The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which organises Wimbledon, has decided to distribute prize money to 620 players whose world ranking would have enabled them to get a direct entry in the main draw or the qualifying event in the 2020 edition of the championships, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The AELTC had cancelled this year’s edition immediately after the outbreak that stopped tennis competitions all around the world and it was revealed later that they would not be losing any money as the event was insured for such eventualities.
The organisers have now decided distribute a part of the $141 million they are expected to get from the insurance company to the players and on Friday announced the formula on their website.
“From an agreed total of £10m, the AELTC will distribute prize money in lieu of The Championships 2020 with regard for the circumstances of this year and in the spirit of the AELTC’s prize money distribution in recent years,” the statement said.
From an Indian perspective, the announced prize money distribution would mean that singles players including Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sumit Nagal and Ankita Raina, who could have made it to the qualifying draw on the basis of their current world rankings would stand to gain a substantial amount.
Apart from them, doubles specialists Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan, Saina Mirza and Leander Paes may also get the benefit of AELTC’s decision.
“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,” Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive was quoted as saying.
The AELTC would also be working with Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association to provide financial support to officials who would have officiated at the tournament this year.