German tennis player Jan-Lennard Struff has backed World No. 1 Novak Djokovic's proposal to start a fund to support lower-ranked players during the current tennis shutdown. Earlier this month, the Serbian superstar and President of the ATP Tour Player's Council said he had spoken to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal about a relief fund that would see up to $4.5 million going to lower-ranked players with the ATP Tour.
Speaking to the Stats Platform, Struff commented, "You have to look at [it] from two sides. Of course, I have no income, but I have managed to play well in the last few years and have been able to put some money aside.
I think it's a good idea. I think it's very important that the initiative comes from Novak Djokovic. It shows that he wants to take care of other players as well. I think that's very important because it's very important for tennis in general.
I would like to support this, of course. Many players will have problems because they have no income in this area. But I would go one step further and say that from the 100 or 150 rankings onwards, players will have problems and, of course, need this support."
Struff, who has been able to resume training in his native Germany while conforming to social distancing guidelines and strict rules of the local authorities, says he is also not sure if the remaining two Grand Slams of the season, the US Open and the French Open - would be held in 2020.
The German says, "I have very big doubts whether the French Open and the US Open can take place. I don't know how long the travel restrictions will last. I just find it very difficult. It also has to be fair that every player from every nation is allowed to fly to every country and I just don't think that's guaranteed.
There will be tournaments on a national level. Internationally, I find it very difficult. Wimbledon has, of course, cancelled the tournament early. This is the only tournament that has insurance for this. Other tournaments want to be played later in the year and keep their tournament, which is completely understandable, but I doubt that these will take place."