Prize money on the Challenger Tour will jump 60% next year from its 2022 level as part of a plan to boost earnings for players on the feeder circuit, the men’s ATP Tour said on Friday.
For the 2023 season, total prize money on the Challenger Tour will rise to $21.1 million from $13.2 million in 2022 with next year’s calendar also having 12 more events on the second-tier circuit, up from the current 183.
“The Challenger Tour is the launchpad of men’s professional tennis. Today’s announcement is a critical step forward for the entire ecosystem,” ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement.
“The new plan increases earnings potential for players and improves the balance of tournament categories, surfaces and regions.”
Earlier this year the men’s governing body said its flagship Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid, Rome and Shanghai will be held over 12 days and with bigger draw sizes from 2023.
That raised questions over the fate of smaller 250 events on the men’s calendar with ATP’s strategic plan aimed at boosting revenue from media and television rights.
The ATP said it will reduce the number of categories on the Challenger Tour to four from six while introducing three new premium Challenger 175 events, with $220,000 in prize money, during the second week of Masters events in Indian Wells, Rome and Madrid.
“The health of the ATP Challenger Tour is critical for the future of our sport, and our in-depth review revealed significant opportunities to strengthen this pathway,” said Richard Glover, the vice president of ATP Challenger Tour.
“Whilst we are taking a long-term approach to growing the Challenger Tour, these changes will provide an immediate boost from 2023 onwards.”

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By Dipak

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