Wimbledon Makes Changes To Seeding For Men’s Draw

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

The 134th Wimbledon Championships may be almost year away. However, on Friday, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club announced that starting in 2021 the seeding for the men’s draw will be based on ranking instead of past Wimbledon and grass performance. The following announcement was posted on Wimbledon’s website:

Since last year’s Championships, we have also taken the time to give consideration to the evolution of the sport and the mechanisms of allocating seeding for The Championships. Given the quality of competition, entertainment and modern grass courts, following detailed discussion with the player groups, the AELTC has decided that the grass court seeding formula used since 2002 has served its time, and from The Championships 2021 seeding for the Gentlemen’s singles draw will be based solely on ranking. There will be no change to the method of seeding for the Ladies’ singles draw.

… and announces prize money in lieu of Championships

As such, the AELTC is pleased to announce that, following consultation regarding our insurance cover for cancellation, we are now in a position to allocate prize money to the 620 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.

From an agreed total of £10m, the AELTC will distribute prize money in lieu of The Championships 2020 with regard for the circumstances of this year and in the spirit of the AELTC’s prize money distribution in recent years.

Based on world ranking, 224 players who would have competed in Qualifying will each receive £12,500; 256 players who would have competed in Main Draw Singles will each receive £25,000; 120 players who would have competed in Main Draw Doubles will each receive £6,250; 16 players who would have competed in the Wheelchair events will each receive £6,000; and four players who would have competed in the Quad Wheelchair events will each receive £5,000. Players will only receive payment for one event.

Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive, commented: “Immediately following the cancellation of The Championships, we turned our attention to how we could assist those who help make Wimbledon happen. We know these months of uncertainty have been very worrying for these groups, including the players, many of whom have faced financial difficulty during this period and who would have quite rightly anticipated the opportunity to earn prize money at Wimbledon based on their world ranking. We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognise the impact of the cancellation on the players and that we are now in a position to offer this payment as a reward for the hard work they have invested in building their ranking to a point where they would have gained direct entry into The Championships 2020.”

Throughout the day, many players shared positive thoughts on social media in praise of Wimbledon’s announcement. Among them were Kim Clijsters and Lucas Pouille: