ITF President David Haggerty urged male leaders to "stand up for progress" ©Getty Images

International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty has urged men in leadership roles in the sport to work towards achieving the organisation's goals on gender equality.

The ITF's Advantage All equality strategy aims to enable women and girls to reach their full potential and achieve gender balance across the sport.

It aims to ensure women have access to leadership positions, promote balanced opportunities to participate and raise the commercial appeal of the women's game.

The Men as Allies programme forms a key part of this strategy, with those who support the initiative committed to making organisational and personal commitments to achieve the Advantage All goals.

In an address on International Women's Day, American official and International Olympic Committee member Haggerty urged more men to join the Men as Allies programme.

"The role of men cannot be underestimated," he insisted.

"It is our combined duty and responsibility to work out the best way to redress gender imbalance.

"As an appointed UN [United Nations] 'HeForShe' Champion, I say to you it is time for all of us to start championing the champions.

"We invite male leaders across all aspects of tennis to become Advantage All Male Allies.

"Allies will be expected to commit to making a tangible and measurable contribution towards achieving Advantage All goals.

"By creating a pathway and a plan, you can ensure that as many opportunities are provided to women and girls as men and boys in all areas of our sport both on and off the court.

"Please join me as a male ally.

"Stand up for progress."

Haggerty referenced reforms introduced at last year's ITF Annual General Meeting in Glasgow, where it was agreed to improve gender balance on the Board of Directors from 2027 with one male and one female athlete representative and at least four men and four women as members.

By the end of last year, 85 of the ITF's 213 National Associations pledged their commitment to advocate for gender equality.

Its Advantage All programme launched on International Women's Day in 2020.