The international governing bodies of Tennis, the International Tennis Federation (ITF), ATP, WTA and the organisers of the four Grand Slams, have committed to raise over USD 6 million to support the players affected by the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, the ITF and organisers of the four Majors (Tennis Australia, the Federation Francaise de Tennis, All England Club and United States Tennis Association) had informed that they were planning to create a ‘Player Relief Program’ to provide assistance to the players affected by the shutdown due to the spread of novel coronavirus.
The program is likely to target a total of 800 lower-ranked players who need financial assistance at a time when Tennis, like all other sports across the globe, has come to standstill due to the crisis caused by the novel coronavirus.
“The governing bodies of world tennis have come together to raise in excess of US $6 million to create a Player Relief Program aimed at supporting players who are particularly affected by the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement by ATP, WTA, ITF and organisers of the fourt Grand Slams read.
“The move by the seven stakeholders provides the financial backbone of the Program, with opportunities for additional contributions to follow. Funds raised through initiatives such as auctions, player donations, virtual tennis games and more, will provide opportunity for further support of the Program moving forward and are welcomed.
“The creation of the Player Relief Program 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,” the statement added.
Earlier, the world number one Tennis player Novak Djokovic had also revealed his plan to raise around USD 3 million to 4.5 million to distribute the sum to players ranked from around 200th to 700th during an Instagram Live session with three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka.