By Ros Satar
- Elite tennis competitions to resume from 3 July
- Initial four weeks of behind closed doors competitions confirmed for men and women at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre, with other approved venues to follow
- Increased prize-money on offer to all players – equal for both men and women
LONDON, UK – The LTA has set wheels in motion for professional players to return in a series of events, starting in July.
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As lockdown restrictions have started to ease across the country, the LTA today confirmed a series of events for professional players to start in early July, subject to confirmation of Government requirements, in order to enable professional players to make a safe return to competitive tennis, under the new restrictions.
As with many other sports, the LTA has been working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), UK Sport and other sports governing bodies in carefully planning the return to training for elite level athletes.
The LTA remains in close consultation with the ATP, WTA and the ITF regarding the future of international events this year, following the suspension of the professional Tours. The LTA has also developed plans for further enhanced domestic playing opportunities beyond August – should the international suspension period be extended further.
When and where are the British Tour events?
The first swing of four new British Tour events will take place over consecutive weeks from 3-26 July. All four tournaments will take place at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, which has already approved as an elite training venue, and will continue as such during this time.
- Each event will host 32 singles players (16 men and 16 women) open to the highest ranked players with an LTA Membership number who wish to entre.
- The tournaments will generally be held over three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), with a one-day doubles-only events for eight teams, using the Fast Four format.
- Prize money has been increased by 50% and for the first time ever at British Tour events, all players from the first round onwards will receive prize money to help support the incomes and expenses from a wider base of players during this challenging time.
- Two Premier-level events in weeks two and four, each offering over £16,000 in total prize money, with singles champions receiving £2,250.
- Tier 1 event held in weeks one and three and other dates and venues will be announced to host British Tout events through to the end of August.
Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, said: “Since the coronavirus crisis, we have been working incredibly hard to support all our players, venues, coaches and officials through this very challenging time.
I’m delighted to announce today the next stage of elite tennis’ return to competing safely behind closed doors as part of a five-phase plan co-ordinated by UK Sport with Government.
The LTA is actively engaged in developing the necessary guidelines for behind closed doors events, which we hope will be determined by the Government in the coming weeks to ensure the safest environment for anyone involved in returning to competition and look forward to bringing tennis back into people’s lives this summer.
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