The governing body for men's tennis, the ATP, has announced a package of measures to support lower-ranked players and tournaments under continued COVID-19 conditions.
The package covers a range of areas including prize money at the ATP 250 and ATP 500 events and an updated FedEx ATP Rankings system.
Additionally, a new COVID-19 Protected Ranking provision has been announced to give players security in the current environment, and an update to the number of player support team allowances on-site at events.
The prize money for both the ATP 250 and ATP 500 will be raised to 80 per cent and 60 per cent respectively, up from 50 per cent, between the Australia Open and Wimbledon this summer.
Increases, which equate to a maximum expenditure of US$5.2 million, will be primarily funded through a redistribution of part of the ATP Bonus Pool ordinarily distributed to the Top 12 eligible players at the end of the season.
A redistribution of the funds has come with the support of the ATP Player Council, including Top 10 representatives, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
"Our tournaments’ revenues continue to be severely impacted by restrictions on ticket sales, and a substantial improvement on this front looks unlikely before mid-year," started Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman.
"Our focus is to ensure the Tour continues supporting as many players as possible and I would like to thank the top-ranked players and the Player Council for supporting this measure, which will help improve conditions for the larger player group over the coming months."
The new package also sees each of the ATP Tours and ATP Challenger Tour events taking place this year receive US$10,000 to cover additional hotel costs that might be incurred due to isolation or quarantine periods for players and staff.
Author: Jake Wilkin