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Worldwide Player Grants To Help Future Tennis Stars

P
layers get a small boost during COVID-19, as 29 players, 13 men and 10 women from 22 different countries, were selected as recipients of the International Player Grand Slam Grants for 2020.

Founded in 1986, the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF) has received contributions from the four Grand Slam tournaments, and has contributed over $50 million to tennis.

This will be the programme’s fourth year.

Financed by the GSDF; the initiative provides annual funding of $650,000 to players with their aim of contributing to their competition-related costs, and to assist them in their professional development.

First introduced in 2017, the programme considers players ranking, age and regional representation when determining who will receive the grant.

Many of the recipients of the grant have made it to the Top 100 of the ATP or WTA, including Grand Slam champions Li Na, Victoria Azarenka, Gustavo Kuerten, Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko.

Past recipients include Ons Jabeur (2020 Australian Open quarter-finalist and world No. 34), Elena Rybakina (world No. 18), Cristian Garin (world No. 21), and Hubert Hurkacz (world No. 31).

Players to receive the $25,000 grants this year include: Mariam Bolkvadze (GEO), Francisco Cerundolo (ARG), Juan Manuel Cerundolo (ARG), Maja Chwalinska (POL), Filip Cristian Jianu (ROU), Kaja Juvan (SLO), Anhelina Kalinina (UKR), Lee Duckhee (KOR), Liang En-Shuo (TPE), Nicolas Mejia (COL), Eleonora Molinaro (LUX), Sumit Nagal (IND), Sebastian Ofner (AUT), Yshai Oliel (ISR), Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL), Jurij Rodionov (AUT), Elena Gabriela Ruse (ROU), Thiago Seyboth Wild (BRA), Khumoyun Sultanov (UZB), Tseng Chun-Hsin (TPE), Wang Xinyu (CHN), Wang Xiyu (CHN) and Wu Tung-Lin (TPE).

Highest ranked players in their regions would also receive a $12,500 grant, to ensure that at least one player from each region would be included.

These players include: Maiar Sherif Ahmed Abdulaziz (EGY), Roberto Cid Subervi (DOM), Paige Hourigan (NZL), Skander Mansouri (TUN), Colin Sinclair (NMI) and Renata Zarazua (MEX).

ITF president, David Haggerty, said: “we once again thank the Grand Slam tournaments for their support, especially in these challenging and uncertain times.”

“Investing in development is more important than ever, in order to ensure that players from all over the world are able to compete at the top of the sport.

“This is crucial for the continued growth of tennis around the world.

“For many players, support from the GSDF is crucial in enabling them to go on to enjoy long and successful careers,” he said.

Grand Slam Board director, Bill Babcock, said “the Grand Slam tournaments are very pleased to have the opportunity to invest in the development of these talented young players, particularly after the unprecedented hiatus in professional tennis this year.”

“Many of today’s top professionals received support from the GSDF early in their careers and the International Player Grand Slam grants will help players become stars of the future,” he said.

Off court aces however, are not the only thing players will be scoring, with grant recipient Kaja Juvan already having gone on to compete in the main draw at both the Australian Open and the US Open.

Anhelina Kalinina, Sumit Nagal and Thiago Seyboth Wild, also all competed at the 2020 US Open.