By ATP Staff | Press Release Courtesy of the ATP Tour | ATP Website


ITA No. 1 Eliot Spizzirri and NCAA men’s singles champion Filip Planinsek are among 21 college players who will benefit from direct entry into ATP Challenger Tour events as part of the ATP Next Gen Accelerator.

This will be the second year of the joint initative between ATP and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) after a successful launch following the 2023 college tennis season. 

The programme was developed to increase the development pathway for top players in the American Collegiate system. Following the NCAA Championships last month at Oklahoma State University, players qualified based on their year-end ranking and/or performance in the NCAA Championships.

Ten of the 21 qualifiers, including Spizzirri and NCAA Singles Finalist Michael Zheng, are repeat qualifiers from 2023.

“Us college guys couldn’t be more grateful to be granted opportunities into these Challenger events because of our results this season. The Tour is extremely challenging, but this boost will provide college guys with a better opportunity to reach their goals and catapult themselves to a ranking where they are consistently qualifying for events on their own,” Spizzirri said. “College tennis has proven to be a great stepping stone to the professional tour and this initiative is just another addition to the benefits college has.”

Players ranked in the Top 20 of the ITA final singles rankings who have finished their education are granted up to eight Accelerator Spots at Challenger 50 and 75 tournaments, with opportunities split between main draw (for Top 10 ITA ranked players) and qualifying (11-20).

Players who reach the quarter-finals or better of the individual NCAA Division I Championships also qualify for the ATP Next Gen Accelerator if not already eligible through their ITA ranking.

These opportunities are available from 1 July 2024 for a period of 12 months.

Players who qualify for the programme and will continue their education will receive six opportunities over six months (July–December), enabling them to benefit from the programme during their college off-season and parts of their fall season

In the first year of the initiative, 15 players entered a combined 67 ATP Challenger Tour events. Highlights include Nishesh Basavareddy climbing from unranked to the Top 500 in the PIF ATP Rankings in less than six months. The American reached an ATP Challenger Tour 75 final in Fairfield, where he defeated Steve Johnson and Alex Michelsen.

Ethan Quinn, the 2023 NCAA Singles Champion, began the programme ranked No. 477. He used seven of his eight spots, and has climbed as high as World No. 243.

Arthur Fery, the former Stanford standout, has surged from World No. 391 to a career-high No. 246.


ATP Next Gen Accelerator Qualifiers

PlayerSchoolQualification
Eliot SpizzirriUniversity of TexasITA Rank
Johannus MondayUniversity of TennesseeITA Rank
Micah BraswellUniversity of TexasITA Rank
Antoine Cornut-ChauvincFlorida State UniversityITA Rank
Ozan BarisMichigan State UniversityITA Rank/NCAA Quarterfinalist
Jack PinningtonTCUITA Rank
Chris RodeschUniversity of VirginiaITA Rank
Jake FearnleyTCUITA Rank
Toby SamuelUniversity of South CarolinaITA Rank
Michael ZhengColumbia UniversityITA Rank/NCAA Quarterfinalist
Oliver TarvetUniversity of San DiegoITA Rank
Nishesh BasavareddyStanfordITA Rank
Murphy CassoneArizona State UniversityITA Rank/NCAA Quarterfinalist
Cooper WilliamsHarvardITA Rank/NCAA Quarterfinalist
Alex MartinezUniversity of OklahomaITA Rank
Colton SmithUniversity of ArizonaITA Rank/NCAA Quarterfinalist
Filip PlaninsekUniversity of AlabamaITA Rank/NCAA Quarterfinalist
JJ TracyOhio State UniversityITA Rank/NCAA Quarterfinalist
Andres MartinGeorgia TechITA Rank
Radu PapoeCornell UniversityITA Rank
Jack AnthropOhio State UniversityNCAA Quarterfinalist

About The ATP
As the global governing body of men’s professional tennis, the ATP’s mission is to serve tennis. We entertain a billion global fans, showcase the world’s greatest players at the most prestigious tournaments, and inspire the next generation of fans and players. From the United Cup in Australia, to Europe, the Americas and Asia, the stars of the game battle for titles and Pepperstone ATP Rankings points at ATP Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, and Grand Slams. All roads lead towards the Nitto ATP Finals, the prestigious season finale held in Turin, Italy. Featuring only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams, the tournament also sees the official crowning of the year-end ATP World No. 1, presented by Pepperstone, the ultimate achievement in tennis. For more information, please visit www.ATPTour.com.

About the ITA – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body and coaches association of college tennis, both an advocate and an authority for the sport and its members. Comprised of 1,260 colleges and universities, 20,000 student-athletes, 1,700 varsity programs, 3,000 coaches, and 1,350 college tennis officials, the ITA empowers college tennis coaches at all levels to deliver vibrant tennis programs that are vital to their college communities and transformational to their student-athletes. Follow the college tennis season on the ITA website and ITA social channels on TwitterInstagramLinkedInFacebook, and YouTube.

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