WASHINGTON, April 21, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
India has become the latest country to announce plans to launch a domestic tennis circuit to support its players, who are struggling financially during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The country’s tennis body, All India Tennis Association (AITA), made the announcement on Saturday.
According to Reuters, AITA came up with an intermediate plan with government support designed to reduce economic pain for lower-level professionals, who depend upon tournaments winnings to earn a living. The country is currently in a lockdown until May 3.
In a statement, the AITA said, “This circuit will be aimed at benefiting our tennis players across the country since the pandemic has adversely affected their livelihood as well as their overall training and preparedness. (It) shall have the objective of helping them be sharp, fit, competitive and match ready without any major financial burden.”
India has three players in the ATP Top 200 – Sumit Nagal is ranked No. 127, Prajnesh Gunneswaran is No. 132 and Ramkumar Ramanathan is No. 186. The top-ranked Indian woman is Anita Raina, who is No. 163.
To all the #Tennis players in 🇮🇳
— All India Tennis Association (@AITA__Tennis) April 20, 2020