PARIS, June 9, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – The ATP announced on Monday that it will give fans the chance to bid for coaching sessions with some of tennis’ best coaches, in order to raise funds for trainers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, the ATP said that the private sessions will be held with the likes of Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Lendl, and will be awarded to fans through auctions and prize draws.
“Funds raised will be allocated by the ATP Coaches Committee to support the members of the ATP Coach Programme, whose ability to work has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic,” the statement said.
“In addition, a part of proceeds will be donated to a global COVID-19 relief fund.”
Fans will participate in the sessions at 2021 ATP events and Grand Slams, the statement added, with spots being won between June 8-29.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the ability of many people to work and coaches are no exception,” said ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.
“The fact this initiative also helps fellow members of the tennis family during this uncertain time shows the unity and innovative spirit of tennis.”
The ATP and WTA schedules have been on ice since March with action not set to resume until the end of July at the earliest.
Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War II, while the French Open has been shifted from May-June to September-October and there are concerns about a potential August slot for the US Open.
In May tennis’ top governing bodies announced that they had raised $6 million (5.3 million euros) for a relief fund for players hardest hit by the pandemic.