Tennis world joins forces to offer COVID-19 player relief program

(Reuters) - The ATP and WTA, along with the International Tennis Federation and organizers of the four Grand Slams, said on Tuesday they are creating a coronavirus relief fund to help players affected by the sport’s current shutdown.

The specifics about how much money will be collected and how it will be distributed amongst the lower-ranked players were not disclosed in a joint statement that said details are in the process of being finalised.

“These discussions have been progressing well and details are being finalised with an announcement expected in the near future,” the statement said.

The tennis season was halted in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which makes it difficult for those in the lower echelons of the sport who depend solely on tournament winnings to earn a living.

According to the statement, both the men’s ATP Tour and the WTA, which runs the women’s circuit, will administer the players relief program and each of the seven stakeholders will make a significant contribution.

“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,” the statement said.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Dan Grebler