Cup. [14]

Additionally, the domain name of the ATP website was changed to "www.atpworldtour.com".[15]

Rankings[edit]

Main article: ATP Rankings

ATP publishes weekly rankings of professional players: Emirates ATP Rankings (commonly known as the ‘world rankings’), a 52-week rolling ranking, and the Emirates ATP Rankings Race to London, a year to date ranking.[16]

The Emirates ATP Rankings is used for determining qualification for entry and seeding in all tournaments for both singles and doubles. Within the Emirates ATP Rankings period consisting of the past 52 weeks, points are accumulated, with the exception of those for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, whose points are dropped following the last ATP event of the year. The player with the most points by season's end is the World Number 1 of the year.

The Emirates ATP Rankings Race To London is a calendar-year indicator of what the Emirates ATP Rankings will be on the Monday after the end of the regular season. Players finishing in the Top 8 of the Emirates ATP Rankings following the BNP Paribas Masters will qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

At the start of the 2009 season, all accumulated ranking points have been doubled to bring them in line with the new tournament ranking system.

Current rankings[edit]

Structure[edit]

Brad Drewett was the Executive Chairman and President of ATP until he died on 3 May 2013, with Mark Young as the CEO of Americas, Laurent Delanney as the CEO of Europe while Alison Lee leads the International group.

The 7-member ATP Board of Directors includes the Executive Chairman & President (a position that has been empty since the death of former position holder Brad Drewett)[19][20] along with tournament representatives, Gavin Forbes, Mark Webster and Charles Smith. It also includes three player representatives with two-year terms, Giorgio di Palermo as the European representative, David Edges as the International representative and Justin Gimelstob as the Americas representative. The player representatives are elected by the ATP Player Council.

The 12-member ATP Player Council delivers advisory decisions to the Board of Directors, which has the power to accept or reject the Council's suggestions. The Council consists of four players who are ranked within the top 50 in singles (Roger Federer, acting as President), Kevin Anderson, Jarkko Nieminen and Gilles Simon in 2010–2012), two players who are ranked between 51 and 100 in singles (Robin Haase and Sergiy Stakhovsky), two top 100 players in doubles (Eric Butorac and Mahesh Bhupathi), two at-large members (James Cerretani and André Sá), one alumni member (Brian Gottfried) and one coach (Claudio Pistolesi)[21][22]

The ATP Tournament Council consists of a total of 13 members, of which five are representatives from the European region along with another four from the Americas and an equal number from the International Group of tournaments.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Posing 10 ATP questions for 2009". 
  2. ^ a b c "How it all began". ATP. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  3. ^ James Buddell (August 14, 2013). "The Tour Born in a Parking Lot - Part I". ATP. 
  4. ^ Dwyre, Bill (2008-05-28). "Hamliton Jordan made Tennis better". LA Times. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  5. ^ Frank Riley (2004-03-22). "The Formation of the Woman's Tennis Association". Inside Tennis. Retrieved 2009-06-07. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Volvo v. MIPTC v. Volvo,Dell 1988". 1988. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  7. ^ James Buddell (August 14, 2013). "The Tour Born in a Parking Lot - Part II". ATP. 
  8. ^ "Court in Session: Hamburg, ATP go to trial". Tennis.com. 2008-07-23. 
  9. ^ "ATP Unveils New Top Tier Of Events for 2009". Tenniswire.com. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "ATP Unveils 2009, 2010 & 2011 Tour Calendars". ATP. 30 August 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "ATP Violates Antitrust Laws, Lawsuit Alleges". 9 April 2007. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Hamburg listed among second-tier events for 2009 season". 
  13. ^ "ATP wins crucial anti-trust case". BBC News. 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  14. ^ ATPtennis.com - ITF and ATP Announce Dates and Ranking Points for Davis Cup by BNP Paribas
  15. ^ New Era Dawns For ATP World Tour ATP World Tour, 15 December 2008
  16. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". ATP World Tour. 
  17. ^ "Current ATP Rankings (singles)". atpworldtour.com. ATP Tour, Inc. 
  18. ^ "Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings". ATP Tour. 
  19. ^ "TENNIS COMMUNITY PAYS TRIBUTE TO BRAD DREWETT". ATP. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "ATP Management". ATP. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "ATP ANNOUNCES NEW PLAYER COUNCIL". ATP. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "ATP World tour organizational structure". Retrieved 25 June 2013. 

External links[edit]