The International Tennis Federation (ITF) in a statement said that it was working to create a new relief fund for the lower-ranked players who have been financially hit due to the stoppage of sport because of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ITF is in the process of finalising a range of additional measures to support stakeholders impacted by COVID-19, including a relief fund to help tour players ranked 501-700 not covered under other relief progammes,” the ITF said in an official statement.
The ITF President David Haggerty, ITF President, said, “We are doing everything within our power to ensure that the talented players climbing the ITF pathway receive the support they need and continue their development during these uncertain times.”
“Many professionals and organizations in the tennis world have been significantly impacted by this hiatus in our sport due to COVID-19. It’s not a simple blanket approach and this takes time. The ITF is reviewing all feasible and appropriate options to provide support where it is most needed amongst our different stakeholders,” he added.
Earlier, all the international governing bodies of tennis, ITF, ATP, WTA, and the organisers of the four Grand Slams had committed themselves to create another fund ‘Player Relief Program’ and raise US 6 million 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 joint statement by ATP, WTA, ITF and organisers of the four Grand Slams read.
All forms of professional tennis have been suspended until at least July 13 due to the novel coronavirus situation across the globe. All scheduled ATP and WTA tours have either been postponed or cancelled. This year’s Wimbledon Open became the first since the World War 2 to be cancelled.