ATP Challenger Tour

The ATP Challenger Tour, known until the end of 2008 as the ATP Challenger Series, is a series of international men's professional tennis tournaments. The Challenger Tour events are the second-highest tier of tennis competition, behind the ATP Tour. The ITF World Tennis Tour tournaments are on the entry-level of international professional tennis competition. The ATP Challenger Tour is administered by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Players who succeed on the ATP Challenger Tour earn sufficient ranking points to become eligible for main draw or qualifying draw entry at ATP Tour tournaments. Players on the Challenger Tour are usually young players looking to advance their careers, those who fail to qualify for ATP events, or former ATP players looking to get back into the big tour.

History of challenger events

The first challenger events were held in 1978, with eighteen events taking place. Two were held on the week beginning January 8, one in Auckland and another in Hobart. The next events were held one at a time beginning June 18 and ending August 18 in the following U.S. locations, in order: Shreveport, Birmingham, Asheville, Raleigh, Hilton Head, Virginia Beach, Wall, Cape Cod, and Lancaster. Events continued after a one-month hiatus with two begun September 24 and 25, one in Tinton Falls, New Jersey and in Lincoln, Nebraska respectively. The following week saw one event played, in Salt Lake City, then two played simultaneously in Tel Aviv and San Ramon, California, then one played the following week in Pasadena. A final event was played a month later in Kyoto. In comparison, the 2008 schedule saw 178 events played in more than 40 countries.

ATP Challenger Tour Partnering with ITA and ITF Circuit

In efforts to further the progression of college and junior players into the professional tour, the ATP Challenger Tour has partnered with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to give players more opportunities on the professional tour. Those that finish in the top 10 of the end-of-year college rankings are now eligible for six wild cards into the main draw of Challenger events, and if they have finished their college education, they receive 8 of those wild cards. Those that finish in the 11 through 20 range of the collegiate rankings are eligible for six qualifying wild cards, with those who have completed their college education being eligible for eight wild cards.

Much like the partnership with the ITA, the Challenger Tour also partnered with the ITF. This partnership granted those with year-end rankings inside the top 10 in the world eligible for eight main draw Challenger Tour wildcards, and those who finished the year between 11 and 20 in the world receiving eight Challenger Tour qualifying wildcards.

Present-day prize money and ranking points

2023–present

In 2022, during the most numerous season in the tour's history, the ATP Tour announced an overhaul of the tournaments system from 2023 season. Challenger 110 and Challenger 90 events were scrapped, Challenger 80 reduced to the Challenger 75 while the prize money requirements for it and Challenger 100 were increased. It also introduced the new highest category − Challenger 175 to be inaugurally held in the second week of Indian Wells, Rome and Madrid ATP Tour Masters 1000 events.

The new points system is as follows:

Tournament Category Singles Doubles
W F SF QF R16 R32 R48 Q Q2 Q3 W F SF QF R16
Challenger 175 175 100 60 32 15 0 0 6 2 0 TBP
Challenger 125 125 75 45 25 11 0 0 5 2 0 125 75 45 25 0
Challenger 100 100 60 36 20 9 0 0 5 2 0 100 60 36 20 0
Challenger 75 75 50 30 16 7 0 0 4 2 0 75 50 30 16 0
Challenger 50 50 30 17 9 4 0 0 3 1 0 50 30 17 9 0

2009–2022

Challenger tournaments offer total prize money ranging from $30,000 up to $168,000+, which, along with whether the tournament provides hospitality (food and lodging) to the players, determines the number of points a player gets for winning each match in the tournament.Hospitality moves the points distribution up one level and the points to the overall winner range from 80 points for a $40,000 tournament to 125 points for a $220,000 tournament with hospitality. In contrast, the ATP-level tournaments offer total prize money from $400,000 to over $6 million and points to the overall winners from 250 to 1500.As a point of reference, player rankings are based on points accumulated in the previous 52 weeks, and as of February 2016, a player who has earned 550 points in the last 52 weeks would be ranked just below the 100th position. 250 points would get him a ranking just below 200th, while with 100 points he would get to around 425th, and 50 points would put him just below 600th. So rankings points earned in Challengers can help a low-ranked player to move up in the rankings quickly.Points are awarded as follows:

Tournament Category Singles Doubles
W F SF QF R16 R32 R48 Q Q1 W F SF QF R16
Challenger 125 125 75 45 25 10 5 0 0 0 125 75 45 25 0
Challenger 110 110 65 40 20 9 5 0 0 0 110 65 40 20 0
Challenger 100 100 60 35 18 8 5 0 0 0 100 60 35 18 0
Challenger 90 90 55 33 17 8 5 0 0 0 90 55 33 17 0
Challenger 80 80 48 29 15 7 3 0 0 0 80 48 29 15 0

Player quality

Players have usually had success at the Futures tournaments of the ITF Men's Circuit before competing in Challengers. Due to the lower level of points and money available at the Challenger level, most players in a Challenger have a world ranking of 100 to 500 for a $35K tournament and 50 to 250 for a $150K tournament. An exception happens during the second week of a Grand Slam tournament, when top-100 players who have already lost in the Slam try to take a wild card entry into a Challenger tournament beginning that second week.

