Photo: Valérie Simard

Canada will have a representative on the ITF World Tennis Tour Player Panel as Petra Januskova joins 12 other players who have been elected to these panels.

The goal is to organize a forum for players to provide their input and have their say on how the tour is run. Player members will participate in votes and make recommendations to the ITF World Tennis Tour Committee.

Januskova, who has been playing on the ITF Tour for over 10 years, hopes to bring her firsthand knowledge and experience to help better represent the body of players and incite some important changes.

“It is a great honour and big responsibility as a player to be voted by my peers for such an important panel. I do believe that the panel can have a significant impact and bring about positive changes within the existing system. Changes are long overdue, and I am thrilled to help out with the process.”

Some of the major challenges that tennis professionals face are the differences between the WTA and the ITF tours in terms of prize money, scheduling and overall standards for the players. Januskova and the other members elected to these panels will be advocating to change the current conditions, improve communication and transparency and ensure that players of all levels get treated in a professional manner, regardless of the tour they play on.

“More needs to be done for lower ranked players. Without allowing these players a chance to develop by increasing prize money and/or the points allocated at tournaments, it takes away from the values of the sport.”

In addition to the players, each panel will be chaired by respected members of the tennis community. Mark Woodforde will oversee the men’s panel while the women’s panel will be chaired by Mary Pierce.

For Januskova, collaborating with Pierce is a great privilege.

“It is an honour to work with a fellow Canadian born player and a four-time Grand Slam Champion. I always admired and respected Mary as a player and everything she achieved on the court. I am excited to learn from her and learn from this experience.”

The elected player members of the panels are:

 Men’s Tennis PanelWomen’s Tennis Panel
Jose Bendeck (COL)Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB)
Ti Chen (TPE)Ines Ibbou (ALG)
Niki Kalayanda Poonacha (IND)Petra Januskova (CAN)
Juan Pablo Paz (ARG)Yuliana Lizarazo (COL)
Aldin Sektic (BIH)Tara Moore (GBR)
Francesco Vilardo (ITA)Conny Perrin (SUI)
TBD*Olivia Tjandramulia (AUS)