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Cameron Norrie of Britain will play the tournament in New Zealand

coronavirus

Pro tennis bounces back with New Zealand tournament

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, May 25New Zealand Tennis said Monday it was set to host the southern hemisphere’s first professional tournament since the COVID-19 shutdown.

The men’s Premier League tournament in Auckland next month will feature 24 players competing in three teams at spectator-free arenas over three weeks.

Tennis NZ high performance director Christophe Lambert said the tournament, which begins on June 3, would pit ATP veterans against some of New Zealand’s rising stars.

“The NZ Premier League offers opportunities for our best players to have a home-base competitive environment so they are ready to jump back in when the pro circuit starts again,” he said.

Britain’s world number 77 Cameron Norrie, who grew up in New Zealand, and several of New Zealand’s Davis Cup players are among those taking part.

The international nature of tennis means the sport has been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown.

Among the Grand Slams, the French Open has been postponed and the US Open is considering switching venues from New York if the virus crisis in the city does not ease.

The ATP is not planning to resume tournament play until early August, while the WTA hopes to restart its calendar in Palermo in on July 20.

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