The ATP has announced significant Challenger Tour improvements. Record events, more prize money, and an optimized calendar.
Challenger Tour Improvements
Here are the Challenger Tour improvements as laid out by the ATP tour.
1) Category Simplification
The ATP will phase out the Challenger 90 and 110 categories, reducing the number of categories from six to four. Starting in 2023, the core categories will be:
- Challenger 50
- Challenger 75
- Challenger 100
- Challenger 125
In addition, ATP will introduce three new premium Challenger 175 events during the second week of ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells, Rome, and Madrid, with prize money of $220,000.
2) Record Prize Money
The total prize money amount will increase from 13.2 million USD to 21.1 million USD in 2023. In addition, round-by-round prize money distributions will improve earnings in the earlier rounds of events. This should make life on the tour a little easier for players outside the top 100.
3) Enhanced Calendar
There will be 12 more events, from 183 to 195, in 2023. The Challenger tour calendar will also align better with the ATP tour to deliver a better balance of tournaments in terms of surfaces and regions.
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi says
“The Challenger Tour is the launchpad of men’s professional tennis. Today’s announcement is a critical step forward for the entire ecosystem. The new plan increases earnings potential for players and improves the balance of tournament categories, surfaces and regions. It also puts a renewed focus on raising tournament standards. This is also just the beginning. Our team is committed to delivering further enhancements in the coming months and years.”
Richard Glover, Vice President of the ATP Challenger Tour, says
“The health of the ATP Challenger Tour is critical for the future of our sport, and our in-depth review revealed significant opportunities to strengthen this pathway. While we are taking a long-term approach to grow the Challenger Tour, these changes will provide an immediate boost from 2023 onwards. We look forward to executing these reforms next season and building on this progress in the near future. There is more to come, so watch this space.”