Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007, 19:28 GMT 20:28 UK
Players risk ban for withdrawals
ATP chairman Etienne de Villiers
This is one of the boldest things this board has done

ATP chairman
Etienne de Villiers
Players who miss top tournaments on the men's tour will be suspended under new rules planned for 2009.

Governing body the ATP revealed on Friday that the Masters Series would be replaced by eight '1000' tournaments.

Players who miss the events in Indian Wells, Miami, Rome, Madrid, Cincinnati, Canada, Shanghai and Paris without a legitimate reason will be banned.

"This is one of the boldest things this board has done," said Etienne de Villiers, chairman of the ATP.

Under the new rules, players will be banned from their most successful tournament the following season - potentially denying players the opportunity to defend a title.

"This was a unanimous vote by the board," added De Villiers. "Player and tournament reps felt this was the right thing to do for the sport.

"You get suspended once but it's a cumulative suspension. It's a little bit like points on your driving licence. It stays on your record.

"We have a 3.7m bonus pool for the top 20 players. If they're suspended they lose half of it. If they miss two, they'll lose all of it."


Event organisers have been hit by a series of high-profile withdrawals in recent years.

But at present they can expect nothing more than a hefty fine if they pull out of contracted tournaments.

The aim by tour chiefs is to guarantee the top tournaments have a full complement of top-10 stars.

De Villiers said the committee which will determine if a player is injured had been approved by the ATP Player Council.

"(It will be) one player representative, one tournament representative and one ATP representative," he said.

Of the existing Masters Series tourmaments, Monte Carlo has '1000' status but is not a mandatory event while Hamburg has been replaced by Shanghai.

Madrid will change from a hard-court event in the European autumn to a clay-court event before the French Open.

By 2011, six of the eight mandatory '1000' events will become combined tournaments with the women's tour.

Winners of '1000' tournaments will receive 1000 ranking points, and below that there will be 10 '500' events.

The full calendar will be revealed at the Masters Cup in Shanghai in November.

China gets Masters Series event
16 Apr 07 |  Tennis
London to host World Tour Final
03 Jul 07 |  Tennis
Tennis to act over absent stars
31 Oct 06 |  Tennis
China crisis
16 Nov 05 |  Tennis


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us