MUMBAI: The revamp of the global tennis structure's second tier - the ATP Challenger Tour - from 2019 will hit Indian players hard with the complete removal of ATP ranking points in the lower level of the men's circuit, according to Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association's Sunder Iyer.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) events with prize money of USD 25,000 and below will offer no ATP ranking points from next year, according to the MSLTA's secretary.
With there being no ranking points for USD 15,000 and below events for women too and points restricted to the last four in the higher USD 25,000 ITF events, the women players too will take a hit, Iyer indicated.
"Currently there are around 60 Indian men and women players who are ranked by the ATP and WTA.
But next year, because of the revamp of the tennis structure, this would come down to less than 20," Iyer told PTI on Thursday.
Countries and cities hosting tournaments will have to factor in higher costs to hold Challenger events as it will be a draw of 48, instead of the current 32, which will further inflate the budget as all 48 players in the main draw will have to be provided with hospitality and prize money, according to Iyer.
"This year we have three Challengers in India - the ongoing one at Bengaluru, the KPIT Pune Challenger and another one scheduled in Chennai in January, 2019.
We are expecting two more to be added to the list," said Iyer.
Iyer said the revamped global tennis structure was not to the benefit of Asian countries, including India, and this has led to the All India Tennis Association, which has over the years changed its domestic structure to host a lot of ITF events, to also go in for a revamp of the structure.
"I have been asked to head the task force to suggest the changes to the domestic tennis structure by the AITA by December 15," Iyer said.