LTA to stage domestic tennis tournaments in July

May 28, 2020

A series of domestic tennis tournaments will be held behind closed doors at the National Tennis Centre in July.

 

Each event will be open to the 16 highest ranked men and 16 highest ranked women in Britain.

 

The tournaments, organised by British tennis' governing body the LTA, will generally run from Friday to Sunday.

 

Andy Murray would be eligible to play his first match since November, although none of the top players have so far committed to taking part.

 

The LTA is hoping to stage best-of-three-set singles matches on a knockout basis, which means players may at times be asked to play two matches in a day.

 

 

The intention is to play on outdoor hard courts, and for the matches to be streamed on the LTA's social channels.

 

The first event will begin on Friday, 3 July, subject to government guidelines for the return of elite sport which are currently being finalised.

 

The National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, which has already been approved as an elite training venue, will host the first four events.

 

The LTA is then hoping to stage further competitions in other locations in August.

 

 

The most lucrative events will offer a prize fund of just over £16,000, with each of the singles winners receiving £2,250. There will also be a one-day doubles-only event for eight teams at each of the tournaments.

 

Murray has not played since November's Davis Cup Finals because of a bruise on his pelvic bone, but had been contemplating a return to the ATP Tour in Miami in late March when professional tennis was suspended because of Covid-19.

 

The former world number one is most likely to return, however, at an exhibition event fronted by his brother Jamie at the end of June.

 

 

The tournament, which is hoping to feature the top eight men in the UK, is also expected to take place behind closed doors at the National Tennis Centre.

 

Internationally, optimism is rising that the US Open will be able to go ahead behind closed doors in late August, and the French Open in some shape or form a month later.

 

The LTA is, though, developing plans for more domestic events - including the return of the National Championships - should the suspension of the international tours extend into the autumn.

 

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