Transition Tour ‐ Junior Circuit announcement

The introduction of the transition tour in 2019 will see major changes to professional tennis, including the creation of a strong pathway for the best junior players into the professional game. This announcement focuses on the ways that junior players will access transition tour opportunities. Additional information about the transition tour can be found here.

One of the key concepts of the new player pathway structure is to reward performance at one level with guaranteed opportunities at a higher level to promote swift upward movement through the system for the best players. As a result:

  • Tournaments that award ATP/WTA ranking points will reserve places for the best transition
    tour players; and
  • Transition tour tournaments (which will award ITF World Ranking points) will reserve places for the best junior players. See the tour structures at the end of this document.

New Structure

How will junior players have access transition tour tournaments?

    • Each transition tour tournament will reserve up to 5 main draw places for Junior players who are in the Top 100 as at the entry deadline of the transition tour tournament.

      • To be accepted into the tournament, the junior player needs to be one of the 5 best Junior ranked players to apply. If the junior player is ranked 6, then he or she would be accepted if the other Juniors who apply are ranked 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7. The junior player would not be accepted if the other Junior players to apply are ranked 1, 2, 3,
        4, and 5.

    • A junior player will only be accepted by their Junior ranking if they are not already accepted into the Main Draw through their ATP/WTA ranking or ITF World Ranking. If a player would
      be accepted into qualifying with their ATP/WTA/ITF World Ranking but could be accepted into one of the 5 main draw reserved places, then the main draw place would take priority.

    • To allow all Junior players to use their Junior ranking for the same length of time, Juniors who finish their final year (the year they turn 18) in the Top 100 will be permitted to use
      their final year‐end ranking to enter transition tour tournaments until their 19th birthday.

      • TEligibility to play on the Junior Circuit is governed by year of birth, for example 2018 is the final year a player born in 2000 can play junior tournaments. However this means that by date of birth some Juniors (born 1 January) can play on the Junior Circuit for up to one year longer than others (born 31 December).

      • Under the new structure, the existing rules would allow some junior players (for example those born in January) to compete on the Junior Circuit for longer, have more opportunity to obtain a higher Junior ranking, and therefore more opportunity to be accepted into transition tour tournaments. As a result, to be fair to all players, all junior players will be able to use their final year‐end ranking (for the year they turn 18) to enter transition tour tournaments until the age of 19.

    • The Junior Exempt project which provides places in ITF $15,000 and $25,000 pro circuit events for boys and into ITF Women’s Circuit events (up to Women’s $100,000 tournaments)
      for girls who finish in the Junior year‐end Top 20 will also remain for 2019. Whenever a player takes up their Junior Exempt that position will come out of Direct Acceptance places and not the reserved places.

Draw size and structure of a transition tour tournament

Below the structure of a transition tour tournament (32 Main Draw, 24 Qualifying Draw) showing Direct Acceptances in yellow and the reserved places for junior players in red.

Order of priority for Direct Acceptances:

      • ATP/WTA ranking

      • ITF World Ranking

      • Top 500 National Ranking

      • Unranked