Tara Moore has called on financial assistance for tennis players during coronavirus shutdown

Britain’s Tara Moore has called on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for financial support in a period of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lower level professionals are counting the cost of the tennis shutdown with some fearing they will be unable to put food on the table if it lasts much longer.

Georgia’s Sofia Shapatava, ranked 375th on the WTA circuit, has started a petition seeking assistance from the ITF for lower-level professionals.

“Not many will be able to support their everyday life and then come back to playing after three months without competition,” the 31-year-old said in her online petition, which has more than 1,350 signatures.

Shapatava, who currently plays secondary ITF events, has collected $354,725 in career earnings since turning professional in 2004, but has only made about $3,300 this year.

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Britain’s Moore, who is ranked 447th in the world, earned about $2,800 this year before the shutdown.

“It will be tough for many players to survive the next couple of months as they didn’t earn much before,” the 27-year-old said on Twitter in support of Shapatava’s petition.

“It is very weird to listen that professional tennis players struggle with food, but that is reality,” she wrote.

“Half of the people I know work on [the] side, coach or play club matches, and since the world is on shutdown that is impossible to do.

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