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The ITF Women's Circuit
is a series of professional tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...
tournaments run by the International Tennis Federation
The International Tennis Federation is the governing body of world tennis, made up of 205 national tennis associations.It was established as the International Lawn Tennis Federation by 12 national associations meeting at a conference in Paris, France on 1 March 1913...
for female professional tennis players. It serves as the developmental circuit for the WTA Tour, which is run by the independent Women's Tennis Association
The Women's Tennis Association , founded in 1973 by Billie Jean King, is the principal organizing body of Women's Professional Tennis. It governs the WTA Tour which is the worldwide professional tennis tour for women. Its counterpart organization in the men's professional game is the Association of...
(WTA). There are several hundred tournaments each year, spread across all six inhabited continents, with prize money ranging from USD 10,000 to USD 100,000. Players who succeed on the ITF Women's Circuit earn sufficient points to be eligible for qualifying draw or main draw entry to WTA tournaments.
There is also an ITF Men's Circuit
The ITF Men's Circuit is a series of professional tennis tournaments held around the world that are organized by the International Tennis Federation. The ITF Men's Circuit represents the lowest rung of the men's professional tennis ladder...
, but it only incorporates the lower-level Futures tournaments. Mid-level men's tournaments, equivalent to the bigger money events on the ITF Women's Circuit, come under the aegis of the ATP
The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP was formed in 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the...
as part of the ATP Challenger Tour.