The International Tennis Federation has announced on its website that it is introducing two new age categories on the ITF Seniors Tour in 2021.
ITF Seniors Tour introduces new age categories in 2021
Starting in 2021, tournaments on the ITF Seniors Tour will be able to host events in the 30-and-over category for the first time.
Until now, the lowest age category on the circuit has been 35-and-over. The ITF Seniors Tour is also introducing a new 90-and-over age category in 2021. The ITF Seniors Tour has also announced some other changes - including using shorter scoring formats (such as the 10-point match tie-break in the final set of singles and doubles), allowing players to compete in more than one singles match per day in younger age groups, and to condense competitions into fewer days than earlier, as per its website.
Matt Byford, Manager of Juniors and Seniors Tennis at the ITF, said: “While 30 may seem a little young to be thinking about seniors tennis, we are confident that this new age category will enable even more players to experience the fantastic atmosphere and camaraderie of the ITF Seniors Tour.
The ITF Seniors Tour provides opportunities for players to compete in matches against opponents of a similar age, from players in their 30s all the way up to players in their 90s." Byford also said that he was thrilled that about the introduction of the 90 and over category.
“We have been thrilled to see more and more players competing in the 85-and-over age category each year, many of whom are now aged over 90. Offering this new age category will help provide more appropriate competitive opportunities for players in their 90s, and we hope it will encourage and motivate more players to continue playing throughout the 85-and-over category and play in the 90-and-over category in the future."
In 2021, the ITF Young Seniors World Championships, due to be held in Umag, Croatia, will feature a 30-and-over category in the individual championships for the first time while the ITF Super Seniors World Championships, due to be held in Mallorca, Spain, will feature a 90-and-over category in the individual championships for the first time. The ITF Seniors Tour features more than 500 tournaments a year, played in over 70 nations across the globe.