The ITF Men's Circuit
is a series of professional tennis
tournaments held around the world that are organized by the International Tennis Federation
. The ITF Men's Circuit represents the lowest rung of the men's professional tennis ladder. ITF tournaments are incorporated into the ATP
rankings, enabling young professionals to progress on to the ATP Challenger Tour
and ultimately the full ATP World Tour. Nearly every professional player has spent some time on the ITF Men's Circuit.
Originally, the ITF Men's Circuit consisted of satellite tournaments
, each of which took place over four weeks. However, in the late 1990s, the ITF introduced Futures tournaments
, allowing for greater flexibility in the organization of the tournaments for national associations, and participation in tournaments for players. Over time, the ratio of Futures tournaments to satellites increased until 2007, when satellites were eliminated entirely.
Futures tournaments allow for players to win career titles and improve their rankings. Futures are held in both singles and doubles, and last only one week. As of 2008, the prize fund for each tournament is either US$10,000 or US$15,000. Some tournaments also provide housing for participants. Futures usually have sizable qualifying draws, which allow unranked players to enter tournaments and earn ATP ranking points.