Spizzirri, NCAA champion Planinsek among college players to qualify for ATP Next Gen Accelerator

Opportunities available from 1 July for a period of 12 months
June 07, 2024
Eliot Spizzirri is a two-time qualifier for the initiative.
Megan Briggs/Getty Images
Eliot Spizzirri is a two-time qualifier for the initiative. By ATP Staff

ITA No. 1 Eliot Spizzirri and NCAA men's singles champion Filip Planinsek are among 21 college players who will benefit from direct entry into ATP Challenger Tour events as part of the ATP Next Gen Accelerator.

This will be the second year of the joint initative between ATP and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) after a successful launch following the 2023 college tennis season. 

The programme was developed to increase the development pathway for top players in the American Collegiate system. Following the NCAA Championships last month at Oklahoma State University, players qualified based on their year-end ranking and/or performance in the NCAA Championships.

Ten of the 21 qualifiers, including Spizzirri and NCAA Singles Finalist Michael Zheng, are repeat qualifiers from 2023.

"Us college guys couldn’t be more grateful to be granted opportunities into these Challenger events because of our results this season. The Tour is extremely challenging, but this boost will provide college guys with a better opportunity to reach their goals and catapult themselves to a ranking where they are consistently qualifying for events on their own," Spizzirri said. "College tennis has proven to be a great stepping stone to the professional tour and this initiative is just another addition to the benefits college has."

Players ranked in the Top 20 of the ITA final singles rankings who have finished their education are granted up to eight Accelerator Spots at Challenger 50 and 75 tournaments, with opportunities split between main draw (for Top 10 ITA ranked players) and qualifying (11-20).

Players who reach the quarter-finals or better of the individual NCAA Division I Championships also qualify for the ATP Next Gen Accelerator if not already eligible through their ITA ranking.

These opportunities are available from 1 July 2024 for a period of 12 months. 

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Players who qualify for the programme and will continue their education will receive six opportunities over six months (July–December), enabling them to benefit from the programme during their college off-season and parts of their fall season

In the first year of the initiative, 15 players entered a combined 67 ATP Challenger Tour events. Highlights include Nishesh Basavareddy climbing from unranked to the Top 500 in the PIF ATP Rankings in less than six months. The American reached an ATP Challenger Tour 75 final in Fairfield, where he defeated Steve Johnson and Alex Michelsen.

Ethan Quinn, the 2023 NCAA Singles Champion, began the programme ranked No. 477. He used seven of his eight spots, and has climbed as high as World No. 243.

Arthur Fery, the former Stanford standout, has surged from World No. 391 to a career-high No. 246.

ATP Next Gen Accelerator Qualifiers

 Player College
Eliot Spizzirri Texas 
Johannus Monday Tennessee
Micah Braswell Texas
Antoine Cornut-Chavinc Florida State
Ozan Baris Michigan State
Jack Pinnington Jones TCU
Chris Rodesch Virginia
Jake Fearnley TCU
Toby Samuel South Carolina
Michael Zheng Columbia
Oliver Tarvet San Diego
Nishesh Basavareddy Stanford
Murphy Cassone Arizona State
Cooper Williams Harvard
Alex Martinez Oklahoma
Colton Smith Arizona
Filip Planinsek Alabama
JJ Tracy Ohio State
Andres Martin Georgia Tech
Radu Papoe Cornell
Jack Anthrop Ohio State

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