Challenger Reform: New System And Entry Lists Announced - UBITENNIS
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Challenger Reform: New System And Entry Lists Announced

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The Challenger Tour undergoes a big reform, as the ITF Tour introduces a new world’s ranking. 

 

The 2019 season will see some crucial changes happening in the tennis tour, expecially in the Challenger and the ITF Tours. The aim is to reduce the number of the truly “professional” players (in the ATP World Tour ranking) and to give them enough money to make a living.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “These are significant changes that will lead to a real enhancement of the ATP Challenger Tour, particularly as we seek to provide more earning opportunities for players at the entry level into men’s professional tennis. A big priority for us is to ensure we have a healthy player pathway and that we improve the viability of a career in men’s professional tennis. These changes represent an important step in the right direction for our sport.”

From 2020, the ITF Tour will no longer award ATP points, so the Challenger Tour will be the first stage of professional tennis. That will cut a lot of players from the ATP ranking, which will be made of 600-700 players, compared to about 2000 ones before. Still, from 2019 there will be a new ranking called “ITF World Tennis Ranking”, which will be used to enter ITF and Challenger tournaments, together with the ATP Ranking.

The changes in the Challenger tournaments will affect draw-size, tournament schedule, prize money and on-site facilities. Also, every main draw singles match will be streamed online. The events will last seven days, from Monday to Sunday.

The singles main-draw will host 48 players, compared to 32 before, who will have a guaranteed prize-money. Furthermore, the qualifying tournament will be radically cut, from 32 to only 4 players (2 qualifiers advancing to main draw), while the doubles draws will still feature 16 teams.

The new entry lists will consider both ATP and ITF rankings, reserving 4 main-draw places and 3 qualifying places to the highest-ranked ITF players. There will be two alternate lists, one for each ranking. The first challenger tournaments with the new system will be those of Noumea, Playford and Orlando, taking place from the 31st of December to the 6th of January.

 

Challenger Noumea (New Caledonia, Hard), entry list:
80 Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
128 Halys, Quentin (FRA)
135 Rubin, Noah (USA)
146 Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
159 Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
164 Barrere, Gregoire (FRA)
166 Baldi, Filippo (ITA)
175 Milojevic, Nikola (SRB)
189 Rola, Blaz (SLO)
196 Robert, Stephane (FRA)
197 Janvier, Maxime (FRA)
198 De Schepper, Kenny (FRA)
202 Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
213 Coppejans, Kimmer (BEL)
216 Horansky, Filip (SVK)
219 Lee, Duckhee (KOR)
223 Giustino, Lorenzo (ITA)
224 Galovic, Viktor (CRO)
231 Brown, Dustin (GER)
233 Clezar, Guilherme (BRA)
OUT Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
239 Sakharov, Gleb (FRA)
242 Harrison, Christian (USA)
249 Young, Donald (USA)
256 Ymer, Mikael (SWE)
259 Masur, Daniel (GER)
275 Chung, Yunseong (KOR)
276 Benchetrit, Elliot (FRA)
291 Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
297 Kwiatkowski, Thai-Son (USA)
303 Brkic, Tomislav (BIH)
OUT Setkic, Aldin (BIH)
310 Lamasine, Tristan (FRA)
311 Altamirano, Collin (USA)
OUT Gomez-Herrera, Carlos (ESP)
327 Takahashi, Yusuke (JPN)
OUT Crepatte, Baptiste (FRA)
ITF25 Barrios Vera, Marcelo Tomas (CHI)
OUT Torebko, Peter (GER)
OUT Petrone, Alessandro (ITA)
OUT Hossam, Youssef (EGY)

ITF132 Sinclair, Colin (NMI)
ITF141 Wang, Tak Khunn (FRA)
ITF144 Simon, Tobias (GER)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Qualifying:
OUT Ornago, Fabrizio (ITA)
OUT Tokuda, Renta (JPN)
OUT Niklas-Salminen, Patrik (FIN)
OUT Simon, Tobias (GER)

