The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the ATP have announced the launch of the Accelerator Programme, a ground-breaking initiative designed to accelerate the careers of young aspiring tennis players from 2023.
The programme will see playing opportunities at ATP Challenger Tour level and ITF World Tennis Tour events reserved for the world’s top Junior players, and forms part of the ITF’s long-term strategy to develop more opportunities for players to progress through the player pathway to the top level of the game.
Each player ranked in the Top 20 of the ITF Junior Boys Year-End Rankings will be granted up to eight Accelerator Spots at ATP Challenger Tour 50 and 75 tournaments the following season. These will be split between Main Draw (Top 10) and Qualifying (11-20), with players also eligible for two Accelerator Spots at M15 or M25 ITF World Tennis Tour events.
Players ranked 21-30 in the year-end ITF Junior Rankings will be eligible for eight spots at M15 or M25 events.
For players ranked in the Top 20 of the ITF Junior Girls Year-End Rankings, there will be a total of five opportunities to access main draws at women’s events on the ITF World Tennis Tour, from W15 to W100 level – depending on ranking. For the first time this will include access to the new W40 category, introduced for 2023 as part of the ITF’s drive for gender parity across the sport.
The new programme supplements the 2023 ATP Challenger Tour changes announced in September, which signal ATP’s long-term strategy for the circuit through significant prize money increases, a balanced calendar, and an increase in total and premium playing opportunities.
Grand Slam Boys Singles Champions and Finalists will also be eligible for the Accelerator Programme. Champions will receive the same allocation of Main Draw opportunities as the Top 10 group, while Finalists will join players ranked 11-20 in receiving access into Qualifying.
Junior players eligible for the programme will be based off the year-end ITF Junior Ranking, calculated 12th Decembar 2022 and available to the ITF website.