The player development programme, known as the ‘ITF/GSDF Player Development Pathway', includes a number of development initiatives that can help a talented player to breakthrough into the top levels of junior and professional tennis.
While it is an important goal to attract increasing numbers of people of all ages and nationalities to the sport of tennis, it is equally vital to guarantee a structure which makes it possible for the most naturally gifted recruits to pursue their dreams to the highest level of their potential.
The player pathway operates at both national and international levels. The national level helps countries to establish a 14 and under junior development programme through the ‘Junior Tennis Initiative’, while at the international level, the ‘Pyramid of Opportunity’ offers players progressing from the national ‘Junior Tennis Initiative’ the chance to gain valuable training and competitive opportunities outside their country.
In the past, in many cases, there was little or no chance for players to travel to the relatively few existing junior circuits in less developed regions then being staged. Junior circuits at both the 13/14 & Under and 18 & Under levels in less developed regions with incentives for achievers to move to a higher level were thus set in motion to help fill this void.
ITF Junior Touring Teams allow the best players within regions to be invited to compete in other parts of the world. However, this still leaves the difficult problem for many national associations of trying to ensure that clearly able junior competitors can make that difficult transition from top national juniors into the professional ranks. Therefore, the Grand Slam Development Fund provides travel grants for talented players to play entry-level professional events.
Further detail can be found in the national and international sections below or the ITF/GSDF Player Development Pathway brochure: