AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
- This year, the coronavirus crisis forced the cancellation of professional tennis' most esteemed event.
- Wimbledon — the Grand Slam tournament played each summer in England — recouped $141 million in potential losses by taking out "pandemic insurance" prior to the mass spread of COVID-19.
- Now, the prize money from the tournament will be reallocated to the 620 players eligible for the event through the main draw or a qualifying event.
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The coronavirus crisis forced the sports world to a grinding halt, and even tennis' most esteemed event felt the effects.
Back in April, Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II. But thanks to a "pandemic insurance" policy the tournament's organizers had taken out prior to the mass spread of COVID-19, players will get paid without stepping on the famous grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.
The London-based club announced on Friday that it would devote £10,066,000 — or $12,714,767 — of the $141 million in potential losses it recouped via the rare insurance policy towards paying each of the 620 players eligible for this year's event.
According to the Wimbledon website, the "players whose world ranking would have enabled them to gain entry into The Championships 2020 by direct acceptance into the Main Draw or Qualifying event" will earn a portion of the tournament's previously-allotted prize money.
—Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) July 10, 2020
Of the money, £12,500 (US$15,789) will go to each of the 224 players who would have competed in the Qualifying event. Main Draw Singles participants will earn £25,000 (US$31,579), while those playing Main Draw Doubles will each receive £6,250 (US$7,895).
The 16 players slotted to compete in Wheelchair events would earn £6,000 (US$7,579), and those who would have played in the Quad Wheelchair will receive £5,000 (US$6,316). The tournament's chair umpires and officials will also receive compensation in some form.
Though much of tennis' top events have been canceled, the circuit will boot up once again with the Citi Open in August. The US Open — which is still on for early September — will be the first Grand Slam of the year since the Australian Open in January.
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