ITF Press Release, June 10, 2020
The ITF has today finalised a comprehensive package of measures to support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing suspension of professional tennis. The package was approved by the ITF Board last week and represents a total relief fund of more than US$2.6million.
The new measures include $1.449million in funding for National Associations to help facilitate the return to tennis through national and junior tournament grants, top ranked junior player grants, and a $350,000 fund for players ranked 501-700. There will also be development support available for officials, as well as provisions for the return of Beach Tennis.
This latest support follows previously announced measures, which include a joint Player Relief Programme, financial support for wheelchair tennis and free training resources for coaches.
Since professional tennis was suspended on 12 March, the ITF has seen more than 1,100 of its events cancelled or postponed. As a non-profit organisation, 90% of the ITF’s revenue is reinvested into programmes that drive growth and ensure the sustainability of our sport globally via our 210 member nations. Despite the considerable financial impact of this disruption, the ITF has remained committed to supporting multiple stakeholders at all levels of the sport, investing funds where they are needed most.
ITF President David Haggerty said, “Despite the significant challenges that have resulted from this pandemic, the ITF has been resolute in our desire to help as many of our stakeholders as possible. We do not have unlimited resources, so we have focused our efforts where they are most needed. This has been a complex process, but I am pleased that we have been able to reach this point and I would like to thank the ITF Board of Directors for their support. There remains much uncertainty, but I am confident that as we continue to pull together and make the right decisions, tennis will make a strong recovery.”
Supporting our member nations is fundamental if tennis is to resume and ultimately recover from the far-reaching financial, technical and logistical challenges posed by COVID-19. To enable National Associations to effectively resume operations and provide playing opportunities, the ITF will make up to $1.449million available in the form of grants. This funding comes in addition to the $13.7million in development funding already issued to National Associations in 2020.
Players Ranked 501-700
Having previously contributed to the joint Player Relief Programme for players inside the top 500, the ITF has made an additional $350,000 available to support players ranked ATP/WTA 501 – 700 in singles and/or 176-300 in doubles. The funding will be distributed in the form of development grants to eligible players via National Associations, with singles players ranked 501–600 receiving $1,000, and doubles players ranked 176 – 300 and singles players ranked 601-700 receiving $750.
Ensuring there is a pathway and opportunity for the most talented young players to rise up the professional ladder is a fundamental mission of the ITF. A portion of the fund made available to National Associations will be distributed as grants to support tournaments and enable eligible junior players to participate in regional events.
Coaches & Officials
Beginning in March, to assist tennis coaches and officials around the world who have been unable to work during the pandemic, the ITF has provided education, seminars and training resources to tennis professionals at no charge. The ITF made a range of resources on its ITF Academy platform available for free for the duration of tennis’ suspension, including online coaching courses and the bestselling ebook ‘Advanced Coaches Manual’. To date, more than 21,000 coaches worldwide have benefited from these resources.
In addition to National Association support, a tournament support fund has been created to facilitate the return of Beach Tennis and will be available to the nations.
The four Grand Slam tournaments and the ITF came together last week to pledge more than $300,000 in financial support for wheelchair tennis. The fund will provide grants to help wheelchair athletes and national association event hosts impacted by the suspension of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and postponement or cancellation of major wheelchair tournaments, including the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Earlier this month, the seven tennis stakeholders collectively raised in excess of $6 million to create a Player Relief Programme aimed at supporting approximately 800 ATP/WTA singles and doubles players in need of financial support.
Prior to this announcement, the ITF had already implemented a range of measures, including savings on projects, a job retention scheme, salary reductions, and the Board has approved the utilisation of reserves to ensure that the organisation can continue to operate in the short-term while protecting the infrastructure and long-term viability of the sport.