USTA Pro Circuit Collegiate Series: Things you should know

April 19, 2016 09:57 AM

By Sally Milano,

The USTA Pro Circuit, the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, recently announced that it is launching the USTA Pro Circuit Collegiate Series, a circuit of more than 10 tournaments held on or near college campuses across the country to provide a platform for college players to gain pro experience and transition to the pro tours. The USTA Pro Circuit Collegiate Series will consist of events that complement a college player’s schedule, with  two events taking place later this spring and several more scheduled to be held during the fall semester. recently spoke to Danielle Gooding, Senior Manager, Men’s & Women’s Pro Circuit, about the collegiate series, the goals of these new events, who can enter and host the tournaments and much more. Can you talk about what the goals of the new collegiate series are and why these tournaments have been developed?

Danielle Gooding: We are really trying to help the collegiate player make the transition from college to the pros. They’ve been at a disadvantage because when we meet with Player Development to put together the Pro Circuit calendar, we’re putting it together based on a professional player’s schedule. It doesn’t necessarily complement the college player’s schedule, and they can only play certain times of the year, obviously, because of school. So it’s been a little tricky for them to access our Futures and our lower-level women’s events and get the points that they need.

So now we’ve created this series where we’re actually putting tournaments in weeks that are complementing the college player’s schedule. They’re weeks where they’re out of school or their season is over or their season has a break. That’s the target: to get those weeks on the calendar and put Pro Circuit events in there. Who are these tournaments open to? Just college students, or can any player enter?

Danielle Gooding: Anyone can play. Even a player like (experienced pro and current world No. 158) Ryan Harrison can play. Although they’re branded as collegiate events, these are Pro Circuit events, and they follow the same exact rules as Pro Circuit events in terms of entry and standards. College players can’t earn prize money, so what happens when they compete at these events?

Danielle Gooding: Points are given whether you are a pro or an amateur, so they get points no matter what, and that’s the ultimate goal. How can players enter these events?

Danielle Gooding: They can enter by going to the ITF Pro Circuit site, and it’s the same procedure as if you’re entering a Pro Circuit event. You have to have an IPIN. The tournaments will be listed on the ITF Pro Circuit site as Pro Circuit events. The ITF doesn’t differentiate between a collegiate series event. When are the events taking place?

Danielle Gooding: The first ones are June 6 and 13. We have two men’s $25,000 Futures, at the University of Virginia and Wake Forest. The rest will take place starting Sept. 12, right after the US Open, through Dec. 5. We’re going to try to pack them in every week. (Ed. note: Click here for the latest schedule.) If colleges are interested in hosting tournaments, what should they do?

Danielle Gooding: They can contact me, and we’ll take it from there.