Tennis Australia launches domestic UTR series starting this weekend

Tennis Australia launches domestic UTR series starting this weekend

There will be no spectators at the events, where strict safety protocols will be followed.

Tennis Australia is launching a series of domestic tournaments with $450,000 in prize money for Australian players during the suspension of tour competition.

The first five events of the series have been announced, starting with men's and women's events this weekend in Sydney and next week in Melbourne and Brisbane. There will also be exhibition wheelchair events.

The series has been started to provide competition for players "with so much of the tennis season still uncertain," Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said in a statement. "Our aim through the UTR Pro Tennis Series is to give as many of our athletes the chance to compete and, importantly, also earn prize money," he added.

There will be no spectators at the events, where strict safety protocols will be followed. These include fewer linespeople and no ball kids, along with extra sanitation and limited onsite facilities.

The fields, likely to consist of lower-ranked players, will be announced along with further events during the next two months. The length of the series could be extended depending on the resumption dates for the pro tours.