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LTA Launches British Tour

Tennis is coming back to Britain.

The LTA today announced a series of pro events set for July—subject to confirmation of government safety requirements to address COVID-19 pandemic.

More: Sharapova Revisits Date with Djokovic

The first swing of four new British Tour events is scheduled over consecutive weeks from July 3-26th.

All four tournaments will all staged at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, which has already been approved as an elite training venue and will continue as such during this time. 

Each event will host 32 singles players—16 men and 16 women—open to the highest ranked players with an LTA Membership number who wish to enter.

The tournaments will generally be held over three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a one day doubles-only event for eight teams played under FAST4 format at each Premier stop.

Last month, Wimbledon cancelled for the first time in 75 years due to the coronavirus crisis.

The LTA has increased total prize money at each tournament by 50 percent and for the first time ever at British Tour events, all players from the first round onwards will receive prize money to help support the incomes and expenses from a wider base of players during this challenging time.

There will be two Premier-level events (in week two and four), each offering over £16,000 in total prize money, with the singles champions receiving £2,250. A ‘Tier 1’ event held in the first and third weeks: (July 3-5 and July 18-19).

Tennis Express

The LTA said it "will soon confirm other dates and venues to host British Tour events through to the end of August."

“Since the coronavirus crisis, we have been working incredibly hard to support all our players, venues, coaches and officials through this very challenging time," LTA Chief Executive Scott Lloyd said. "I’m delighted to announce today 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.”

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve