Taylor Fritz - Shanghai Masters 2023

Taylor Fritz claims creating a premium tour is a ‘really good idea’

Taylor Fritz has backed the potential of a premium tennis tour, following rumours starting to circulate about the four Grand Slam tournaments joining together in partnership with other bigger tournaments.

The idea behind a ‘premium tour’ would be to combine the four Grand Slams and all of the ATP/WTA 1000 tournaments into one tour, and American No.1 Fritz has spoken to the Sydney Morning Herald about this concept.

“It’s a really good idea, and I think that we should have separate tours,” said Fritz. “If you’re on the main, top tour, you should be set to play all the big events, and they should all be slightly bigger-draw events to get basically everybody in the top 100 in, and I think that’s honestly all we should play.

“You can have 14 marquee events, and it makes tennis easy to follow for fans because all you have to pay attention to is those tournaments. There’s no people getting tons of points in between events, at like [ATP] 250’s and 500’s, and more than anything, there’s no crazy schedule for us players.”

The rumours began circulating after a report from The Athletic suggested that there could be a meeting at the upcoming Australian Open, with the various governing bodies discussing a collaboration.

Despite not revealing any current plans, Australian Open CEO Craig Tiley seemed positive about the idea when speaking to FOX Sports.

“The premium tour for the future of the sport has been on the table for quite a few years, and getting the sport motivated and activated to look at it more openly is something that is continuing to happen, which is exciting,” explained Tiley.

The Australian continued, “I think there’s a lot of work that’s got to be done, [and] a lot of parties have got to come together, but there is a big opportunity for the sport of tennis to deliver a product in a more coordinated, premium way.

“There have been attempts to do it for years, but the Grand Slams have done extremely well in this [premium] environment and continue to do well, and they are the times in the year when the players mobilise because this is where they want to make their most money, but also get their biggest profile globally.”

It is unclear as to how likely this major change is to coming to happening, however it seems unlikely to come to fruition until at least 2025 with next year’s calendars already released.

Inside the baseline…

Over this past year it has been evident how dissatisfied players on both the ATP and WTA Tours are with the length and structure of the tennis season, and that is unlikely to change following the release of the 2024 calendar. However, whether creating a seperate, more exclusive tour is the right idea going forward is something that no-one will really know until it is tried and tested.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.