4 tiers that an Indian has to progress through to become a professional tennis player
Tennis is one of the most competitive and admired sports in the world. There are many people who play tennis for fitness, some play for enjoyment while there are a few who aspire to take up tennis as a career. Professional tennis is highly competitive like other professional sports. It requires dedication, persistence, and dexterity to become an international tennis player.
Millions of tennis players or tennis enthusiasts desire of becoming a professional tennis player. There are innumerable tennis players in India who can play tennis analogous to a professional tennis player, but only a few of them know how to become one.
Here are the 4 tiers that an Indian has to progress through in order to become a professional tennis player of the highest level:
AITA or the All India Tennis Association is the governing body of tennis in India. The association is affiliated to the International Tennis Federation. It operates at all of the Indian national representative tennis sites. AITA also organizes and hosts tennis tournaments within the Indian territory, and schedules the home international fixtures. It also selects the Indian Davis Cup team and the Indian Fed Cup team.
AITA conducts various types of tournaments in the country, such as the Talent series, Championship Series, Super Series, National series and two Nationals -- Hard Court and Clay Court.
A player who wants to become a professional tennis player, first of all, has to play AITA Nationals and has to win some matches to get a national ranking. The rankings will help a player to get sponsors from some major companies in the sport of tennis.
The International Tennis Federation organizes the ITF men's circuit which is a string of professional tennis tournaments held all over the world. It is the first level or the first step of the men's professional tennis at the international level.
ITF tournaments are included in the ATP rankings. This enables young professional players to progress to the ATP Challenger Tour followed by the ATP World Tour. Every professional tennis player has played the ITF men's circuit for some period of time.
After getting a good rank in AITA, the next step is to register on the ITF pro circuit. A player needs to win some matches in order to get rankings. Since there aren't many ITF events in India, a player has to travel abroad frequently. At this point, the AITA rankings will be sufficient as the sponsors can help the player financially. Only playing and winning more matches can help a player to get a good ranking and get direct entries into the main draws in ITF.