The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and tournaments are exploring different options to help “maximize earning possibilities” of players when the sport resumes.
Tennis is on an extended break due to the coronavirus pandemic and officials have set June 8, which marks the start of the grass-court season, as a possible return date.
There is also a big possibility that that the hiatus could be extended and result in the cancellation of more tournaments.
Tennis has always been a no play, no pay sport and players, especially those lower down the rankings and without big sponsors, will suffer big financial losses over the next few months.
However, the WTA is looking at ways to help the players.
“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,” they 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 staffs can be guaranteed, we will be back competing.”
The WTA explained that, although they would love to come to the rescue of players, they are not in a “financial position” to do it.
“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 said.
“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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