The pandemic put a lot of things on hold and professional tennis was certainly one of those things but during the times of interruptions and suspensions the ATP had continued to work on a new plan for the future. With that “One Vision” has come to fruition and has been announced by the ATP, and it is exciting.
It is a plan that is set to transform the sport. The ATP says this great sport boasts more than a billion global tennis fans. There is an emerging generation of superstars with content that is perfectly suited for the digital age. The tour believes OneVision establishes a solid foundation for the future growth of tennis.
Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, said: “Our sport has huge upside and stands on the cusp of a new era of growth. Fulfilling our potential requires us to be united, pursue new growth opportunities and focus on what matters most: the fans. OneVision gives us a game plan to do just that. Its launch represents a game-changing moment for the Tour and a huge collective effort across our sport. I’m incredibly excited for what’s to come.”
One of the central features of the plan is that several Masters 1000 events will be expanding and growing to a 96 singles draw played over 12 days. It has been an objective for a number of years to see these events develop to another level. The multi award-winning Rolex Shanghai Masters is one of those; it is the biggest men’s event in Asia.
“After extensive discussions and proposals, we are so very thrilled that the ATP has approved the extension to our tournament, the Rolex Shanghai Masters as well as for Masters 1000 events in several other cities around the world,” Tournament Director Michael Luevano said.
“We already have 24 years of tennis history behind us and the growth and development of tennis in China has been led by Shanghai. The success of tennis in Shanghai has allowed other cities in the nation to benefit from our growth.
“In 1998 we started out as a small 250 series event; then we hosted five stunningly successful year-end championships. Since then, we have staged eleven outstanding award-winning Masters 1000 series tournaments. Now, another incredible step is being taken as tennis gains even greater elite status in this region.
“This allows us to grow and expand further and provide tennis fans with even more of the best in world tennis. QiZhong Stadium with it innovative and unique retractable roof will continue to host Asia’s most awarded tennis tournament.
“We have great pride in the product that is being produced and will continue to be a bright beacon in Asia’s sporting growth. We could not be happier.”
Joining Shanghai with this expansion will be the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and Madrid from 2023 and then in 2025 Canada and Cincinnati will expand.
The approval of Phase One by the ATP Board marks a major milestone for the ATP Tour and for the first-time audited tournament financials will provide full transparency to players on the economics of tournaments. In tandem, a ground-breaking 50/50 profit sharing formula will align the interests of players and tournaments in growing the game as partners in success.
This is just the start. Development of Phase Two is in the discussion phases with the vision to create a unified governance structure and operating model across the wider sport, exploiting key synergies and delivering greater support for lower levels of tennis through incremental growth. And heaven knows tennis needs that.