Melbourne, 28 October 2011 | Tennis Australia
The 2012 Australian Ranking tournament calendar was released this morning with 185 Australian Money Tournaments, offering a total prizepool of just under $850,000 and 213 Optus Junior Tour tournaments set to be played across the country.
The Australian Money Tournaments (AMTs) and Optus Junior Tour (OJTs) tournaments will also undergo a significant change in the way they are conducted in 2012, with athletes separated into main draw and qualifying events rather than the traditional format of starting all athletes in the same position. If an athlete’s Australian Ranking is high enough, they may be accepted directly into the main draw, but if not, they will be required to compete in the qualifying event, where if they win the required amount of matches, they will earn a place into the main draw.
“The philosophy beyond the change to the draw formats is to improve the quality of competitive opportunities that is currently being offered to our up-and-coming athletes,” said Francis Soyer, Tournaments Coordinator at Tennis Australia.
“With the higher ranked players gaining acceptance directly into the main draw, they will be guaranteed a highly competitive match from the first round and the lower ranked players will be placed into qualifying, where they too will be guaranteed a highly competitive match without the fear of being drawn against one of the top seeds in the first round, losing quickly and having an unsatisfying tournament experience that may put them off the game of tennis.”
Australian Money Tournaments will have the choice to run a 16 or 24 player main draw tournament, with Optus Junior Tour tournaments having the choice to run a 16 or 32 player main draw. Both circuits will offer qualifying events of various sizes, but can accept no more than 128 players into the qualifying event.
The new draw formats should also save some players money with main draw players only required at the end of the tournament for two or three days instead of the traditional four or five days if everyone started at the same position within a draw.
“We hope this will encourage a number of top-class players back to tournament tennis, especially at the Australian Money Tournaments, where players were getting put off because of the uncompetitive matches they were receiving in the early rounds before getting to the business end from the Round of 16 onwards.”
“Also, the number of days main draw players have to be there is a lot less, but the prize money is still the same, so winning $2000 in a Platinum AMT in 2012 may only take two or three days of a players’ time whereas before it might have taken four or five days.”
Another major requirement to ensure the success of these draw formats is that it is now mandatory for all players entering an Australian Ranking tournament to do so online using their 11-digit My Tennis membership number. This will ensure accurate player data is kept from all tournaments and with help automate the Australian Rankings, which is currently produced on a monthly basis, but may be able to be produced weekly in the future.
“Every player and tournament official has their part to play to help us produce better systems and with the online entry requirement and My Tennis membership database, Tennis Australia will be able to improve the efficiency of the tournament administration process for the many volunteers, as well as produce weekly rankings, head-to-head player records, accurate acceptance lists, Iphone applications, etc. that can only help this current generation of players have a better tournament experience on their way to the top.”
The Australian Ranking tournament circuit starts on January 1, with many of the January tournaments opening entries in November via http://www.tennis.com.au/tournaments
Additional information regarding the new draw formats, a new Australian Ranking points table that offers points in the qualifying event will be released towards the end of the year. For more information about the new tournament structure, please email the Tournaments & Competitions department via email: [email protected]
You can download a printable version of the 2012 Australian Ranking tournament calendar via the links below.
> Download the 2012 Australian Ranking Tournaments Calendar A3 (full calendar)
> Download the 2012 Australian Ranking Tournaments Calendar A4 (summarised)