ATP has announced major upgrades to the ATP Challenger Tour, which will deliver a record number of events, multi-million dollar prize pool and an optimized tournament calendar from January 2023. The reforms follow an in-depth review and strategy development conducted by ATP’s new senior Challenger Tour team over the past eight months.
Important changes include:
1) Category Simplification:
The ATP will phase out Challenger 90 and 110 categories, reducing the number of categories from six to four. From 2023, the core categories are:
- Challenger 50
- Challenger 75
- Challenger 100
- Challenger 125
In addition, ATP is introducing three new premium Challenger 175 events, during the second week of the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells, Rome and Madrid, with a prize pool of $220,000.
2) Record Prize Money:
Total prize money on the Challenger Tour will rise from $13.2 million in 2022 to a record $21.1 million in 2023, a 60 percent increase. This includes notable increases in Challenger 100 tournaments ($106,240 to $130,000) and Challenger 75 tournaments ($53,120 to $80,000). In addition, round by round prize money distributions will improve earnings in the previous rounds of events. Together, these improvements will help create a more sustainable player path for more players participating in the Challenger Tour.
3) Improved calendar:
The 2023 Challenger Tour will set an all-time record of 195 events, up from 183 in 2022, giving players more opportunities. Improvements to the calendar will also bring it closer to the UKTN and provide a better balance between tournaments, both in terms of surface types and regions. In addition, a projected 170 percent increase in Challenger 100 and 125 events will improve player flow and mobility, giving players more opportunities to climb the Pepperstone ATP rankings.
Commenting on the changes, ATP President Andrea Gaudenzi said: “The Challenger Tour is the starting point of professional men’s tennis. Today’s announcement is a critical step forward for the entire ecosystem. The new plan increases the winning potential for players and improves the balance between tournament categories, surfaces and regions. It also puts a renewed focus on raising tournament standards. This is also just the beginning. Our team is committed to making further improvements in the coming months and years.”
Richard Glover, Vice President, ATP Challenger Tour, said: “The health of the ATP Challenger Tour is critical to the future of our sport, and our in-depth review uncovered significant opportunities to strengthen this path. While we are taking a long-term approach to growing the Challenger Tour, these changes will provide an immediate boost from 2023 onwards. We look forward to implementing these reforms next season and building on these progress in the near future. There’s more to come, so keep an eye out for this space.”