The four Grand Slam tournaments and the International Tennis Federation have join hands to support wheelchair tennis. The joint initiative has pledged over $300,000 in financial support for the cause.
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 of major wheelchair tournaments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eighty-eight ITF-sanctioned wheelchair events have been postponed or cancelled since the ATP, WTA and ITF tours were suspended on March 12, including the BNP Paribas World Team Cup, Roland-Garros and Wimbledon. The UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour is currently suspended until July 31 in alignment with other professional circuits, states a report by the Wimbledon.com.
Wheelchair tennis players who earned less than $100,000 in prize money in 2019 ranked inside the Top 20 of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour rankings in the men’s and women’s open division, and the Top 15 in the quad division, will be eligible to apply for a grant.
This fund follows the announcement of the Player Relief Programme, a similar joint initiative of tennis’ seven major stakeholders, which will provide financial support to approximately 800 ATP/WTA singles and doubles players.