ATP announces ‘Covid Protection Ranking’ amid ongoing restrictions

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The ATP has announced plans to protect the rankings of players that may be unable to play due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Players who are unable to play for four or more weeks will be able to protect their ATP Ranking if they so wish, in a move designed to help players who may be affected by travel restrictions due to factors such as nationality.

This is alongside the “Best Of” system already in place, which allows players to keep their best result from either the 2019 or 2020 events. The “Best Of” date has been extended until 9 August and will include the Canadian Open in Toronto.

The new Covid Protection Ranking system, though, will be ineligible to be used at Grand Slam tournaments as these events are managed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

It can also not be used to boost entrance to this year’s Tokyo Olympics as that is also run by the ITF, whilst there are limits to the number of Masters 1000 events that you can enter.

Players will only be able to use the protected ranking for the same number of Masters 1000 events that they missed, even if there are more Masters 1000 events in the period they use the ranking for than there was in the period they missed.

The ATP has also announced that money usually given to the top 12 players at the end of the season will instead be distributed to ATP250 and 500 to ease financial difficulties for these smaller events.

Furthermore, challenger events are to be given $10,000 to fund hotel quarantine for any player who needs it on arrival at their event.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: “Our tournaments’ revenues continue to be severely impacted by restrictions on ticket sales, and a substantial improvement on this front looks unlikely before mid-year.

“Our focus is to ensure the Tour continues supporting as many players as possible and I would like to thank the top-ranked players and the Player Council for supporting this measure, which will help improve conditions for the larger player group over the coming months.”

Follow Oli Jefford on Twitter @odicksonjefford.
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