STARNBERG, June 15, 2020
Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez expects that tennis players will face substantial decline in prize money on the ATP Tour in the coming months as a result of the coronavirus crisis. No professional tournaments have been taken place since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the tours’ suspension currently set to continue until August.
“We have to understand that tennis is not going to be the same, at least for one, two, three years. I don’t know how long,” said Lopez, who is also the tournament director of the Mutua Madrid Open, on Sunday.
The World No. 56, who captured the singles as well as doubles title of the Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club last year, argued that even when things return to some kind of normal, prize money will be reduced as sponsors try to compensate the economic fallout of the pandemic.
“The companies and the sponsors, they might have to fire employees,” 38-year-old Lopez was quoted by the BBC.
“This is happening everywhere in the world, so the first thing they cut is sponsorship, and this is going to be affecting tennis massively.
“We need to survive this moment and we need to be united. The players need to understand that it’s going to be a significant reduction in the prize money. But we need to survive this moment and we need to be united.
“I see now the scenario where tournaments will survive with a significant reduction in prize money – not only for this year, but also for (the) 2021 season.”
Feliciano Lopez has won seven career titles on the ATP Tour and has competed in 72 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.