A: Challenger tournaments along with Futures tournaments make up the USTA Pro Circuit. These events are a professional tennis player’s stepping stone to top tier USTA and ATP tour tournaments and majors such as the US Open. Higher-level Challenger tournaments, such as the Nielsen Championships, showcase players with rankings from approximately 50 to 200 in the world.
The USTA Pro Circuit:
- America’s gateway to tennis stardom
- Circuit started over 20 years ago
- The most comprehensive development tour in the world
- Over 2,000 tournament players each year
- Professional tournament competition for pros beginning their careers, pros who previously have broken into major tour ranks and are looking to return to the top, and top-ranked college/junior players
- Managed nationally by the USTA and executed locally by tournament staff
Q: What’s “International” about the tournament?
A: Players from all over the world participate in the tournament. This reflects the international character of tennis. Players from Canada, Venezuela, Germany, Great Britain, Australia, Chile, the Netherlands, China, Puerto Rico and Argentina have played in the Nielsen tournament over the years.
Q: Are Nielsen Tennis Championship players mostly college players and club pros?
A: No – they are touring pros. The players compete in tennis tournaments around the world year-round.
Q: If these players are so good, why don’t I see them on TV?
A: Watch the early rounds or check the scores of any top tier tournaments or Grand Slam event and you will recognize many of the players that participate in the Nielsen Tennis Championships.
Q: How much prize money are the Nielsen Tennis Championships players competing for?
A: There is $50,000 in total prize money to be awarded along with valuable tour ranking points. The singles winner receives $7,700 and second place is awarded $4,200 while each member of the winning doubles team receives $2,800 and the runners-up $1,500.
Q: How are players selected to participate in the Nielsen Tennis Championships?
A: A player can get into the main draw of the tournament in one of four ways:
1) If their world ranking is approximately #150 or greater, they often gain entry into the main draw of the tournament.
2) If their world ranking is approximately #150-600, they can play in the qualifying tournament which begins on Sunday before the main draw. The four players who win all three of their matches in the qualifying tournament gain entry into the main draw.
3) One of the players who lost in the last round of qualifying is selected via a random drawing and may get into the main draw if a spot opens up due to the withdrawal of one of the main draw players.
4) Local tournament officials as well as USTA officials can give any player they choose entry into the main draw or the qualifying tournament. These players are referred to as “wildcards.” Typically, there are 2-4 wildcard entries into both the qualifying and main draws.
Q: I have a day job and can’t attend day matches on weekdays.
A: Don’t make excuses! Main draw featured evening matches are scheduled for each night during the week.
Q: Who is responsible for organizing the tournament?
A: The tournament is a United States Tennis Association Pro Circuit event that is officially sanctioned by the USTA and ATP. The tournament director is Linda Goodman.
Q: Can I volunteer to work at the Championships?
A: Definitely – you can be part of the action. Meet the players and help make the Nielsen Pro Tennis Championships a success. Volunteers are needed to help in the following areas:
- Ticket sales
- Ball Kids
Q: I am a member of the media and want to do a story about the tournament and some of the participating players – who do I contact to set up interviews and get more information?
A: Alexandra Maestre is the Press aide and media liaison for the Championships and can be contacted at Alexandra.firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What happens if it rains and matches can’t be played?
A: All tickets are non-refundable. Dates and times are subject to weather conditions. Every attempt will be made to play any and all scheduled matches. In the event of inclement weather necessitating the cancellation/rescheduling of matches, tickets will be honored only for the subsequently rescheduled match/session.