The Women’s Tennis Association is working on boosting players’ earnings when the sport resumes after the coronavirus.
The WTA is also taking into account extending the 2020 season to help players in the lower tiers who have had no opportunity to earn money on the tour since the season was suspended in early March.
“The WTA is diligently working with our tournaments to maximize earning possibilities when the professional tennis circuit is able to resume and is considering an extension to the current 44-week season to enable more tournaments to take place,” the association told Reuters in a statement.
“It is our sincere hope to return to the court as soon as possible – when the health and safety or our players, fans and staff can be guaranteed, we will be back competing.”
The men’s ATP Tour and the WTA suspended all tournaments until June 7th once several countries started to close borders in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19.
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The International Tennis Federation (ITF), the sport’s governing body, also postponed its lower-tier World Tennis Tour until June 8th.
The WTA season ending finals are scheduled from November 1-8 before the season heads into a break of eight to 10 weeks.
The WTA is well aware that without tournaments and prize money on offer, it leaves several players with financial concerns.
“We wish there was a way everyone, especially those in need the most, could be compensated at the level they were expecting, but the needs are so great and the WTA unfortunately is not in a financial position to do that,” the WTA stated.
“Professional tennis players are independent contractors and not employees of the WTA. As a result, a player’s compensation is based on on-court competition and when tournaments are not held this puts a pause on their principal revenue flow.
“The WTA fully recognises the challenges these athletes are facing as well as those similar challenges being dealt with from millions of people around the world during this unprecedented situation.”
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