New Zealand will hold a team-based tennis tournament for local-based male players starting June 3, organizers said on Monday.
This event will mark the first professional competition in the southern hemisphere since the coronavirus pandemic stopped global sports.
The 112 “NZ Premier League” matches will be played in Auckland without spectators but broadcast live on Sky Sports or Youtube channel, Sky Sports Next, Tennis New Zealand said on Monday.
New Zealand has been relatively successful in containing the corona virus, recording around 1,500 cases and 21 deaths.
After two months of strict confinement, the New Zealand authorities began easing social restrictions and gave the green light to several professional sports to restart the competition.
“Goalless training is not possible for professional and competitive athletes,” New Zealand Tennis Director of High Performance Christophe Lambert said in a statement statement.
“The New Zealand Premier League offers the opportunity for our best players to have a competitive environment at home so they are ready to jump back when the pro circuit starts again, but also for our young players to get the experience needed to perform at the highest level. “
The best tennis professional tour, ATP Men’s and Women’s WTA, have been closed since March 8.
New Zealand does not have players in the top 500 singles ATP so the Premier League will be filled with doubles specialists, college players and foreign players based in New Zealand.
The event, co-sponsored by Tennis New Zealand and Auckland-based Lavie Tennis Academy, will feature 24 players divided into eight teams consisting of three who compete in three weeks of final and final round matches.
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