ITF157 Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA)
ITF180 Niki, Takuto (JPN)
ITF209 Arconada, Jordi (USA)
(WC)
Alternates (ITF):
OUT Lock, Benjamin (ZIM) ITF101
OUT Hossam, Youssef (EGY) ITF 125
IN Sinclair, Colin (NMI) 132
OUT Celikbilek, Altug (TUR) ITF133
OUT Bortolotti, Marco (ITA) ITF134
IN Wang, Tak Khunn (FRA) ITF141
IN Simon, Tobias (GER) ITF144
OUT Jahn, Jeremy (GER) ITF147
OUT Avidzba, Alen (RUS) ITF150
Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA) ITF157
OUT Hassan, Benjamin (GER) ITF160
OUT Piros, Zsombor (HUN) ITF179
Niki, Takuto (JPN) ITF180
Arconada, Jordi (USA) ITF209
1. Giner, Marc (ESP) ITF210
2. Pla Malfeito, Jaume (ESP) ITF211
3. Huesler, Marc-Andrea (SUI) ITF236
4. Escoffier, Antoine (FRA) ITF245
5. Korda, Sebastian (USA) ITF290
Alternates (ATP):
IN Smith, Roy (USA) 329
IN Olivo, Renzo (ARG) 332
OUT Wang, Tak-Khunn (FRA) 334
OUT Tokuda, Renta (JPN) 338
OUT Piros, Zsombor (HUN) 339
IN Grenier, Hugo (FRA) 342
1. Harris, Andrew (AUS) 344
OUT Vukic, Aleksandar (AUS) 349
2. Escoffier, Antoine (FRA) 356
OUT Saville, Luke (AUS) 363
OUT Wu, Tung-Lin (TPE) 366
3. Huesler, Marc-Andrea (SUI) 372
4. Statham,Rubin (NZL) 374
5. Caruana, Liam (ITA) 381

 

 

 

Challenger Playford (Australia, Hard), entry list:
107 Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
112 Ruud, Casper (NOR)
127 Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
129 Menendez-Maceiras, Adrian (ESP)
133 Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
145 Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
149 Ito, Tatsuma (JPN)
151 Moraing, Mats (GER)
152 Lestienne, Constant (FRA)
160 Dutra Silva, Rogerio (BRA)
OUT Giannessi, Alessandro (ITA)
162 Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
163 Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Smyczek, Tim (USA)
168 Otte, Oscar (GER)
169 Vanni, Luca (ITA)
170 Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
172 Krstin, Pedja (SRB)
178 Majchrzak, Kamil (POL)
181 Nedovyesov, Aleksandr (KAZ)
OUT Quiroz, Roberto (ECU)
185 Safwat, Mohamed (EGY)
188 Escobedo, Ernesto (USA)
192 Moriya, Hiroki (JPN)
193 Evans, Daniel (GBR)
195 Watanuki, Yosuke (JPN)
200 Napolitano, Stefano (ITA)
201 Pavlasek, Adam (CZE)
203 Paul, Tommy (USA)
204 Donati, Matteo (ITA)
205 De Greef, Arthur (BEL)
206 Troicki, Viktor (SRB)
208 Molleker, Rudolf (GER)
209 Zhang, Ze (CHN)
210 Kolar, Zdenek (CZE)
211 Gaio, Federico (ITA)
212 Gutierrez-Ferrol, Sergio (ESP)
ITF19 Zhurbin, Alexander (RUS)
OUT Bega, Alessandro (ITA)
ITF71 Doumbia, Sadio (FRA)
OUT Eriksson, Markus (SWE)
ITF108 Lopez-Perez, Enrique (ESP)
ITF130 Li, Zhe (CHN)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Qualifying:
OUT Ornago, Fabrizio (ITA)
OUT Banes, Maverick (AUS)
OUT Lock, Benjamin (ZIM)
ITF134 Bortolotti, Marco (ITA)
ITF155 Tseng, Chun Hsin (TPE)
ITF210 Giner, Marc (ESP)
(WC)
Alternates (ITF):
IN Lopez-Perez, Enrique (ESP) ITF108
IN Li, Zhe (CHN) ITF130
OUT Sinclair, Colin (NMI) ITF 132
OUT Celikbilek, Altug (TUR) ITF133
Bortolotti, Marco (ITA) ITF134
OUT Wang, Tak Khunn (FRA) ITF141
OUT Simon, Tobias (GER) ITF144
OUT Jahn, Jeremy (GER) ITF147
OUT Avidzba, Alen (RUS) ITF150
OUT Ilkel, Cem (TUR) ITF151
Tseng, Chun Hsin (TPE) ITF155
OUT Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA) ITF157
Giner, Marc (ESP) ITF210
1. Pla Malfeito, Jaume (ESP) ITF211
2. Look, Michael (AUS) ITF229
3. Saville, Luke (AUS) ITF230
4. Fancutt, Thomas (AUS) ITF232
5. Escoffier, Antoine (FRA) ITF245
Alternates (ATP):
IN Kamke, Tobias (GER) 214
IN Soeda, Go (JPN) 215
IN Hemery, Calvin (FRA) 217
OUT Lopez-Perez, Enrique (ESP) 220
1. Moroni, Gian Marco (ITA) 227
2. Griekspoor, Tallon (NED) 232
3. Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP) 238
4. Li, Zhe (CHN) 278

 

 

