The Association of Tennis Professionals

The right of a man to have a voice in his own destiny and to control the path of his career is well illustrated in the activities of the Association of Tennis Professionals – an organization which now boasts a membership of 170 of the world’s top tennis players.

Formed in 1972 at the National Open Tennis Championships in Forest Hills, N.Y., the ATP has succeeded in uniting the administrative side of the game with the playing side. And the ATP has emerged as a major force in the tennis world, giving players that needed voice where there was none before.

With the advent of open tennis in 1968, it became increasingly apparent that, as many players began earning their living from the game, rules and thinking which had existed in the amateur arena needed to be changed.

Four years later, 56 charter members organized ATP and named all-time tennis great Jack Kramer as executive director. Kramer, a knowledgeable administrator and founder of the World Tennis Corp., continues to serve in that capacity, and without salary.

As the organization grew, the players began to make their representation felt. ATP representatives now have three of the six voting memberships on the Men’s International Professional Tennis Council which schedules, sanctions and administers all tournaments offering prize money of $17,500 or more.

The most significant contribution ATF has made to professional tennis is the development of their computer ranking system, which is now used as the official method of player entry into all Grand Prix events. The ranking includes more than 500 international players, members and non-members alike, and 99 tournaments, including all the major world tournaments. The ATP ranking is updated every few weeks, and provides a fair, objective standard for the entries of all players to be considered.

Through the efforts of the ATP player representatives, prize money for tennis players has doubled for the majority of the events, including two of the richest tournaments in the world which are ATP member-only events – the $150,000 Alan King Tennis Classic at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and the $175,000 American Airlines Tennis Games.

Much of the credit for ATP’s past success and bright future belongs to Executive Director Jack Kramer. A Kramer brainchild is the “ATP Nations Cup,” sponsored by the Reynolds Metals Company, and scheduled for September 29-October 5 at Kingston, Jamaica. Eight national teams of three men each will compete in the $100,000 event, which has been called the professional version of the Davis Cup. The event will be held in conjunction with “Holiday Jamaica” presented by NASABA Artists’ Management, Inc. of New York, and the National Sports Limited of Kingston.

1975 ATP Awards

Men

Player of the Year

Doubles Team of the Year Newcomer of the Year

Women

Player of the Year

Doubles Team of the Year

Newcomer of the Year

President’s Award

(Selected by current and past ATP Presidents)

Tennis Writer of The Year

Tennis Broadcaster of the Year

Children’s Tennis Award

(Presented to the person devising the most outstanding program for children)

Court Official of the Year

ATP Service Award

(Presented to a person who made a contribution to organizing professional players and then to the ATP)

ATP Grand Master Award

(Presented to a player of the past who most closely represents the ATP ideal)

ATP Lifetime Contribution Award

(Presented to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to tennis over a great many years)

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