Wimbledon Pledges £10 Million To Players
Wimbledon pledged on Friday £10 million to the men and women who would have competed at The Championships in 2020 had the COVID-19 pandemic not forced the cancellation of the event. The grass-court Grand Slam is allocating funds to 620 players from all disciplines whose world ranking would have enabled them to gain entry into the tournament.
The 256 players who would have competed in gentlemen’s and ladies’ singles draws will each receive £25,000; 224 players who would have competed in the genlemen’s and ladies’ qualifying events will each receive £12,500; 120 players who would have competed in Main Draw Doubles will each receive £6,250.
In addition, Wimbledon announced that the grass-court seeding formula it has used for the gentlemen’s singles draw since 2002 will be discontinued beginning in 2021. The seeding will be based solely on the FedEx ATP Rankings.
The All England Club has focussed Wimbledon’s efforts on supporting those most affected by the pandemic at a local, national and international level. These efforts have included the Wimbledon Foundation’s £1.2 million COVID-19 fund to support charities tackling the crisis response and recovery, the donations of strawberries, towels and balls intended for The Championships 2020, the distribution of daily hot meals to those in need in the local community.
Wimbledon has also contributed to the Player Relief Programme and wheelchair tennis fund established by the governing bodies of world tennis, as well as an auction in support of members of the ATP Coach programme most in need due to the pandemic. Andy Murray will hit with the winning bidder and a guest at The Championships in 2021, and they will follow that session with a private lunch in the All England Club's members' enclosure. The winning bidder will also receive two tickets to the gentlemen's singles final.
The chief executive of the All England Club, Richard Lewis , said: “Immediately following the cancellation of The Championships, we turned our attention to how we could assist those who help make Wimbledon happen. We know these months of uncertainty have been very worrying for these groups, including the players, many of whom have faced financial difficulty during this period and who would have quite rightly anticipated the opportunity to earn prize money at Wimbledon based on their world ranking. We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognise the impact of the cancellation on the players and that we are now in a position to offer this payment as a reward for the hard work they have invested in building their ranking to a point where they would have gained direct entry into The Championships 2020.”