The International Tennis Federation has decided to extend financial support to the lower-ranked players, both in singles and doubles, apart from the relief-fund that major stakeholders have already raised with sporting activities remaining shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ATP, WTA, Grand Slam nations (USA, Australia, England and France) and top players, led by Novak Djokovic, had raised more than $six million, which they plan to distribute among 800 players.
“ITF is going to help players, who are ranked between 500 and 700 in the singles category both men and women. They are also going to help doubles players ranked between 175-300. They will will get some funds though it is not going to be substantial amount,” an ITF source told PTI.
“It’s a nominal amount, which is less than $2000 (per player), will be given to the national federations and they will distribute to their eligible players.”
The source also added that only those players who have been regular in the competition in the last 10 months, will be extended help.
“What the Grand Slam nations are planning is, they want to help players beyond 200 but this fund is meant for much-lower ranked players. It’s a one-time payment.”
From India’’s perspective, the support could be extended to a maximum of 12 players, men and women combined.
Only two players, Manish Suresh Kumar (642) and Arjun Kadhe (655), are eligible in the men’’s singles.
India have six players, led by Sumit Nagal, in singles top-500. Nagal is ranked 127, followed by Prajnesh Gunneswaran (132), Ramkumar Ramanathan (186), Sasi Kumar Mukund (281), Saketh Myneni (425) and Sidharth Rawat (438).
In the doubles list, there are four Indian players who should get the relief fund – Myneni (180), Vishnu Vardhan (199), Kadhe (231) and N Vijay Sundar Prashanth (300). Since Kadhe is eligible to receive funds as both singles and doubles categories, probably he will get the fund for one category and not both. India has seven doubles players, led by Rohan Bopanna, in the top-175.
From among the women players, four singles players are ranked between 500 and 700. Karman Kaur Thandi (606), Sowjanya Bavisetti (613), Zeel Desai (650) and Pranjla Yadlapalli (664).
Thandi has been of action for a long time due to injury so it remains to be seen if she will be eligible. In the doubles list, Rutuja Bhosale (196) and Sania Mirza (226) figure between 175-300 rankings.
The ATP and WTA tours are shut and not likely to open before August.
With PTI Inputs