Samiksha Jaiswal

Association of Tennis Professionals

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Sport  Professional tennis
Chairman  Chris Kermode
Abbreviation  ATP
Association of Tennis Professionals
Founded  September 1972; 44 years ago (1972-09)
Location  London (HQ) Monaco Ponte Vedra Beach Sydney

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was formed in September 1972 by Donald Dell, Bob Briner, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Drysdale became the first President. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the organization's name. In 1990 the organization was called the ATP Tour, which was renamed in 2001 as just ATP and the tour being called ATP Tour. In 2009 the name was changed again and is now known as the ATP World Tour. It is an evolution of the tour competitions previously known as Grand Prix tennis tournaments and World Championship Tennis (WCT).

Contents

The ATP's global headquarters are in London, United Kingdom. ATP Americas is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, United States; ATP Europe is headquartered in Monaco; and ATP International, which covers Africa, Asia and Australasia, is based in Sydney, Australia.

The counterpart organization in the women's professional game is the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

History

Started in 1972 by Jack Kramer, Donald Dell, and Cliff Drysdale, it was first managed by Jack Kramer, as Executive Director, and Cliff Drysdale, as President. Jack Kramer created the professional players' rankings system, which started the following year and continues to this day. From 1974 to 1989, the men's circuit was administered by a sub-committee called the Men's International Professional Tennis Council (MIPTC). It was made up of representatives of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the ATP, and tournament directors from around the world. The ATP requested and got the MIPTC to introduce a drug testing rule, making tennis the first professional sport to institute a drug-testing program.

1973 Wimbledon boycott

In May 1973 Nikola Pilić, Yugoslavia's number one tennis player, was suspended by his national lawn tennis association, who claimed he had refused to play in a Davis Cup tie for his country earlier that month. The initial suspension of nine months, supported by the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF), was later reduced by the ILTF to one month which meant that Pilic would not be allowed to play at Wimbledon. In response the ATP threatened a boycott, stating that if Pilić was not allowed to compete none should. After last-ditch attempts at a compromise failed the ATP voted in favor of a boycott and as a result 81 of the top players, including reigning champion Stan Smith and 13 of the 16 men's seeds, did not compete at the 1973 Wimbledon Championships. Three ATP players, Ilie Năstase, Roger Taylor and Ray Keldie defied the boycott and were fined by the ATP's disciplinary committee.

ATP Tour

But the tour was still run by the tournament directors and the ITF. The lack of player representation and influence within the MIPTC as well as dissatisfaction with the way the sport was managed and marketed culminated in a player mutiny in 1988 that changed the entire structure of the tour. CEO Hamilton Jordan is credited with the Parking Lot Press Conference on 30 August 1988 during which the ATP announced their withdrawal from the MIPTC (then called the MTC) and the creation of their own ATP Tour from 1990 onwards. This re-organisation also ended a lawsuit with Volvo and Donald Dell. On 19 January 1989 the ATP published the Tour calendar for the inaugural 1990 season.

By 1991, the men had their first television package to broadcast 19 tournaments to the world. Coming on-line with their first website in 1995, was quickly followed by a multi-year agreement with Mercedes-Benz.

Lawsuits in 2008, around virtually the same issues, resulted in a restructured tour.

ATP World Tour tournaments

The ATP World Tour comprises ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 series, ATP World Tour 250 series and ATP Challenger Tour. The ATP tour also oversees the ATP Champions Tour for seniors. Grand Slams (as well as the Olympic Tennis Tournament and Davis Cup) do not fall under the auspices of the ATP. In these events, however, ranking points are awarded.

Players and doubles teams with most ranking points (collected during the calendar year) play in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, which, from 2000-2008, was run jointly with the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The week-long introductory level Futures tournaments are ITF events and they count towards ATP Entry Ranking. The four-week ITF Satellite tournaments were discontinued in 2007. Grand Slam tournaments are overseen by the ITF and they count towards the players' ATP rankings. The details of the professional tennis tour are:

2009 changes

In 2009, ATP introduced a new tour structure called ATP World Tour consisting of ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500, and ATP World Tour 250 tier tournaments. Broadly speaking the Tennis Masters Series tournaments became the new Masters 1000 level and ATP International Series Gold and ATP International Series events became ATP 500 level and 250 level events respectively.

