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COVID-19: Tennis world joins forces to create player relief program

London, April 22 (IANS) The ATP and WTA, along with the International Tennis Federation and organisers of the four Grand Slams (Tennis Australia, the Federation Francaise de Tennis, All England Club and United States Tennis Association) are planning create a ‘Player Relief Programme’ to provide assistance to the coronavirus-impacted players.

“With so much uncertainty around when it will be safe to restart the professional tennis tours, the international governing bodies of world tennis can confirm they are in discussions to create a Player Relief Programme to provide much-needed assistance to the players who are particularly affected during this time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis,” ITF said in a statement on Tuesday.

“These discussions have been progressing well and details are being finalised with an announcement expected in the near future. Already agreed is that the ATP and the WTA will administer the Player Relief Programme and all seven stakeholders will make a significant contribution,” the statement added.

IFT further said: “We know that for our players, as well as for so many people worldwide, there is the need for financial support for those who need it most and we look forward to finalising and sharing the further details of a plan in due course.”

The London-based governing body has also announced the creation of player panels for those competing on its World Tennis Tour.

“The panel will provide a forum for players to provide their input and have their say on how the tour is run and will be a further opportunity for the ITF to engage with the player community,” ITF said.

The men’s and women’s players will each elect a panel of seven current player members, who will have voting rights.

Men’s players with an ATP ranking of below 350 and women’s tennis players with a WTA ranking not higher than 151 will be allowed to nominate a fellow player or stand in the election.

All professional tennis activities remain suspended till July 13 due to coronavirus outbreak which has so far claimed more 1.7 lives across the world.

–IANS

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