The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn curtains on the tennis calendar with hundreds of players who depended on tournaments to earn their livelihood, left to fend for themselves. In a relief to these players, Wimbledon authorities have announced that they would be pledging ten million pounds ($12.6 million approximately) to aid them. The amount will be distributed to 620 players who would have otherwise had a chance to compete in Wimbledon 2020.
The decision to call off the Championships dealt a heavy blow to fans, but it was the players and support staff who were most affected. Ever since the cancellation of the event, the Wimbledon Foundation has been working to provide assistance to players and support staff who are an integral part of the Championships. The All England Club too has been focussed on those most affected by the pandemic at local, national and international levels. The Foundation has also provided over $1.5 million to support charities tackling the crisis and recovery. Apart from money, the foundation has also provided support in the form of daily hot meals.
Wimbledon has prepared a specific format through which the amount would be distributed to the players. The 256 players who would have competed in the gentlemen’s and ladies’ singles draw will each receive £25,000, while the 224 players who would have played in the qualifying event will each receive £12,500 and the 120 players from the main doubles draw will each receive £6,250. Apart from this Wimbledon also announced that the seeding format would be changed for the 2021 edition. The current seeding format which has been in place from 2002 will be discontinued and the 2021 edition of Wimbledon will follow seeding based on the FedEx ATP rankings.