1. The world is changing and getting much more competitive for eyeballs. There is no money available in tennis for more than about 400-500 men and women players. The rest are college level or recreational players. Tennis will continue to face even more competition in the future. The new system makes a cauldron that forces stars to rise very quickly, much like all other sports. No more getting away with point chasing and pushing as juniors, now you have to develop shots, go for them, and push yourself to have a chance at the pros. Not willing to do that, aim for college or rec tennis. All the money in tennis is made by the biggest stars attracting attention. It is what it is. I keep reading about all the players who love tennis. Great, keep playing for the love of the game. The old system of players being able to play futures forever is gone and not coming back, The ITF saw the future, tons of competition for dollars. Tennis will only survive with new superstars, and those will come from pushing the young players. The trade off is missing out on the one in a 1000 older player who breaks through. Risk/reward says the vast majority of very top players move through the junior ranks quite fast. Look at the kids today...Cori Gauff, Whitney Oswuige, Amanda Anisimova....their abilities were obvious and they rose fast. I highly suggest all adults involved quite pining away for the past and advise these kids to get into a field where they can make money. They can play tennis for fun in their spare time. But to keep writing petitions and posting to facebook is worthless. The old system is never coming back, nor should it.

    • The structure of proffesional Tennis allows only a really small number of players to make a living, that even in comparision to much less popular sports. You are right Karl that it is acceptable to have tiers, and that not everyone must be part of the pro tour, but no sport has a hard cutoff on the age the player can have a breakthrough. In Tennis it should be even easier to spot emerging talent at any age, since it is an individual sport. In addition, as I just demonstrated, the way moving up the ladder works is really bad, even for players that are inside the system. Even some players who were top 100 juniors can't even play 15k$ qualifying now. For most players it took gradual improvemnt until they got to where they are now, and they probably wouldn't have made it under the current system, both from financial reasons and from not playing higher level players. It is not 1 in 1000 players that world of Tennis would lose, more like 9 out of 10, and even the 1 in 10 that does make it won't be as good, since the whole pyramid would be smaller.

  2. Some data of participation numbers: In 2014 about 9100 men played 1-10 tournaments, about 1040 played 11-20 and about 840 played 21 or more tournaments. In 2014 about 9960 women played 1-10 tournaments, about 730 played 11-20 and about 520 played 21 or more tournaments.

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