International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Tuesday issued a statement regarding providing financial assistance to players who are severely affected due to the suspension of the tour due to COVID-19 outbreak. The federation plans for a collaborative effort to fund the players lower down the rankings.
The seven international governing bodies of world tennis are in discussions to create a COVID-19 Player Relief Programme.— ITF Media (@ITFMedia) April 21, 2020
Full statement: https://t.co/DZpPZSIxMu
A joint statement which included the ATP and WTA read, "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 Program to provide much needed assistance to the players who are particularly affected during this time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis."
"These discussions have been progressing well and details are being finalized with an announcement expected in the near future. Already agreed is that the WTA and ATP will administer the Player Relief Program and all seven stakeholders will make a significant contribution. The health and safety of everyone involved in tennis is the absolute priority for all the governing bodies, and the tennis community has been unwavering in playing its part in limiting the spread of the infection."
"This is particularly true of our players, with so many engaging their fans through messages of hope while reiterating the importance of staying safe at home, as well as demonstrating creative ways to stay fit and practice our sport to be ready for when the time comes that play can begin again. 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 finalizing and sharing the further details of a plan in due course."
Last week, world number one Novak Djokovic said that he spoke with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal about working with the ATP to set up a fund to help lower-ranked tennis players financially affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. During an IG live session he held with three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka on Saturday, Djokovic described what he called "a long conversation" with Federer and Nadal about "how we can contribute and how we can help lower-ranked guys who obviously are struggling the most". Djokovic talked about trying to amass somewhere around $3 million to $4.5 million to distribute, perhaps to players ranked from around 200th or 250th to around 700th.