Mariam Bolkavadze is one of 29 players to receive a grant ©Getty Images

Twenty-nine tennis players from 22 countries have received funds from the 2020 International Player Grand Slam Grants, financed by the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF).

Now in its fourth year, the scheme provides total annual funding of $650,000 (£508,000/€553,000) to players to help with competition-related costs.

It is hoped that this will help them develop as professional players and compete at Grand Slam tournaments.

Criteria such as age, ranking and regional representation was taken into account when the GDSF Committee decided who the recipients should be.

Many of those who have received the grant since 2017 have since made the top 100 of the men's or women's singles rankings, including 2020 Australian Open quarter-finalist Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

World number 18 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan and Chile's world number 21, Cristian Garin, are others who have benefited. 

Thirteen men and 10 women were successful in receiving $25,000 (£19,500/€21,300) from the grants, including Georgia's Mariam Bolkavadze, Argentina's Francesco Cerundolo and Juan Manuel Cerundolo, Poland's Maja Chwalinska and Luxembourg's Eleonara Molinaro.

Other nations included in the funding were Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, India, Austria, Israel, Colombia, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei and China.

A smaller grant of $12,500 (£9,750/€10,650) was handed to three men and three women who are the highest-ranked players in their respective regions.

This was to make sure players from across the world were assisted.

These were Maiar Sherif Ahmed Abdulaziz of Egypt, Roberto Cid Subervi of the Dominican Republic, Paige Hourigan of New Zealand, Skander Mansouri of Tunisia, Colin Sinclair of the Northern Mariana Islands and Renata Zarazua of Mexico.

This year's recipients include seven players who also received funds in 2019 and who continue to meet the criteria – which allows players to receive the grant for two years.

Four of this year's recipients have already competed in the main draw at a Grand Slam this year, with Kaja Juvan of Slovenia managing it at both the US and Australian Opens.

Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina, India's Sumit Nagal and Brazil's Thiago Seyboth Wild all contested the main draw at the US Open.

Kaja Juvan has competed in the main draws of both the US and Australian Open this year ©Getty Images
Kaja Juvan has competed in the main draws of both the US and Australian Open this year ©Getty Images

Of those who have received the grant since 2017, 15 will be in the main draw for the French Open this month, while a further 18 are competing in the earlier qualifying rounds.

"We once again thank the Grand Slam tournaments for their support, especially in these challenging and uncertain times," said International Tennis Federation President David Haggerty.

"Investing in development is more important than ever, in order to ensure that players from all over the world are able to compete at the top of the sport.

"This is crucial for the continued growth of tennis around the world.

"For many players, support from the GSDF is crucial in enabling them to go on to enjoy long and successful careers."

The GSDF was originally established in 1986 to encourage development of tennis in all of the world's regions, before the International Player Grand Slam Grants were officially formed in 2017.

Some Grand Slam champions who have previously benefited from the original fund include Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten, China's Li Na, Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, Belarus' Victoria Azarenka and Romania's Simona Halep.