ATP revamps Challenger Tour to bolster lower-level tennis

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LONDON (AP) — The ATP is changing its Challenger Tour, looking to streamline tennis at lower levels and make it easier for players to earn a living.

Starting in 2019, draw sizes will be increased from 32 to 48 at all events in the second rung of the men's tennis. All players will earn prize money and receive hotel accommodations. The ATP estimates an additional $1 million (763,400 pounds) in prize money.

There are more than 160 tournaments worldwide on this year's Challenger Tour. Starting next year, they will be rebranded as ATP Challenger 70, 80, 95, 110 and 125, according to the prize-money levels and ranking points. The highest-level Challengers will offer $162,480.

In 2020, ATP ranking points will be awarded to champions only at the Challenger Tour level and above. The Futures Tour currently offers points.

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