A fund worth almost GBP 5million has been created by seven of tennis’ major governing bodies to assist players suffering financially from the lack of competition due to the coronavirus crisis.
The ATP and WTA tours have come together with the International Tennis Federation and the four grand slam tournaments to create the package of support.
With the professional game currently suspended until at least July 13 due to the coronavirus outbreak, and many of the circuit relying on event earnings, up to 800 players have been identified as potential recipients.
The grand slam tournaments – Wimbledon as well as the Australian, French and US Opens – offer the biggest pay days of the year and have played their part in building the fund, which totals 6million US Dollars (GBP 4.81m).
The ATP and WTA will take responsibility for distributing the payments, which will be split equally between the respective tours. Prior performance will be an important factor in determining how much an individual is likely to be in line for.
A statement read: “The Player Relief Programme will target a total of approximately 800 ATP/WTA singles and doubles players collectively, in need of financial support.
“Eligibility for the Player Relief Programme will take into account a player’s ranking as well as previous prize money earnings according to criteria agreed by all stakeholders.
“The creation of the Player Relief Programme is a positive demonstration of the sport’s ability to come together during this time of crisis.
“We will continue to collaborate and monitor the support required across tennis with the aim of ensuring the long-term health of the sport in the midst of this unprecedented challenge to our way of life, and our thoughts remain with all those affected at this time.”
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