Tennis action to return behind closed doors in Roehampton
The Lawn Tennis Association has announced that four three-day British Tour events will take place behind closed doors over consecutive weekends from July 3-26 at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
Each of these events is open to the 32 highest-ranked players – 16 men and 16 women – in a bid to provide safe and competitive opportunities for Britain’s best players returning to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The LTA says there will be two ‘Premier-level’ events in weeks two and four, each offering more than £16,000 in total prize money with the winners pocketing £2,250, while ‘Tier 1’ competitions will be held in the first and third weeks.
LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd 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 the next stage of elite tennis’ return to competing safely behind closed doors as part of a five-phase plan coordinated 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.”
There has been no professional tennis since the start of March, with the French Open postponed until late September and early October while Wimbledon has been cancelled this year for the first time since World War Two.
The ATP and WTA Tours have been paused until at least the start of August but should the international suspension be extended further, the LTA says it has developed plans for more domestic playing opportunities.