The CEO of World TeamTennis says the league has sent $1,000 each to about 60 players and coaches as a “gift” to help them deal with the financial hardships presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
Carlos Silva said in a telephone interview Thursday that the payments were not an advance of salary for the nine-team league, which was founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s.
Explained Silva: “It wasn’t so much about the money, but a way to say, ‘Thank you,’ and just so they could use it for some rent or some groceries or anything they might need.”
All professional tennis events have been postponed or canceled until early July because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
There will be some tennis to watch on TV this weekend, though: A WTT all-star event featuring 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys and other players will air Saturday on CBS. It was filmed March 1.
Silva said WTT is still planning to launch its three-week season on July 12, but will continue to monitor the situation and offer periodic updates.
Matches are slated to be held that day in Washington, Orlando, San Diego and Springfield, Missouri.
That date also was supposed to be when the men’s final was played at Wimbledon.
But the All England Club announced Wednesday that its Grand Slam tournament would not be played this year.