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ATF demands quota for ATP events

September 02, 2007 17:03 IST

The Asian tennis body is threatening to pull out of the ATP tour and start its own rebel circuit unless 25 percent of the field at every tournament held in the continent is reserved for Asian players.

"After taking the approval of the board of directors, I have written to the president of the ATP that any tour event in Asia must have at least 25 percent representation from the continent," Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) president Anil Khanna told a news conference on Saturday.

The 2007 ATP calendar includes five events in Asia along with the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, where only the eight best players in the world are eligible to enter.

With most of the Asian events boasting 32-player fields, under the ATF's proposals, eight places would be reserved for Asian players even though world number 43 Lee Hyung-taik of South Korea is currently the only man from the region in the top-100.

In addition, the Asian body has asked the ATP to permit each continent to stage 12

challenger events closed only to the players of that continent so that opportunities can be given to players in the region to raise their rankings.

"If the ATP does not change, the ATF is seriously considering breaking away from the ATP circuit and create a few million dollars circuit only for the Asian players so that they can earn substantial money from tennis," Khanna said.

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