Texas Christian University is one of the venues for a new professional tennis circuit.
With endorsements from the governing bodies of men, women and international tennis, California-based technology company Oracle Corporation has created the Oracle Pro Series, the company announced Wednesday.
The series, aiming to enhance tennis sport in the U.S., will hold 25 new ATP, WTA and ITF World Tennis Tour professional tournaments throughout 2019 and 2020.
According to the 2019 schedule released on Wednesday, TCU will play host to at least one ATP tournament to be held from Oct. 20 to 27.
The women’s piece of the same tournament will be played at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
“We want more exposure for tennis at all levels in the United States,” Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said in a statement. “All of our efforts, from awards to tournament series to collegiate sponsorships and strategic partnerships, are pieces of an overall plan to raise the quality of American tennis.”
All tournaments, as part of Oracle Pro Series, boast equal prize money for both men’s and women’s events. The prize money ranges from $25,000 to $108,000 per tournament.
A total of six combined tournaments are scheduled for fall 2019. Those six tournaments, which includes the one at TCU, offer $25,000 prize money.
Other host sites include locations in California and Florida. A combine tournament will be held at Baylor University in Waco.
Collegiate-level tennis players playing in the tournaments will have immediate access to higher-level tournaments. The players can win valuable WTA and ATP ranking points, which determines the entry qualifications and seeding in the highest professional level in the sport.
Oracle is partnering with InsideOut Sports & Entertainment in this new venture. InsideOut is founded by Jim Courier, former World No. 1 and Hall of Famer.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Oracle to give up-and-coming players more opportunities to compete for prize money, improve their rankings and launch their careers,” Courier said in a statement. “Together, we will play a big part influencing the future of tennis in the U.S.”
Although the sister-duo of Serena and Venus Williams have performed and won numerous individual Grand Slam titles in recent years, their American male counterparts have not been able to shine as bright.
The last time an American won the grand slam was in 2003, when Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick won the Australian Open and the US Open, respectively.
The hope is now that the younger generation of tennis players realize the opportunity the new tournaments will present.
“These events help develop American talent and serve as a stepping stone for players to reach the highest levels of the game, while at the same time inspire kids across the nation to pick up a racket and play this sport,” said Stacey Allaster, chief executive of United States Tennis Association.
The Oracle Pro Series will create more than 40 percent new playing opportunities in the United States for tennis professionals, according to Oracle.
The final schedule for 2020 will include more than 20 tournaments, most of which will be combined events. Locations for the 2020 schedule will be announced later this year.