Courtesy of the ITF
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that female players will compete for a record level of prize money on the ITF World Tennis Tour in Q2 (April, May and June).
A total of $5m is on offer across 164 women’s events during the period – which represents a 10% increase in prize money on offer during the same period in 2022. Both tournament numbers and prize money have also surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
There will be eight more events at W40 level ($40,000 total prize money) – newly introduced for 2023 to increase the number of women’s events above the $15,000 and $25,000 level.
Ten tournaments at W100 and W80 level will also provide hospitality as required under new regulations driven by the ITF to provide equal standards at top level tournaments for women and men.
The move is part of the ITF’s ‘Advantage All’ commitment to develop and maintain tennis as an equal advantage sport for all.
The calendar also includes the first ever ITF World Tennis Tour event in Ethiopia, as well as the first in Burundi and Cyprus since 2013 and 2016 respectively.
China, Chinese Taipei and Trinidad & Tobago will also host events for the first time since 2019. The ITF anticipates a resumption of tournament activity within China for each of the ITF tours later this year.
The increase in tournament hosts forms part of the ITF strategy to provide more opportunities for players to play closer to home; making their entry into professional tennis easier and more cost-effective. There have been 61 host countries in the 2023 ITF World Tennis Tour to date, compared to 47 in the first half of 2022.
The new Q2 calendar also features 156 events for men at M15 and M25 level, with nearly $3m prize money on offer. Both tournament numbers and prize money have surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
The ITF World Tennis Tour features 75% of the world’s professional tennis tournaments. It is a fundamental pillar of the professional game globally and acts as a pathway between the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors and the WTA (women) / ATP (men) Tour. The results of ITF tournaments are incorporated into a player’s WTA or ATP Ranking, which enables professionals to progress through to the elite levels of women’s or men’s professional tennis.
David Haggerty, ITF President, said: “This news is another significant step towards gender parity. Through our Advantage All programme, the ITF has been investing significantly to achieve this in the professional events that act as the main artery for the top level of the game, and it is very encouraging to see both prize money and tournament numbers for Q2 surpass pre-pandemic levels. As the global guardians of the game, we are passionate about providing a pathway for up and coming talent in all countries, and providing more opportunities for players to play closer to home. So we are pleased to be returning to China, Burundi, Cyprus, Trinidad & Tobago and Chinese Taipei, while we welcome Ethiopia as first-time World Tennis Tour hosts.”