2019 will bring some big changes in the basic structures of the professional tennis, with the ITF Transition Tour ready to kick off in order to allow the young upcoming players more easier transition towards the Challengers and ATP Tour, and Tennis Europe is also making moves to improve the entry level of the junior competition.
The U12 level will undergo significant changes and improvements to ensure the better structure and the possibility for more players to make their first steps in the official events before forging the way towards more serious and demanding ITF junior level. Thus, the 12 & Under Tennis Europe Junior Tour would sustain significant reforms compared to what we saw between 2000-2018, and one of the main goals is to create a better geographical distribution of tournaments, allowing more nations to create new events.
The biggest innovation includes the creation of two categories (Category 1 and Category 2 tournaments), the first with top level events and the second that would serve as an entry level for new upcoming players who are making their first steps at this level of competition.
Category 1 would maintain the current elimination draw system but the lower one offers round robin system with a play off, allowing the youngsters to compete in as many matches during the week instead of hitting the exit door after the first round loss.
The size of the draw in the main category could vary from 32, 48 and 64 while the second category should always use 32 players draw. Doubles draw remains in the size of the half of the main draw and there's also a consolidation draw for all the players who lose in the opening round of the top tier event, with no bonus draws on the lower level.
The crucial difference is also in the scoring system, with the Category 1 tournaments consisting of best of three tie break sets while there is a 10-point match tie break if the rivals split the sets in the Category 2 events.
The new system will allow every player to compete in at least two singles and one doubles match on the higher level and in three singles and one doubles match on the lower level, which is significant for every competitor in the draw.
There is also a free hospitality until the last member of the national squad is eliminated and the events would be spread across minimum five days for the main draw and two days of qualifying. Every tournament has to contain at least six courts for the draws with 32 or 48 players and eight courts for the biggest draws with 64 players, a number that could be reduced in the indoor facilities.
Every week in the calendar should consist of one Category 1 event and four Category 2 tournaments and players entry fee should not pass 60 and 45 Euros, depending on the torunament level. ALSO READ: ATP Rome: Fabio Fognini stuns Dominic Thiem! Rafael Nadal tops Dzumhur