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I've been watching tennis on and off for the last couple years and I know that some of the really good players now have once played in the ITF tournaments. I was wondering if a player was over 18, would they still have to play in these tournaments or can they somehow start off on the WTA tour?
 

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Honey said:
I've been watching tennis on and off for the last couple years and I know that some of the really good players now have once played in the ITF tournaments. I was wondering if a player was over 18, would they still have to play in these tournaments or can they somehow start off on the WTA tour?
The ITF isn't a minor league like baseball has its A divisions. I can't think of one player who hasn't played at least a couple ITF events. Even if you are highly touted and you do get a number of wild cards upon turning pro (and perhaps before), players always wind up playing ITF events because they need ranking points and to climb the ladder. It has nothing to do with age.
 

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I think the only way they wouldnt have to play them is if they got a few wild Cards into grand slams or tier I's and did very well so they got a rank high enough to just avoid the ITF's
 

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Jennifer Capriati has never played an ITF event. Don't think Venus or Serena have either.
 

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Dont think Monica Seles did either....

Yes, even the World Junior Champion gets only 3 wc's into challengers. And if you start as a junior, you are almost certain to play ITF challenger events. And to get into WTA tournaments, you need a ranking. If you want to skip ITF event, this is what you do.

1) win Orange Bowl(Miami)/Slams juniors and enter their qualifying against top 150 players.
2) Qualify and reach at least the 4th round to get a ranking around 150, then use this ranking to enter those weak Tier V events

highly unlikely...
 

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If you get a wc into pro tournis and do really well in them u might never have to play one
 

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I dont think Golovin has played many ITFs either, maybe about 2 or 3. She got a WC to the Aus Open and reached the 4th round, got a WC into Paris and reached SF, and used that ranking to enter other WTA tournaments.
Some really good players dont need to at all, like the Williams sisters, but most players do start off playing ITF's.
 

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golovin has played 8, 4 of her 5 tourneys in 2002 were itf, and she played 4 more in 2003

i think shes done now though ;)
 

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isn't it crazy to think maria was playing them JUST over a year ago... and sprem too. i think it's a really healthy thing. thank God for these tournaments. there's something great about watching people who are playing because they love it even when they aren't on the big stage. :worship:
 

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Experimentee said:
Some really good players dont need to at all, like the Williams sisters, but most players do start off playing ITF's.
The Williams sisters got given wild cards so much in their younger days that they didn't need to slum it in the ITFs, even when they weren't winning that many WTA matches.

Didn't Lucic only play one or two ITFs when she first emerged? I know her first two events were WTA ones, and after her first few events she was ranked high enough to get into most WTA tournaments. It's almost like she had a decent career in reverse :tape:
 

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yup and they should as well, coz then tehy realsie how good life is when you get to teh top.

free meals, money towards accomodation, free acces to physio and doctor's

none available in ITF

in 2003 sprem won like 24 challenger matches in a row, and is now top 30

some of the best tennis you will ever see is on teh challenger circuit, where girls will NEVER give up, beacuse they want out of there, away from playing in teh middle of nowhere in grotty hotels in clubs with terrible facilities.

ever heard of a top 20 player playing in teh rain and gale force winds at 8.30pm? Nope, they get sent off at the slightest drop. Challenger go on through all weather almost!

and a certain challenger event made famous by Kournikova for losing in r1 to Colosio was played between an airport and a freeway
 

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Yep, Venus played qualies in a few events in 1996, and actually had to qualify for a lot of tournaments she played in 1997. So, Monica must be the only one, I can't think of any others!
 

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Serena played ITF events. Not sure about Venus. Both played qualies.

Monica never played ITF events or qualies and Jennifer didn't when she first started on the tour. With the AER, changes in the ranking system and WC rules, it would be nearly impossible now for a player not to play at least some ITF events when starting out.
 

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sartrista7 said:
The Williams sisters got given wild cards so much in their younger days that they didn't need to slum it in the ITFs, even when they weren't winning that many WTA matches.

Didn't Lucic only play one or two ITFs when she first emerged? I know her first two events were WTA ones, and after her first few events she was ranked high enough to get into most WTA tournaments. It's almost like she had a decent career in reverse :tape:
...Lucic played a $10k in '96, then another one in '97 after Bol and Strasbourg, but only because RG and Wimbly wouldn't let her play (I think)...she already had enough points to be in the top 100...also played Makarska $10k in '98...I'm embarrassed I can remember all that... :)
 

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sartrista7 said:
The Williams sisters got given wild cards so much in their younger days that they didn't need to slum it in the ITFs, even when they weren't winning that many WTA matches.
Serena beat Pierce and Seles in reaching the SF in her 4th tournament in which she got a WC, so its not like she was wasting lots of WCs! She used her ranking from that result to get into other WTA tournaments.
I think most of the time the Williams sisters got qualifying WC's instead of main draw WC's, and worked themselves up from there.
 
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