Fund will aid about 800 ATP and WTA singles and doubles players in need of financial support.
The coronavirus crisis has stopped sport leaving many players and coaches without income.
Now, players will receive some financial aid.
Tennis' governing bodies have launched a Player Relief Program "in excess of $6 million" to provide financial aid to players in need during the pandemic, the ITF announced.
The fund will aid about 800 ATP and WTA singles and doubles players in need of financial support. The ATP and WTA jointly extended suspension of the pro circuit through July 13th.
The seven stakeholders in the sport—ITF, ATP, WTA and the four Grand Slam tournaments—contributed to the $6 million fund.
The ATP and WTA will administer the financial distributions of the Player Relief Program funds split equally between men and women.
It's another act of cooperation between the governing bodies of men's and women's tennis weeks after Roger Federer called for a merger of the two tours into one unified tour.
Eligibility for the Player Relief Programme will take into account a player’s ranking as well as previous prize money earnings according to criteria agreed by all stakeholders.
The question remains: is it enough?
Equal distribution of the funds would amount to about $7,500 per qualifying player.
Given growing speculation the current pro circuit suspension could be extended how will players sustain themselves through a potentially greatly abbreviated and possibly suspended 2020 season?
"The move by the seven stakeholders provides the financial backbone of the Program, with opportunities for additional contributions to follow," the ITF said in a statement. "Funds raised through initiatives such as auctions, player donations, virtual tennis games and more, will provide opportunity for further support of the Program moving forward and are welcomed…
"We will continue to collaborate and monitor the support required across tennis with the aim of ensuring the long-term health of the sport in the midst of this unprecedented challenge to our way of life, and our thoughts remain with all those affected at this time."
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