Tretorn Serie+

In February 2007, Tretorn became the official ball of the Challenger Series, and the sponsor of a new series consisting of those Challenger tournaments with prize money of $100,000 or more. They renewed the sponsorship with the ATP in 2010 and extended it until the end of 2011.

Records

Most singles titles

Position Player Title
1 Taiwan Lu Yen-hsun 29
2 Israel Dudi Sela 23
3 Italy Paolo Lorenzi 21
4 Argentina Carlos Berlocq 19
5 Japan Go Soeda 18
6 Argentina Maximo Gonzalez 17
Slovenia Blaz Kavcic
Argentina Facundo Bagnis
8 Japan Takao Suzuki 16
Slovenia Aljaz Bedene

Most matches won

Updated as of 10 May 2024

# Matches won Years
423 Spain Rubén Ramírez Hidalgo 2000–2017
421 Italy Paolo Lorenzi 2003–2021
409 Japan Go Soeda 2004–2022
369 Chinese Taipei Lu Yen-hsun 2002–2018
363 Argentina Facundo Bagnis 2009–2024
350 Argentina Carlos Berlocq 2002–2019
328 Italy Filippo Volandri 1999–2016
325 Slovenia Blaž Kavčič 2007–2022
323 Brazil Rogério Dutra Silva 2006–2019
321 Israel Dudi Sela 2003–2022
306 Argentina Horacio Zeballos 2006–2017
minimum 300 wins

Oldest champions

Player Age Title
Croatia Ivo Karlović 39 years, 7 months Calgary 2018
Spain Fernando Verdasco 38 years, 3 months Monterrey 2022
Belgium Dick Norman 38 years, 1 month Mexico City 2009
France Stéphane Robert 37 years, 8 months Burnie 2018
Australia Bob Carmichael 37 years, 6 months Hobart 1978
France Stéphane Robert 37 years, 5 months Kobe 2017
Spain Tommy Robredo 37 years, 1 month Parma 2019
Spain Tommy Robredo 37 years, 1 month Poznań 2019
Italy Andreas Seppi 37 years Biella III 2021
Dominican Republic Víctor Estrella Burgos 37 years Santo Domingo 2017

Youngest champions

Player Age Title
United States Michael Chang 15 years, 7 months Las Vegas 1987
France Richard Gasquet 16 years Montauban 2002
Australia Bernard Tomic 16 years, 4 months Melbourne 2009
Sweden Kent Carlsson 16 years, 7 months New Ulm 1984
South Africa Marcos Ondruska 16 years, 7 months Durban 1989
France Richard Gasquet 16 years, 8 months Sarajevo 2003
Spain Rafael Nadal 16 years, 9 months Barletta 2003
France Richard Gasquet 16 years, 10 months Napoli 2003
Canada Félix Auger-Aliassime 16 years, 10 months Lyon 2017

Youngest to win multiple titles

Player Age Title
France Richard Gasquet 16 years, 8 months Sarajevo 2003
Canada Félix Auger-Aliassime 17 years, 1 month Sevilla 2017
Spain Rafael Nadal 17 years, 1 month Segovia 2003
Australia Bernard Tomic 17 years, 3 months Burnie 2010
Spain Carlos Alcaraz 17 years, 5 months Barcelona 2020
Serbia Novak Djokovic 17 years, 5 months Aachen 2004
Argentina Juan Martin del Potro 17 years, 6 months Aguascalientes 2006

Youngest to win three titles

France Richard Gasquet 16 years, 10 months Napoli 2003
Spain Carlos Alcaraz 17 years, 5 months Alicente 2020
Canada Félix Auger-Aliassime 17 years, 10 months Lyon 2018
Argentina Juan Martin del Potro 17 years, 10 months Segovia 2006
Serbia Novak Djokovic 17 years, 11 months San Remo 2005

List of events

The Tampere Open is the longest running ATP Challenger event.

Challenger 175 ($220,000+H / €200,000+H)

Challenger 125 ($160,000+H / €145,000+H)

Challenger 100 ($130,000+H / €118,000+H)

Defunct tournaments

Other tournaments

See also

References

  1. ^ "ATP & ITA Unite To Accelerate Professional Development For US Collegiate Players | ATP Tour | Tennis". ATP Tour. Archived from the original on 2023-03-28. Retrieved 2023-03-28.
  2. ^ "ATP & ITF Collaborate To Accelerate Careers Of Aspiring Players | ATP Tour | Tennis". ATP Tour. Archived from the original on 2022-12-21. Retrieved 2023-03-28.
  3. ^ a b "By The Numbers: 2022 ATP Challenger Tour". ATP Tour. 17 December 2022. Archived from the original on 4 January 2023. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  4. ^ "ATP Announces Record-Breaking Challenger Tour Enhancements". ATP Tour. 16 September 2022. Archived from the original on 2 October 2022. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  5. ^ "Rankings - FAQ - ATP Tour - Tennis". ATP Tour.

External links