The International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) development programme was first conceived in the late 1970s with the aim to help raise the level of tennis worldwide and increase the number of countries competing in mainstream international tennis.
Tennis Europe administers the European development projects on behalf of the ITF, while international projects are managed by the ITF Development department. Additionally on behalf of the Grand Slam® Board, the ITF Development department administers the Grand Slam® Development Fund.
The Tennis Europe Development department works together with the ITF Development Officer to support National Associations on a range of initiatives from the grass roots level to participation at Grand Slams.
The 2021-2024 ITF Development strategic areas are:
- Administration & Resources
and are aiming to achieve the two core strategic objectives:
- Increasing participation in tennis worldwide for all ages, genders, playing standard and physical abilities
- Develop talented players, particularly those from nations that are both under-resourced and under-represented.
Activities include touring teams, funding for junior and professional tournaments, funding for tennis facilities, travel grants for talented players, training centers and coach education, the supply of tennis equipment and the Junior Tennis Initiative.
A number of current and former players have received assistance from the ITF/GSDF including: Li Na (CHN), Gustavo Kuerten (BRA), Nicolas Massu (CHI), Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi (IND), Eleni Daniilidou (GRE), Simona Halep (ROU), Hubert Hurkacz (POL), Jarkko Nieminen (FIN), Marcos Baghdatis (CYP), Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR), Victoria Azarenka (BLR), Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) and Ricardas Berankis (LTU).