Challenger Orlando (USA, Hard), entry list:
198 Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
199 King, Darian (BAR)
OUT Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
229 Krueger, Mitchell (USA)
243 De Bakker, Thiemo (NED)
244 Peliwo, Filip (CAN)
248 Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
251 Ignatik, Uladzimir (BLR)
252 Cid Subervi, Roberto (DOM)
255 Aragone, JC (USA)
258 Novikov, Dennis (USA)
262 Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
263 King, Kevin (USA)
264 Elias, Gastao (POR)
265 Serdarusic, Nino (CRO)
266 Bourgue, Mathias (FRA)
267 Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
270 Tatlot, Johan (FRA)
271 Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
273 Ojeda Lara, Ricardo (ESP)
274 Broady, Liam (GBR)
280 Coria, Federico (ARG)
282 Uchida, Kaichi (JPN)
283 Oliveira, Goncalo (POR)
284 Taberner, Carlos (ESP)
285 Couacaud, Enzo (FRA)
286 Miedler, Lucas (AUT)
287 King, Evan (USA)
288 Grigelis, Laurynas (LTU)
OUT Viola, Matteo (ITA)
293 Choinski, Jan (GER)
294 Safranek, Vaclav (CZE)
295 Griekspoor, Scott (NED)
300 Pavic, Ante (CRO)
301 Collarini, Andrea (ARG)
302 Sarkissian, Alexander (USA)
OUT Przysiezny, Michal (POL)
ITF11 Reboul, Fabien (FRA)
ITF14 Souza, Joao (BRA)
ITF22 Jomby, Tom (FRA)
ITF24 Sels, Jelle (NED)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Qualifying:
ITF28 Ortega-Olmedo, Roberto (ESP)
ITF31 Menezes, Joao (BRA
ITF38 Brouwer, Gijs (NED)
(WC)
Alternates (ITF):
OUT Boluda-Purkiss, Carlos (ESP) ITF42
1. Mertens, Yannick (BEL) ITF51
2. Gomez, Emilio (ECU) ITF54
3. Muller, Alexandre (FRA) ITF75
OUT Rinderkneck, Arthur (FRA) ITF79
4. Dougaz, Aziz (TUN) ITF112
5. Hoyt, Evan (GBR) ITF114
Alternates (ATP):
IN Giron, Marcos (USA) 309
IN Gonzalez, Alejandro (COL) 313
IN Blanch, Ulises (USA) 314
1. Kozlov, Stefan (USA) 317
2. Ortega-Olmedo, Roberto (ESP) 320
3. Song, Evan (USA) 322
4. Fanselow, Sebastian (GER) 324
OUT Smith, Roy (USA) 329
5. Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN) 331

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American No.3 Reilly Opelka Blasts ‘Shocking’ ATP Cup

The new event has been described as unfair and a embarrassment by the American.

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MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 19: Reilly Opelka of United States during the Group F match between USA and Canada during Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Corinne Dubreuil / Kosmos Tennis)

With the Davis Cup currently under close scrutiny this week, one player on the tour have turned his criticism to a brand new team event coming to the tour in 2020.

 

Reilly Opelka has launched a verbal attack on the ATP Cup, which will get underway in January. The event features 24 teams playing in three cities across Australia. Unlike the Davis Cup, both prize money and ranking points are available. Many of the world’s top players have already confirmed their intention to play in the event. Although one noticeable absence will be Roger Federer.

“The ATP Cup is pathetic. I think it’s shocking on behalf of the ATP for them to pass that and allow that.” The 22-year-old told reporters in Madrid.
“It’s pretty embarrassing, actually. It’s pretty bad for the sport. It makes it (the tour) more top-heavy than it already is.”

The teams for the ATP Cup are determined by the ranking of the country’s highest ranked player. However, with only two singles players allowed to play in each team some countries find themselves in a tough spot. Once being America, who currently has eight players in the top 100. Opelka argues that due to the rules of the competition, the distribution of ranking points is unfair.

“I’m 35 in the world. I’m not going to play because I’m the second- or third-highest ranked American, and only the top two guys play.” He stated.
“It counts as an additional 19th tournament. So every player gets 18 tournaments on their ranking card. So you have to take your top 18 results, those go for your ranking. Those that play ATP Cup gets a 19th. So it’s unfair, there’s not equal opportunity for everyone.”

Opelka used the example of Moldova playing in the ATP Cup as one of the reasons why he is frustrated. The country has qualified due to the ranking of their top player Radu Albot, who is currently ranked 46th in the world. However, Moldova’s second highest ranked player is outside the top 800.

Fortunately concerning the Davis Cup, the former Wimbledon junior champion has a much more favourable view. This week is the inaugural week-long finals, which has encountered some blips already. The most being the schedule of the event with some ties now finishing until as late as 4am.

“I’m a fan of the new format. Maybe making it every two years or every three years would be I think the next step in the right direction.” Opelka concluded.
“Tennis players are pretty good at that. You don’t really know when you’re going to play matches. You can go really long, or you can go really quick. We’re used to being on standby.” He added.

