The Grand Slam® Development Fund was originally established in 1986 with an initial donation of £100,000 by the Championships at Wimbledon. The purpose of the Grand Slam contributions is to develop competitive tennis opportunities worldwide.
From 1986 to 1990, the four Grand Slam tournaments (Wimbledon, Roland Garros, the US Open and the Australian Open) jointly donated about $500,000 each year. A new opportunity for greater funding was provided by the Grand Slam Cup from 1990-1999, and the Grand Slam Development Fund continued to receive additional funding when the Grand Slam Cup merged with the ATP's season-ending championships to form the Tennis Masters Cup, which was held from 2000-08 and was co-owned by the ITF, Grand Slams and the ATP.
In total, since the inception, the Grand Slams have been able to donate more than $40 million to the Grand Slam Development Fund.
The Fund is designed to encourage the establishment of both junior and professional tournament circuits which in turn, provide opportunities for a greater number of players to compete and to assist players directly, either through teams or travel grants, to gain international competitive experience so that more nations and players will be represented in the mainstream of international competition. Other projects which offer a unique opportunity to develop the game in member nations, such as facility grants, are also considered for GSDF financial assistance.
The Grand Slam Development Fund is administered by the ITF. An annual report, including all grants made to players and to National Associations during the previous calendar year, as well as current and projected budgets, is submitted to the Grand Slam Committee and the ITF Board of Directors.
A number of current and former players have received assistance from the ITF/GSDF including: Li Na (CHN), Gustavo Kuerten (BRA), Nicolas Massu (CHI), Nicolas Lapentti (ECU), Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi (IND), Eleni Daniilidou (GRE), Paradorn Srichaphan (THA), Cara Black (ZIM), Jarkko Nieminen (FIN), Marcos Baghdatis (CYP), Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR), Victoria Azarenka (BLR), and Ricardas Berankis (LTU).