The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) made the bold decision to allocate the prize pool from the 2020 Wimbledon tournament to the playing group. The All England Tennis Club will distribute £10m in prize money to 620 players who were on the track to play the 2020 tournament.
The decision was taken after Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War II, due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the U.K. and the rest of the world.
The move will keep the careers of the majority of players outside the main group alive. With no satellite tournaments or majors for the last four months, some players have struggled to make a living or pay for training.
AELTC announces prize money in lieu of The Championships 2020 alongside initial decisions for The Championships 2021 ⬇️#Wimbledon— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2020
The AELTC had an insurance policy in place that allowed them to compensate sponsors, broadcasters, ticket holders and players in chance the event would not go ahead.
The allocation of prize money was based on WTA and ATP world rankings, with 224 players who were set to compete in the qualifying draw for Wimbledon to receive £12,500; 256 players who would have competed in main draw singles will each receive £25,000; 120 players who would have competed in main draw doubles will each receive £6,250; 16 players who would have competed in the wheelchair events will each receive £6,000; and four players who would have competed in the quad wheelchair events will each receive £5,000.
The AELTC has been proactively supporting the relief effort across the U.K. during the pandemic with donations to the NHIS, St John’s Ambulance and other COVID related charities. The move for the players was seen as the next step in their efforts to combat the fallout from COVID-19.
Chief Executive Richard Lewis was delighted with the outcome:
“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.”