International Tennis Federation
|Formation||1 March 1913|
|Type||Federation of national associations|
|Headquarters||London, England, UK|
|206 national associations|
|Francesco Ricci Bitti|
It was established as the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) by 12 national associations meeting at a conference in Paris, France on 1 March 1913, and discussions on rules and policy continued through 1923.
It was at this time that two compromises were reached: the title 'world championships' would be abolished and wording would be 'for ever in the English language'. In 1924 it became the officially recognised organisation with authority to control lawn tennis throughout the world, with official 'ILTF Rules of Tennis'. In 1977 it dropped the word 'lawn' from its title, recognising that most tennis was no longer played on grass.
Originally based in Paris, its funds were moved to London, England during World War II and from that time onward the ITF has been run from the UK capital. It was based at Wimbledon until 1987 when it moved to Barons Court, next door to Queens Club. It then moved again in 1998 to the Bank of England Sports Ground, Roehampton its current base of operations.
The ITF operates the three major international team competitions in the sport, the Davis Cup for men, the Fed Cup for women and the Hopman Cup, mixed teams. The ITF also sanctions the four grand slams: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.
While the ATP Tour and WTA Tour control most other high-level professional tournaments, the ITF runs developmental professional tours for men and women. The ITF Men's Circuit consists of Futures tournaments with prize funds of USD 10,000 or USD 15,000. Medium level men's tournaments are run by the ATP through the ATP Challenger Tour. The ITF previously also ran four-week satellite tournaments of roughly the same quality level as Futures tournaments, but they were discontinued after the 2006 season. The ITF Women's Circuit incorporates both lower and mid-level tournaments, with prize funds ranging from USD 10,000 to USD 100,000. Virtually every ATP and WTA player started by playing on the ITF circuits.
The ITF is responsible for maintaining an international under-18 junior circuit for boys and girls, as well as international wheelchair tennis and seniors tennis circuits.
The International Tennis Number (ITN) is an international tennis rating system that gives tennis players a number that represents their general level of play. Players are rated from ITN 1 (ATP or WTA standard or equivalent) to 10 (starter players).
Conversion charts have been developed linking the ITN to other existing rating systems in ITF tennis nations and in time it is hoped that every tennis player worldwide will have a rating.
Below ITN 10 there are 3 further categories linked to the slower balls:
- 10.1 for players using green balls on the full-size court
- 10.2 for players using orange balls on the 18 metre court
- 10.3 for players using red balls on the 11 metre court
Once players can ‘serve, rally and score’ they should have a rating to help them find players of a similar level to play with.
In late 2004 the ITF initiated a new IPIN (International Player Identification Number) programme that requires all players who play in ITF Pro Circuit tournaments to register online. The use of IPIN has since been extended to include the ITF Junior, Seniors, and Wheelchair Circuits. A player's IPIN, which is 3 letters followed by 7 numbers, is assigned upon registration and will not change during the course of his or her career. Once registered, players can use the IPIN website to enter and withdraw from ITF tournaments, access tournament information and updates, and see details relating to any code of conduct offenses. Annual IPIN registration fees vary depending on the ITF circuit chosen by the player.
In 2013, the ITF Board of Directors found that the Tunisian Tennis Federation had 'breached the ITF Constitution by interfering with international sporting practice and ordering Tunisian player Malek Jaziri not to compete against Israeli player Amir Weintraub at the 2013 Tashkent Challenger in October. "The Board ... voted to suspend Tunisia from the 2014 Davis Cup competition." ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said: 'There is no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society. The ITF Board decided to send a strong message to the Tunisian Tennis Federation that this kind of action will not be tolerated.'
In 2013, the ITF fined the Israel Tennis Association "more than $13,000 ... for the inconvenience" of having to reschedule a tennis match between the Israeli and Belgian teams that was originally scheduled on Yom Kippur.
ITF World Champions
Source: World Champions Juniors at ITF Tennis.
- "Member National Associations" (PDF). ITF. January 1, 2012.
- "Sport Athlétiques". Le Figaro (in French) (28) (Gallica). 28 January 1913. p. 7.
- "Tennis – La fédération internationale". Le Figaro (in French) (35) (Gallica). 4 February 1913. p. 7.
- Max Robertson (1974). The Encyclopedia of Tennis: 100 Years of Great Players and Events. The Viking Press. p. 87.
- History of the ITF
- International Tennis Number site
- "About IPIN". Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "What is an IPIN". Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "IPIN Introduction". Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "IPIN Registration". Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "Tunisia suspended from Davis Cup over Malek Jaziri order | Tennis News". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- "Israeli tennis players fined for sitting out Yom Kippur." The Times of Israel. 12 August 2013. 12 August 2013.
- International Tennis Federation (ITF) site
- International Tennis Federation (ITF) Constitution - English (PDF)
- Tennis Play and Stay site