Facts check by Nigeria Tennis Live have revealed that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has increased the qualifying draw size for the World Tennis Tour.
The world international tennis governing body had on Wednesday, 27 February released this information on their website, where they revealed the reason for the recent development.
According to the ITF website, this new requirement is as a result of feedback from players, coaches and national associations after eight weeks of tennis tournament in 2019.
“The ITF has today announced that qualifying draws at ITF World Tennis Tour events will be increased from 24 players to 32, following an analysis of data gathered during the first eight weeks of the new Tour and feedback from players, coaches and National Associations,” the statement on the ITF website read in part.
The tennis body also revealed that instead of eight players now stand a better chance of advancing from the qualifiers to the main draw of ITF World Tour tournaments.
“The ITF is confident that the benefits to tennis of the new Tour will be far-reaching and long-term – it will increase the number of nations hosting events and retain the sport’s global character, it will set a realistic pathway for the best talent in our game and allow more players to financially support themselves. The former structure catered for 14,000 players of which less than 600 could cover their basic costs; this model was unsustainable.
“The ITF has made it clear from the outset that it will act promptly where it is apparent that improvements are required to benefit players and strengthen the Tour under its existing structure.
“The ITF Men’s and Women’s Circuit Committees conducted a review of the existing data and concluded that an expansion of the qualifying draw to 32 would benefit players by increasing the number of playing opportunities, while allowing tournaments to remain within the desired seven days. Qualifying draws will now see eight players advancing to the main draw.
“The new qualifying draw size will come into effect from 1 April to allow enough time for players and tournament directors to make the necessary arrangements where practical,” the statement added.
Nigeria hosts the first World Tour Tennis tournament from 8-13 April, 2019, and Nigeria Tennis Live will be reporting all the countdown and the details of the competition to our teeming followers.