The Masters 1000 tournaments are Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Toronto/Montreal, Cincinnati, Shanghai and Paris. The end-of-year event, the World Tour Finals, moved from Shanghai to London. Hamburg has been displaced by the new clay court event at Madrid, which is a new combined men's and women's tournament. From 2011, Rome and Cincinnati will also be combined tournaments. Severe sanctions will be placed on top players skipping the Masters 1000 series events, unless medical proof is presented. Plans to eliminate Monte Carlo and Hamburg as Masters Series events led to controversy and protests from players as well as organisers. Hamburg and Monte Carlo filed lawsuits against the ATP, and as a concession it was decided that Monte Carlo remains a Masters 1000 level event, with more prize money and 1000 ranking points, but it would no longer be a compulsory tournament for top-ranked players. Monte Carlo later dropped its suit. Hamburg was "reserved" to become a 500 level event in the summer. Hamburg did not accept this concession, but later lost its suit.

The 500 level includes tournaments at Rotterdam, Dubai, Rio, Acapulco, Barcelona, Hamburg, Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, Basel and Vienna.

The ATP & ITF have declared that Davis Cup World Group and World Group Playoffs award a total of up to 500 points. Players accumulate points over the 4 rounds and the playoffs and these are counted as one of a player's four best results from the 500 level events. An additional 125 points are given to a player who wins all 8 live rubbers and wins the Davis Cup.

Additionally, the domain name of the ATP website was changed to "www.atpworldtour.com".

Rankings

ATP publishes weekly rankings of professional players: Emirates ATP Rankings (commonly known as the ‘world rankings’), a 52-week rolling ranking, and the Emirates ATP Rankings Race to London, a year to date ranking.

The ATP Rankings is used for determining qualification for entry and seeding in all tournaments for both singles and doubles. Within the ATP Rankings period consisting of the past year, points are accumulated, with the exception of those for the ATP World Tour Finals, whose points are dropped following the last ATP event of the year. The player with the most points by season's end is the World Number 1 of the year.

The ATP Rankings Race To London is a calendar-year indicator of what the Emirates ATP Rankings will be on the Monday after the end of the regular season. Players finishing in the Top 8 of the Emirates ATP Rankings following the Paris Masters will qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals.

At the start of the 2009 season, all accumulated ranking points have been doubled to bring them in line with the new tournament ranking system.

Organizational structure

Chris Kermode is the current Executive Chairman and President of ATP, succeeding Brad Drewett who died of an illness on 3 May 2013. Mark Young is the CEO of Americas, David Massey is the CEO of Europe while Alison Lee leads the International group.

The seven-member ATP Board of Directors includes the Executive Chairman & President along with three tournament representatives, Gavin Forbes, Mark Webster and Charles Smith. It also includes three player representatives with three-year terms, Giorgio di Palermo as the European representative, David Egdes as the International representative and Justin Gimelstob as the Americas representative. The player representatives are elected by the ATP Player Council.

The 12-member ATP Player Council delivers advisory decisions to the Board of Directors, which has the power to accept or reject the Council's suggestions. The Council consists of four players who are ranked within the top 50 in singles (Stan Wawrinka, Kevin Anderson, John Isner and Gilles Simon, acting as Vice-President), two players who are ranked between 51 and 100 in singles (Jürgen Melzer and Sergiy Stakhovsky), two top 100 players in doubles (Raven Klaasen and Bruno Soares), two at-large members (Eric Butorac, acting as President and André Sá), one alumni member (Yves Allegro) and one coach (Claudio Pistolesi)

The ATP Tournament Council consists of a total of 13 members, of which five are representatives from the European region along with four representatives from both the Americas and the International Group of tournaments.

References

Association of Tennis Professionals Wikipedia


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