The ATP has announced upgrades to the ATP Challenger Tour from the 2023 season. From January 2023 the ATP Challenger tour will undergo enhancements which will be welcomed by players and fans alike. The changes are a result of an in-depth review and strategy development. The changes are set to deliver a record number of events, substantial prize money increases, and an optimised calendar.
One of the major amendments is to reduce the number of categories from six to four. Phasing out the 90 and 110 categories, the four core type of events will be Challenger 50, 70, 100 & 125. There will be three new Premier Challenger 175 events. These will take place during the second week of the ATP Masters 1000’s in Indian Wells, Rome & Madrid and will offer prize money of $220,000.
These new events will be good for players who exit the 1000 events early. Players like Mackenzie MacDonald could well benefit, and having top 100 players will be great for the challenger event. Attracting bigger names to the lower events, will draw more attention and ticket sales.
Even better news for the lower-ranked players, is that the total prize money for the challenger tour will rise to $21.1 million for the 2023 season, up from $13.2 million. This will also encourage players to enter. Finally putting more money into the lower tier will help the players who struggle to make a living from the sport. Even losing in the earlier rounds will earn more than before.
Bringing the total number of Challenger events up to 195 from 183 creates more opportunities to play. The ATP will also align these with the main ATP tour, giving a variety of surfaces and regions. A proposed increase in the number of 100 & 125 events will allow flow and mobility for players, with the aim of assisting their rise up the rankings.
As the Challenger circuit is where the stars of tomorrow usually garner their game, before hitting the main tour. It is also where main tour players drop back to after injuries etc to help get back on track. These changes are good for the lower tier and should bring more interest to the lower tiers, which are usually overlooked by the casual tennis fan.
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