Qualifying begins: 20 June
The Draw: 24 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 25 & 26 June
Order of Play: 26 June
Championships begin: 27 June
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 20 JUNE
Fourteen players from 12 countries have been selected to receive the first ever International Player Grand Slam® Grants financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF). The new Programme will provide total funding in 2017 of $650,000 to selected players from around the world as a contribution towards their competition-related costs with the aim of helping them to develop as professional tennis players and compete in Grand Slam tournaments.
The GSDF Committee has awarded grants to players who meet specific age, ranking and regional representation criteria and show exceptional potential.
The following six men and six women will receive $50,000 grants: Christian Garin (CHI), Lloyd Harris (RSA), Ilya Ivashka (BLR), Jurabek Karimov (UZB), Duck Hee Lee (KOR), Elias Ymer (SWE), Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA), Ons Jabeur (TUN), Rebecca Peterson (SWE), Sabina Sharipova (UZB), Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) and Renata Zarazua (MEX).
In addition, Jose Statham (NZL) and Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG) will both receive $25,000 grants as the highest ranked players in the Pacific region to ensure that at least one male and female player from each region receive a grant.
Eight of these players - Garin, Ivashka, Lee, Ymer, Haddad Maia, Jabeur, Sharipova and Tomova - are competing in the Roland Garros qualifying event, which began in Paris today.
US Open Chairman Katrina Adams said on behalf of the Grand Slam tournaments: “This important new initiative will provide necessary support to players that we believe show the potential to rise to the top of the game, ensuring that more nations are represented at the highest levels.”
ITF President David Haggerty said: “I would like to thank the Grand Slam tournaments for their long-term leadership, commitment and support which has been invaluable to tennis development throughout the world, particularly in those nations with fewer available resources.”
The GSDF was originally established in 1986 to encourage and increase competitive opportunities in developing tennis regions. With annual contributions from the four Grand Slam tournaments, the Fund has become an effective means to develop competitive tennis worldwide. The Fund has contributed over $45 million to tennis development since its inception, with over $3.1 million available for distribution in 2017.
The Fund is designed to encourage the establishment of both junior and professional circuits, and to assist players directly, through touring teams or travel grants, to gain international competitive experience. This has helped increase the number of nations represented in Grand Slam tournaments and other international competitions.
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka; former Australian Open and Roland Garros winner Li Na; and three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten are among the leading names to have been supported by the Fund.
Victoria Azarenka said: “I was fortunate to receive assistance from the Grand Slam Development Fund when I was a junior. Having just learned about this new exciting programme, I am sure that this increased investment from the Grand Slam tournaments will further help talented young players from all over the world to compete at the highest levels.”