India former Davis Cup singles stalwart Somdev Devvarman on Friday backed the new ATP Ranking system, saying it will be a good thing for the Indian players in the long run.
From 2020, ATP Ranking points will begin at the ATP Challenger Tour, a change that could significantly reduce the number of ATP-ranked players in the country. “It is actually going to be very useful in the long run because nowadays, for whatever reason, kids don’t believe that education can go hand in hand with sport. Indian children can start looking at getting scholarships abroad, going to college tennis and continuing their tennis over there. There are pros and cons of transition too,” Somdev said.
Conceding the new ranking format will hurt Indians initially, Somdev said it will be beneficial to youngsters in the longer run. “It is going to hurt in the beginning. But towards the end a lot of junior players, between 17-19 (years) who are taking that decision whether to turn pro immediately or to go to college for four years and then turn pro, will find it a lot simpler because nobody wants to be on the transition tour for four years. I think it will be a good thing for the Indian players in the long run if they treat it in a correct way,” the former national number one noted.
Post these changes, the ATP Challenger Tour will undergo significant changes from next year. Somdev also felt that once the changes are made, a lot of people will start looking at tennis in a realistic way. “We currently have over 50 people ranked in the ATP, - I am not sure of the number - but overnight on January 1, it will be 10-15. There are ways of looking at it. One is that we don’t have that many players ranked, but the whole world is going through the same thing and the entire world (is) doing it.”