ITF Press Release, January 22, 2019
Twenty-nine players from 20 countries have been selected to receive the 2019 International Player Grand Slam® Grants financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF). The Programme, now in its third year, will provide total funding of $650,000 to selected players from around the world as a contribution towards their competition-related costs, with the aim of helping them to develop as professional tennis players and compete in Grand Slam tournaments.
The GSDF Committee considers specific age, ranking and regional representation criteria when making decisions on which players should receive grants, with all recipients deemed to show exceptional potential.
The following 12 men and 11 women will receive $25,000 grants: Alexander Bublik (KAZ), Chung Yunseong (KOR), Magdalena Frech (POL), Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE), Ivana Jorovic (SRB), Kaja Juvan (SLO), Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB), Duckhee Lee (KOR), Fangzhou Liu (CHN), Kamil Majchrzak (POL), Sebastian Ofner (AUT), Zsombor Piros (HUN), Jurij Rodionov (AUT), Andreea Amalia Rosca (ROU), Elena Rybakina (KAZ), Viktoriya Tomova (BUL), Karman Kaur Thandi (IND), Camilo Ugo Carabelli (ARG), Mate Valkusz (HUN), Wu Yibing (CHN), Xu Shilin (CHN), Mikael Ymer (SWE) and Katarina Zavatska (UKR).
In addition, the following two men and four women will receive $12,500 grants as the highest ranked players in their respective regions, to ensure that at least one player from each region receives a grant: Victoria Bosi (ARG), Roberto Cid Subervi (DOM), Moez Echargui (TUN), Sandra Samir (EGY), Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG) and Renata Zarazua (MEX).
This year’s recipients include 11 players who received grants in 2018 and who continue to meet the GSDF Committee’s criteria. New recipients who continue to meet the criteria will be eligible for an additional grant of up to $25,000 in 2020.
Two of this year’s recipients competed in the main draw at the 2019 Australian Open: Miomir Kecmanovic and Kamil Majchrzak.
Bill Babcock, Director of the Grand Slam® Board, said on behalf of the Grand Slam tournaments: “The Grand Slam tournaments are very pleased to have the opportunity to invest in the development of these talented young players. Many of today’s top professionals received support from the GSDF early in their careers and the International Player Grand Slam grants will help players to reach their potential and become stars of the future.”
ITF President David Haggerty said: “Investing in development is crucial for the continued growth of our sport. I am thrilled that this programme gives the grant recipients the chance to improve their game so that they can compete with the best in the world. I have no doubt that for many of these players, this is a first step in a long and successful career.”
The GSDF was originally established in 1986 to encourage and increase competitive opportunities in developing tennis regions. With annual contributions from the four Grand Slam tournaments, the Fund has become an effective means to develop competitive tennis worldwide. The Fund has contributed more than $50 million to tennis development since its inception, with more than $3 million available for distribution in 2019.
The Fund is designed to encourage the establishment of both junior and professional circuits, and to assist players directly, through touring teams or travel grants, to gain international competitive experience. This has helped increase the number of nations represented in Grand Slam tournaments and other international competitions.
Former Australian Open and Roland Garros winner Li Na, three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten and current world No. 1 Simona Halep are among the leading names to have been supported by the Fund.