This week is Opelka’s debut in the Davis Cup.

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Serbia beats France 2-1 to secure spot in Davis Cup quarter final

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Serbia qualified for the quarter finals at the Davis Cup at the Caja Magica in Madrid with wins in both singles matches by Filip Krajinovic over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic over Benoit Paire.

 

In the opening match Filip Kajinovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 7-6 in 1 hour and 48 minutes to give Serbia a 1-0 lead.

Krajinovic dropped two points on his first serve and earned his first three break point at 3-3 before breaking serve in the 11th game after a loose forehand from Tsonga. The 27-year-old Serbian player sealed the opening set 7-5 with a service winner.

Tsonga fended off three break points in the opening game of the second set. The Frenchman earned his only break point chance on return at 2-1, but Krajinovic saved it to draw level to 2-2. Both players held serve in the next eight games to set up a tie-break. Krajinovic earned the crucial mini-break on the 12th point to close out tie-break 7-5.

World number 2 Novak Djokovic cruised past Benoit Paire 6-3 6-3 in 70 minutes to secure the qualifying spot for Serbia in the quarter final.

Djokovic saved two break points in the first match of the opening set. The Serbian player earned a break in the eighth game and sealed the opening set 6-3 on his third set point.

Paire dropped his serve in the third game of the second set after a backhand down the line winner from Djokovic. The Serbian star hit a return winner at 5-3 to set up a quarter final clash against Russia on Friday.

Last week’s ATP Finals champions Pierre Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki 6-4 6-4. Herbert and Mahut broke serve in the fifth game to seal the opening set 6-4. Tipsarevic and Troicki broke serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Herbert and Mahut got the break back in the fifth game. After saving a break point in the eighth game Herbert and Mahut earned the decisive break in the ninth game and closed out the match on his first set point.

Serbia set up a quarter final against Russia, who qualified as one of the two-best-placed group runners-up by clinching second spot in Group.

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Jack Sock and Sam Querrey take late-night decisive doubles clash over Italy

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The clash between Italy and the USA came down to a decisive doubles match at the Caja Magica in Madrid after Fabio Fognini and Taylor Fritz won their respective singles matches.

 

Fabio Fognini  beat Relly Opelka 6-4 6-7 6-3 after 1 hour and 54 minutes to give Italy a much-needed win to the Italian team.

Fognini earned an early break at 1-1 after two errors from Opelka and dropped just five points in five service games. Fognini did not face a break point to close out the first set 6-4 in 33 minutes.

Both players stayed neck and neck setting up a tie-break. Opelka earned a mini-break to take a 5-3 lead in the tie-break and earned three set points. The US player sealed the first set point, but Opelka converted his second chance 7-4.

Opelka saved the first break point with an ace, but Fognini converted his second chance with a forehand passing shot in the second set to take a 2-0 lead. Fognini dropped just three points to build up a 5-2 lead. Fognini served out the win on his first match point to give Italy a 1-0 win.

“I am tired for sure because it was tough. One of the things I did today was my serve, don’t ask me why. I am surprised about that”, said Fognini.

Taylor Fritz came back from one set down to beat Matteo Berrettini 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the second match. Berrettini saved a break point in the second game with a forehand down the line and a service winner. In the fifth game Fritz saved two break points in the fifth game. Berrettini broke serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 and sealed the first set on his first set point.

In the third set both players stayed neck and neck til the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. In the seventh game Fritz saved a break point. Berrettini held his serve at love. Fritz closed out the second set at 6-5 after 51 minutes.

Berrettini saved two consecutive break points in the first game of the third game. Fritz rallied from 0-30 down to hold his serve for 1-1. Fritz broke twice in the third and fifth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Berrettini saved a match point and held his serve for 2-5, but Fritz sealed the win on his second match point.

“Playing for my country is all the motivation I need. I just kept digging, kept fighting. It was really close. I lost the first set by close margin, and I told myself to tough out the second set like I know I can do, and my aggressive and fitness carried me through the third”,said Fritz.

Jack Sock and Sam Querrey came back from a set down in the decisive doubles match to take a 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to give the USA a 2-1 win. The doubles match ended shortly after 4 am and was one of the latest finishes to a match in tennis history.  The USA finished second in the Group F behind Canada, who secured the first spot with their wins over Italy and the USA earlier this week. Neither team  was able to earn a break in the first two sets. Italy broke serve to take a 3-1 lead. Sock and Querrey broke back immediately before earning the decisive break at 4-4. The US team served out the win after 2 hours and 30 minutes.

“Reilly played a great match and Taylor came out in in a tough position knowing he needed to win. To get the doubles means a lot”, said Querrey.

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