Odishatv Bureau

The governing bodies of world tennis have said that they will raise in excess of $6 million to support the players affected by the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, the International Tennis Federation had said that the ITF, along with ATP and WTA, and organisers of the four Grand Slams (Tennis Australia, the Federation Francaise de Tennis, All England Club and United States Tennis Association) are planning create a 'Player Relief Program' to provide assistance to the players affected by the shutdown due to the spread of novel coronavirus.

The program will target a total of approximately 800 singles and doubles players collectively, in need of financial support.

"The creation of the player relief program is a positive demonstration of the sport's ability to come together during this time of crisis.

"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," the ITF statement added.

The ATP and the WTA will administer the financial distributions of the program and all contributions will be split equally between men and women.

Professional tennis currently remains suspended till July 13 and the chances of it started even then are quite grim.

Tennis legend Leander Paes, who made a guest appearance on the Education Webinar for Coaches, jointly organised by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI), on Monday said it is key to focus on learning new skills during the lockdown period.

The country has been under lockdown for more than a month now to curb the menace of COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is important to focus on learning new skills during the lockdown", Paes said on how to best utilise this time away from tennis action and keep yourself active and mentally fit, as quoted by AITA's official website.