The ATP announced that it will extend its rankings freeze on Wednesday and boost the prize money at lower-level tournaments. This is part of a package to help players affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ATP has also introduced a new protected ranking system that will help players that missed four consecutive weeks of the season some higher flexibility with scheduling.
“Between the Australian Open and Wimbledon, minimum prize money levels for ATP 250 and ATP 500 tournaments will be raised to 80% and 60% respectively, from 50%,” the ATP said in a statement.
Spectators have been absent from the tournaments or allowed in following a strict attendance limit since the restart of the ATP and WTA tours in August after a five-month break.
The ATP Bonus Pool will be the source of the general funds generated; this fund is usually divided between the top 12 players at the end of the season.
This decision to share the ATP pool for general funds has received the backing of the ATP player council, which includes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“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,” said ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.
“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.”